Repeat Repo: The RBI today unveiled a new set of measures to counter the economic downturn. Its objective is to discourage banks from parking surplus funds with the central bank and push them towards investments and loans that can revive growth. Reduced RBIs are repurchase prices (the rate at which banks earn interest on funds that park with the RBI) by 25 basis points to 3.75%, reducing the incentive for banks to park their funds with the RBI. Previously, on March 27, the central bank had lowered the repayment rate (75% to 4.4%). The repurchase price rate has also been reduced by 90 basis points to 4%. It had authorized all commercial banks and non-bank financial companies (NBFCs) to allow a three-month moratorium on all term loans. These measures were clearly not adequate, as the central bank still believes that there is excess liquidity in the system. It has now announced a long-term repos transaction with a target of Rs 50 billion (dubbed TLTRO 2.0) to help alleviate the liquidity crisis facing microfinance institutions (IMF) and NBFC. Banks using these funds must lend at least 50% to NBFCs and the small and medium IMF. The LTRO is a tool thanks to banks that hold central bank funds for a longer period (one to three years), at a lower rate, by giving government securities a life similar to the guarantee. With TLTRO, this loan operation allows funds to be channeled to the NBFC and the IMF, whose collections have been depleted, due to EMI moratoriums linked to COVID-19. The previous TLTRO scheme (TLTRO 1.0, so to speak) had primarily benefited large corporations and PSUs. “The overall goal is to keep the financial system and financial markets strong, liquid and in good working order so that finances continue to flow to all stakeholders, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable,” said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.
Covid Watch: The number of people infected with COVID-19 increased to 14,048, with 483 deaths at the time of writing. The Health Department spokesman said today that the doubling rate of positive cases has now dropped to 6.2 days, compared to the 3 days prior to the national shutdown that began last month. “Furthermore, India has recorded an average growth factor of 1.2% from April 1 against 2.1 in the previous two weeks (March 15-31), representing a 40% drop in factor growth,” he said. a. He added that 19 states / UT (Kerala, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Ladakh, Himachal, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Bihar, Odisha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, UP, Karnataka, J&K, Punjab, Assam, Tripura) summer has showed a lower rate of increase in cases to some extent.
Wuhan fatalities revised: China’s Wuhan city, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, said it has done an upward revision of its total coronavirus death toll by 1,290, admitting that many cases were “mistakenly reported” or missed entirely, according to state-run CCTV. That brings the total number of deaths in the city to 3,869. The change also pushes the nationwide death toll up by nearly 39% to 4,632, based on official national data released earlier on Friday.
The Centre made some new additions to the list of activities that will be allowed from April 20 in some parts of the country not classified as pandemic hotspots. NBFCs and MFIs will be allowed to resume services. Coconut, spice bamboo, areca nut and cocoa plantations, and forest produce by scheduled tribes have also been added to the list.
The Centre has removed restrictions on the export of paracetamol formulations. However, the restriction on the export of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) of paracetamol will remain in place.
Hundreds attended a temple festival in the Kalaburagi district of Karnataka, in violation of social distancing rules. Deputy Commissioner B. Sharat placed Chittapur Child Development Project Officer Rajkumar Rathod, who was designated as Sectoral Magistrate, under suspension on the same evening pending an enquiry.