Top biz headlines: I-T relief, Rs 1 trn package for MSMEs, and more

I-T Dept to release all pending tax refunds up to Rs 5 lakh immediately

The government has decided to issue pending refunds for income tax, goods and services tax (GST) and customs worth Rs 18,000 crore immediately to benefit scores of taxpayers amid coronavirus lockdown in the country. The move is aimed at helping many overcome cash crunch due to temporary closure of shops and business operations as well as delayed salaries and job losses. Read More

Coronavirus lockdown: Rs 1-trn stimulus package for MSMEs on cards

The Centre is likely to announce a second package worth around Rs 1 trillion in coming days and it will focus on help for small and medium businesses weathering the coronavirus outbreak. Last month, the government outlined a Rs 1.7-trillion economic stimulus plan providing direct cash transfers and food security measures to give relief to millions of the poor hit by an ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown. Read More

Coronavirus impact: Logistics firms face hurdles in transporting cargo

Though the government has allowed movement of essential and non-essential goods during the 21-day nationwide lockdown, logistics players are facing a tough time transporting cargo. The most impacted have been truck drivers, who have had to bear the ire of the authorities and face stigma in their villages. Read More

Govt unlikely to grant any package for industry to pay workers' salaries

Lack of fiscal space will pose a big hurdle for the Centre to announce grants for industries to pay wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In the past few days, industry representatives have had meetings with top government officials to deliberate upon an economic package, said sources. Read More

Oyo sends thousands on leave without pay, India escapes for now

Oyo Hotels & Homes is placing thousands of its employees globally on indefinite furlough as it tries to survive through the coronavirus pandemic. Oyo said in a statement it’s furloughing employees in countries excluding India without specifying numbers, adding that it’s not considering job cuts at this time. Read More

Hit by coronavirus lockdown, residential builders stare at a bleak 2020

Developers of residential properties have seen sharp drops in the past 15-odd days and the rest of the year does not look rosy, say consultants. CREDAI-MCHI, a body of developers in Mumbai, has pegged the drop in sales booking at around 80 per cent in the February-March period this year. The March quarter of the current calendar year (Q1, calendar year 2020) saw about a 30 per cent decline in sales of properties in top cities, said property consultant JLL India. Read More

Can't miss peak April-June season due to coronavirus: Exporters to Centre

Industry bodies have unanimously cautioned against extending the lockdown owing to coronavirus, arguing that without adequate relief, exports will exponentially accumulate losses and cede market share to others. National-level exporters’ bodies representing engineering goods, apparel, and electronics, among others, have written to the commerce department over the past two days. Read More

Firms weigh measures, protocols to adapt to post-coronavirus world

Indian manufacturers are bracing for a new reality — a fundamental change in the way shop floors are run once the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) is relaxed. A raft of new protocols are being discussed with the government or are in the process of being finalised. Read More

The 'phone booths' that are making Covid tests in India easier, quicker and safer

In the final week of the 21-day lockdown, India has begun using the 'phone booth' testing method to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus, reports said. The testing method involves collection of samples from inside a box of aluminium and glass, reported Economic Times. The suspected coronavirus-infected individual, whose samples are being taken, has to walk up to the booth and stand in front of the glass exterior. Thereafter, s/he is directed to follow the instruction given through a public address system for collection of swab samples.

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