In its second package, the government on Thursday announced Rs 3.16 trillion support for vulnerable sections, including migrant workers, farmers, tribals, street vendors, and the middle class — all hit hard by the lockdown.
Here are the top 10 headlines that made news on Friday morning:
FM extends Rs 3.2-trillion stimulus to migrant workers and farmers
Three of the nine measures announced on Thursday were targeted at migrant labourers, who have been bearing the brunt of the lockdown because even if they have their ration cards with them, they can’t use them because they are not valid everywhere. Read here.
Tata group, Adani, CESC may join the race to buy BSES companies
According to investment banking sources, discoms like Tata group, the Adani group, and CESC are planning to join the race to buy the 51 per cent stake held by Reliance Infrastructure in BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Ltd (BYPL). BRPL is the largest power distribution company in New Delhi with over 2.56 mn consumers, while BYPL supplies electricity to around 1.7 mn consumers across Central and East Delhi. Read here.
Not a single demand made by states has been met: West Bengal FM Amit Mitra
In an interview with Business Standard, the West Bengal FM said, “There has been no payment of dues from the centre. West Bengal has dues of over Rs 36,000 crore on account of centrally sponsored schemes.” Mamata Banerjee had written to PM Modi with a full breakdown of dues and even raised the issue in all the video-conferences, but there has been no response. Read here.
FM’s Day 2 package: Govt’s immediate fiscal cost will be close to Rs 10K cr
The Centre’s direct spending as announced in the second tranche will include Rs 3,500 crore on providing free foodgrain to 80 mn migrants for two months and Rs 1,500 crore interest subvention on Mudra loans below Rs 50,000. It will also include Rs 4,500-5,000 crore that would be immediately released by the Centre for the credit-linked subsidy scheme (CLSS) for middle-income groups to enable them to buy affordable housing. Read here.
50 days of lockdown: Indian markets are among the biggest losers globally
Fifty days into the nation-wide lockdown, there is little good news for India and the economic growth has only worsened. Except for the 45 per cent fall in crude oil prices and 10-year government bond yields falling by 57 basis points since March, almost all leading indicators have worsened. Read here.
Rattled by 72-hour work week, BMS plans nationwide protest on May 20
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) announced nationwide protests on May 20 against labour law changes and withdrawal in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. They will also protest against the increasing of working hours by the state governments of Rajasthan, Odisha, Goa and Maharashtra. Read here.
Lava set to shift production for export market from China to India
Lava International, an Indian mobile phone maker, is shifting its production unit for the export market and its design centre from China to India within six months. It exports over 33 per cent of its mobile phones to Southeast Asia, West Asia, Africa, and Mexico. Read here.
Centre looks to nudge more MSMEs into manufacturing to reduce imports
Pushing the import dependent MSMEs into manufacturing would double down the list of non-essential imports that can be quickly produced domestically and would help to lay off the tariff button. Read here.
No cash in hand for migrants, govt falls back on existing schemes: MNREGS, PDS
The Rs 3.16-trillion package announced on Thursday included wage labour, which the labourers always had the option to take up under MNREGS, and free foodgrains to the migrants returning from urban areas to villages. However, it did not include cash relief for the labourers, who have lost wages over 50 days of the lockdown, Indian Express reported.
Discounts to be taken off retail shelves
Consumers shopping for packaged foods may find fewer promotional offers such as free samples and extra grammage for the next few months as companies try to fix supply chain issues and ensure their products reach shop shelves, LiveMint reported.