Corona Virus Covid 19


Man who wrongly predicted PM Modi will declare 'Financial Emergency' says he's a rebel

Mar 25, 2020 1:08 AM

Press Information Bureau denied any such possibility, saying that the story "is malicious and fake and that there is no such plan"


PM Narendra Modi

Thirty-four year old Nitin Naresh, founder of a little known two-year-old magazine for start-ups and entrepreneurs Inventiva created a storm by publishing an article titled 'Narendra Modi Likely To Declare A Emergency In India Under Article 360'.

The piece prophesying 'Article 360 states that if the President is satisfied that a situation has arisen whereby the financial stability or the credit of India or any part thereof is threatened, the President may declare a state of financial emergency' went viral on social media until the Press Information Bureau denying any such possibility.

@PIBFactCheck tweeted that "Please be advised that the story is malicious and fake and that there is no such plan."

Well aware of the scramble he caused, Naresh, a graduate from Meerut's Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, however, says, "it is a circumstantial opinion based article. Based on the current circumstances I am making a case that it is 'likely' to happen. It doesn't mean it will happen."


Nitin Naresh, Founder, Inventiva (Photo credit: LinkedIn)

In the piece he makes an argument that Prime Minister Modi is "likely" to impose Article 360 in the country, saying India is seeing the worst financial crisis in its 72 years of history.

He says he has been getting calls for spreading fake news and even threats that they will file police complaint against him in the Crime Branch.

But why did he write without any basis? "I am a deep thinker and observe things at a very deep level and I have a rebellious nature."

The main motive behind the article, he says, was to prepare the country. "My main agenda behind publishing this article is that the country should be prepared because when demonetisation was declared in 2016 people were not ready. Everything changed in a minute after that announcement. It created so many problems, many even died. It became such a big scam itself. The move whose aim was to curb black money became its 'jan data' itself."

Calling the Prime Ministre Modi 'Khatro ke Khiladi', he said, there are several reasons that are indicating that the current government cannot run the country without declaring financial emergency. He shares the series of government's announcements that backs his argument. For instance, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that spending of CSR funds for COVID-19 is eligible CSR funding. As per law, CSR funding is not tax deductible. He says, "it means that even in this epidemic situation, the government wants to protect its own taxes and doesn't want to give it up." She also announced, in times of slowdown and reduced consumption, raising the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 8 per litre each as Parliament passed the Finance Bill, 2020. "If entire India is under lockdown and transportation is shut, this announcement is likely to lead to more job losses and put extra burden on the public, he says.

The third announcement that triggered the article was by RBI on purchasing government securities to boost liquidity. "All of these initiatives points that government is completely bankrupt and without imposing financial assistance they cannot run the country," he says.

There are more article to follow. His next article will be 'Slowdown to Lockdown' that will be about the slowing economy of 2019 and then the current crisis of 2020 of Covid 19.




Coronavirus outbreak: RBI likely to allow banks to accept delayed loan repayments from customers

Mar 25, 2020 8:24 AM

New Delhi: The Reserve Bank is likely to allow banks to give relaxation to customers in paying their EMIs as the forced lockdown across sectors due to coronavirus pandemic has impacted earnings severely, crippling repaying capacity of many businesses and individuals, sources said.

"There has been a demand for this, it will require some dispensation from the Reserve Bank actually. IBA has already discussed the issue with the RBI. This is under consideration," a bank official told PTI.

The banker said that the issue of delayed EMI (equated monthly instalment) is under active consideration of the government.

In a major relief, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday announced waiver of charges for withdrawals from any ATMs as well as doing away of the minimum balance requirement till June this year.

SBI had already announced to do away with the minimum balance requirement a few days earlier.


More loans. are available. Agencies

Many industry representatives have already demanded the government to allow late repayment of loans as businesses are badly hit due to no activity as the spread of coronavirus has led to a forced lockdown across the nation as well as globally.

While, individuals mainly who are self-employed, have small businesses, have to pay towards rents for shops, small vendors etc have taken loans for various purposes such as home, car, business or any other personal requirements are more concerned about their immediate loan liabilities.

A bank customer who runs a business and has to pay up towards loan will have to pay up from savings as there has been no business recently.

Coronavirus has claimed thousands of lives globally in the past three months and has been spreading fast globally.

As a proactive measure to cut short the spread of this deadly disease COVID-19, central government as well as states have announced major lockdown, shutting borders and strict policing to keep people indoors.

In India, as many as nine deaths are reported from COVID-19, while more than 500 are reported to have caught the disease.



RBI asked to 'Declare 3 month moratorium on EMIs & Monthly loan repayments' by ex-MP

Mar 24, 2020 9:10 AM

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Tuesday has written to the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das requesting to grant three-month moratorium for EMI, loans.


Amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya on Tuesday has written to the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikant DasShaktikanta Das requesting to grant three-month moratorium for EMI, Monthly Installments and Repayment of Loans. In his letter, he also mentioned the moratorium must be applied to the self-employed, small traders and retail borrowers as the income of people are affected due to a crisis caused by coronavirus lockdown and curfews in the entire country.

See the letter here:


COVID-19 cases rise in India

In India, over 470 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported. Along with it, nine deaths have been reported until now. Numerous states have announced lockdowns and curfew has been imposed on few till at least March 31, suspending all public transport services and non-essential services. The state governments were advised to issue appropriate orders to allow only essential services to operate in the 75 districts which have reported confirmed cases or casualties relating to COVID 19.

The Coronavirus Crisis

Presently, there are around 378,741 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of around 16,499 people. Meanwhile, around 101,608 have reportedly been recovered. The hardest-hit region, after China, is Italy, Iran and South Korea, where the number of cases is rising by the hour.



MASSIVE: FM Sitharaman announces Rs 1.7 lakh cr Coronavirus relief package; Details here

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a relief package for the poor and the affected persons due to the deadly Coronavirus.

Manjiri Chitre

Updated on: March 26, 2020 14:13 IST

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a relief package for the poor and the affected persons due to the deadly Coronavirus. According to the minister, the package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore, under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Sitharaman added that the government is looking at two aspects- cash transfer and food security-related issues. She said, "A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The government is working for those who are directly affected like migrants, labours, women."

For Healthcare workers and Food security:

The Minister further announced that there will be Rs 50 lakh insurance per health care worker-- ASHA workers, paramedics, doctors, nurses, sanitary workers, as a medical insurance cover for them for three months. Along with it, in addition to the already allotted five Kg of rice/wheat per person, an additional 5kg will be free for the poor. With this, an additional one kilogram of pulses according to the regional preference will be provided.

For DBT:

"Farmers get Rs 6,000 annually from PM Kisan Yojana. We will now give first installment as front-loaded matter, which will give farmers Rs 2000 upfront, benefiting 8.7 crore farmers."

"In the MGNREGS , which benefits 5 crore families, minimum wage will increase to Rs 202 from Rs 182, and ensure 5 crore families get Rs 2000 increment"

For the elderly poor, poor widows and disabled - we are giving ex-gratia of Rs 1000 one-time, which will benefit 3 crore, all via DBT

20 Crore Women Jan Dhan holders will get ex-gratia of Rs 500 per month for next 3 months

Under Ujjwala Yojana, women to get free cylinders for 3 months, benefiting 8.3 crore BPL families.
For SHGs, we will give Rs 20 lakh collateral-free loan as opposed to earlier Rs 10 lakh, impacting 7 crore families

By Central act, there's a welfare fund for building and other construction workers, with Rs 31,000 cr fund, with over 3 crore registered workers. Will direct states to use these funds to assist workers in these sectors to protect them against any economic disruption.

The govt will also pay EPF contribution of both employer and employee - 12% each - 24% - paid for next 3 months by govt of India. For all those establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90% of whom earn less than Rs 15,000 per month.

The govt said that organised sector workers will be able to draw 75% EPF or three months wages for contingency purposes, benefiting over 4 crore workers - non refundable.

The Coronavirus Crisis in India

As of date, India has reported over 650 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19. Out of all the states, Maharashtra has crossed a total of 115 positive cases becoming the highest number of cases detected in the country. Meanwhile, thirteen people have died so far due to the deadly virus. Due to the outbreak, India has been put under a national lockdown for 21 days. Further, India has also closed the India-Pakistan border and restricted passenger movement at the border with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Myanmar.


Stranded, Unable to Commute: NCR Residents Face a Gruelling Three Weeks Ahead

"There are no buses, auto-rickshaws or metro trains running. I walk for a major part of the journey and keep requesting bikers for a lift," a security guard at a hospital said.

Chandrani Banerjee




New Delhi: Students, office workers and regular emergency workers are among those facing a complex set of challenges in the wake of the nationwide lock-down announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 in view of the outbreak of coronavirus.

Hospital staff, housing society guards and shopkeepers selling groceries, helpers at chemist shops, petrol pump attendants and sanitation workers have been forced to walk to their workplaces because neither their employers nor the authorities have managed to work out a system of transportation for them. Their work is seen as an essential service, yet no attention has been paid to how they can commute to their workplaces smoothly.

Private security guards, who are exempted from the lockdown under the Union home ministry’s guidelines, have been walking to their workplace every day since Sunday and have said that it is difficult to arrange for any form of transportation.

Speaking to The Wire, a private security guard at a prominent hospital which has branches across the NCR said, “I travel from Ghaziabad every day. There are no buses, auto-rickshaws or metro trains running. I walk for a major part of the journey and keep requesting bikers for a lift. It is difficult for me to manage like this every day.”

Students and office workers who stay in PG accommodations are also stranded and face a different set of problems.

The National Capital Region (NCR) houses a large number of young office-going members, students and visitors from across the country. Gurugram, Faridabad and Noida are popular hubs, especially with the private sector. The lack of clarity about what their offices expected coupled with the sudden lock-down has placed a huge challenge before them.

Many were stranded in NCR and could not travel back to their hometowns. Manual labourers, in particular, lamented about not being able to return to their families. Many students’ roommates have also left for their respective hometowns, which has further added to their woes.


A homeless person sleeps on the pavement outside a railway station during a 21-day nationwide lockdown to limit the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India, March 26, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Anushree Fadnavis

The 21-day lockdown has just started. Female employees living by themselves are worried about how they will go out to buy essential provisions.

The lockdown is necessary and the stranded are not opposed to it but they believe that being with their families would have made matters easier for them. Anjee, an office employee from Bareilly, who works in the IT sector, said, “It is nightmarish to stay alone for 21 days since I could not travel home”. Stranded in the middle of the lockdown, she said buying grocery is a frightening experience. because of the long queues.

Many women are facing similar issues in Faridabad and Gurgaon. Shikha Tripathi who is from Lucknow is a chartered accountant and employee at a prominent private bank. She has been stuck in Noida and hopes that someone she knows will travel to Lucknow in their private vehicle. “I know many customers who are from Lucknow and work here. They may travel back so I am trying to find out if I could get anyone and turn lucky to travel along with them,” she said.

Also read: ‘Stay Home’: Coronavirus Shows How the Government Has Failed Homeless Persons

Some students in private universities who were a little late in booking their tickets to travel back home are not getting hostel food now because the mess is shut. They are also not allowed to step out.

A student, who wished to remain anonymous, at a private university in NCR said, “I’m not getting any food. Hostels are closed and we cannot go out. We have not stocked food so now with the complete lockdown I am going to face a tough situation



Hit by lockdown, stranded on roads: Migrant labourers walk for days to reach home

No work for 21 days would mean no income for thousands of migrant labourers who work as daily wagers. This makes surviving in a city a tall task.

India Today Web DeskJaipur/ChandigarhMarch 26, 2020UPDATED: March 26, 2020 12:25 IST

Migrant workers walk with their children as they look out for transport to return to their villages in Ahmedabad. (Photo: Reuters)

On Tuesday night, a group of 50 migrant labourers in Ahmedabad embarked upon a 150-km journey to their native village in Rajasthan's Dungarpur district. Of course, this wasn't the first time they were travelling home from Ahmedabad. But unlike other times, this journey was to be made on foot.

The reason: all modes of public transport were shut due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to combat the spread the novel coronavirus.

Radheshyam Patel, a native of Dungarpur district who was part of the group, says he has been working as a daily wager in Ahmedabad but there was no point in staying back in the city when there was no income due to the lockdown.

"Most of us work here (in Ahmedabad) at tea stalls or food joints. Since everything is shut, our employers have asked us to come back only after things get normal, as they don't have money to pay us," he said.

No work for 21 days would mean no income. And surviving in a city like Ahmedabad without any income would be a tough task for Patel and others.

Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus pandemic

"Since buses and other modes of transport are not available, we have decided to walk to reach home," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Speaking about the novel coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Patel said they know the virus is dangerous but they are helpless.

"I know there is the threat of coronavirus, but we are helpless. How would we survive without any income for three weeks?" he asks.


At 8 pm on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the entire country would be going under a 21-day lockdown. He said this lockdown is very important for India to fight against novel coronavirus and control its spread. The World Health Organisation and health experts have said social distancing, self-quarantines and lockdowns can help in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

But while the lockdown is necessary, migrant labourers like Patel are hit hard financially as the lockdown means no work and income for 21 days. A long 21 days.

Authorities in bordering districts of Rajasthan are making travel arrangements for the migrant labourers returning on foot from Gujarat.

"We don't have money to pay to our landlord. It's better we move back to our native places," said Mangi Lal, a native of Rajasthan's Udaipur district. He was part of a group of 100 people who started walking from Gujarat's Mehsana district to return to their homes.

Speaking to PTI, Inspector General, Gandhinagar Range, Mayank Chavda said the state police is providing food packets and water to the migrant workers on humanitarian grounds. "We are trying our best to discourage them from moving to Rajasthan. This will defeat the purpose of nationwide lockdown," he said.

"Since they are desperate to reach their homes, we are providing them food and water during their journey. We are also taking action against the factory owners who have not done enough to keep these workers here," Chavda said.

Gujarat Migrant Workers' Congress president Ashok Punjabi has claimed that over 50,000 workers have left on foot from Ahmedabad alone to reach their homes in Rajasthan. This claim could not be independently verified.

But this is not the story of Rajasthan alone. Migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states too are facing similar problems.

On Monday, a group of around 20 migrant labourers from UP's Balrampur left Chandigarh on bicycles and peddle rickshaw to cover a distance of over 900 km. This was after they started finding it hard to earn enough to buy food and other essentials in Chandigarh.

Six of them were stuck near Moradabad after travelling nearly 300 km on cycles, cycle rickshaws, and cart.

"One of the six migrants is differently abled. They were robbed near Saharanpur and have eaten only once since they left," Rajinder Shukla, a native of Balrampur 52, told India Today TV in Chandigarh. "We also want to go back but do not have money. The taxi operators are asking Rs 4,000 each to drop us. We are stuck here."

Shukla says he used to earn between Rs 4,000 and Rs 6,000 a month by pulling a cycle rickshaw in Chandigarh but is now jobless.

"We have nothing to do here. We want to live with our family members during this period but have no resources. We request the local administration to help us reach our village. The taxi operators are demanding thousands of rupees," Sunil Kumar, who works as a rag picker in Chandigarh, said.

(With inputs from Manjeet Shehgal in Chandigarh and PTI)

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Senior Billi
As of date, India has reported over 650 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.
SA was 709 last night. Today i don't know.
@citymonk it is much more than Nigeria, which is the other big economy.

This morning I realised I have seen no numbers from Dubai...Emirates. ...It is surely there, such a hub of air flights...but they have the medical facilities and the finance to handle it well.


Senior Billi
Joseph Amon, a professor of global health at Drexel University in the United States, told AFP it was a "clear mistake and set an early tone by WHO that the epidemic was perhaps not as severe and that the initial response was adequate".

China told the WHO about an unknown form of pneumonia circulating in Wuhan on December 31, 2019. Experts say that if the world had learnt of the problem weeks earlier, it could probably have been reined in.

"If we had known about it then, then that could have made a huge difference," Roland Kao, an epidemiologist at the University of Edinburgh, told AFP.
"could have"... No, they all thought "it will not happen to us, this Chinese virus."
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