The number of positive coronavirus cases reported in India is 77,553, with a number of deaths of 2,528. Globally, more than 4,272,880 infections have been reported, with at least 2.92,000 death.
- Two pharmaceutical companies in India have signed agreements with the American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences for the sale of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug.
- Remdesivir was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month as a treatment for critically ill patients with Covid-19.
- The benefits of the drug have been discussed, in particular, by the country’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
- Pharmaceutical companies Jubilant Life Sciences and Hetero have signed a non-exclusive license agreement to sell remdesivir in 127 countries, including India.
- Under the deal, companies will also get the rights to manufacture the drug and increase production in all low and middle income countries, as well as in some high income countries.
AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyan Package -1
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today shared the details of the Rs. 20 lakh crore Covid-19 economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday. Here are the highlights:
- Rs.3 lakh crores of unsecured automatic loans for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The loans will have a duration of four years and a moratorium of 12 months for the repayment of the capital. Borrowers with an outstanding loan of up to Rs.25 crore and a turnover of Rs.100 crore are eligible. The program may be available until October 31, 2020.
- As part of efforts to support Indian companies, global tenders will be rejected for public tenders up to Rs.200 crore. Withholding tax (TDS) and withholding tax collection rates (TCS) have been reduced by 25% with effect from May 14, 2020 to March 21, 2021. This is expected to be released at Rs liquidity. 50,000 crore.
- The deadline for filing income tax returns has been extended to November 30, 2020 and the last date for tax audits has been extended to October 31, 2020.
- A “fund of funds” will be established with a corpus of 10,000 rupees to help MSMEs growth potential.
- The three-month EPF support for companies and employees, announced for March, April and May, has been extended until August 2020. This will lighten the rupees’ liquidity. Rs 2.5 billion.
- The legal contribution of PF from the employer and the employee will be reduced to 10% each (compared to 12% currently) for all establishments covered by EPFO over the next three months.
- A Rs. 30000 Cr. Special liquidity regime for non-bank financial companies (NBFC), housing finance companies (HFC) and microfinance institutions (MFIs).
- Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) will help instill liquidity into private disadvantages (power companies) by increasing the rupees. Rs 90000 Cr. against accounts receivable.
- All contractors contracted by the government to obtain extensions of up to 6 months. In an effort to relieve builders, regulatory authorities will be invited to extend the registration and completion dates for all registered projects by 6 months (due March 25 or later).
- According to the Azim Premji University Livelihood Survey COVID-19, about 80% of urban workers lost their jobs during the shutdown. The average weekly earnings of those who were still employed fell 61%. About 80% of urban households consumed less food in April-May compared to February, and 61% were unable to even buy most of the food for a week. Similar effects have also been felt in rural areas, but to a lesser extent. The results are based on a telephone survey of 4,000 workers in 12 states.
- Data from the Center for monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), which showed that job losses during the shutdown have been disproportionately high among younger Indians, with six million people ages 20 to 39 losing jobs in April. However, the broader employment situation has shown some improvement in the past week, thanks to the rebound in agricultural activity and the reopening of business in rural India.
India is one of 88 countries that may not meet the global nutrition targets to be achieved by 2025, according to the World Nutrition Report 2020. This report also identified India as the country with the highest rates of national malnutrition inequality. According to the World Nutrition Report 2020, India will lack targets for the four nutritional indicators: stunting in children under 5, anemia in women of childbearing potential, reduced low birth weight and overweight in children and increased exclusive breastfeeding rate for feeding the first six months.