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Top headlines: Nationwide lockdown, Flipkart halts new orders, and more

From telcos facing connectivity challenge, medicine supply hit to govt mulling OBC suspension, Business Standard brings top headlines of the day

BS Web Team 

People buy daily essentials after lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic in Karad. Photo: PTI

PM Modi announces nationwide 21-day lockdown, appeals for social distancing

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day nationwide “curfew”, or a lockdown, to contain the spread of Covid-19. He appealed to the people “with folded hands” to practise strict social distancing. Subsequent to the PM’s speech, the Union home ministry, in an unprecedented move, announced shutting down all government and private establishments, apart from those involved in essential services, and all modes of transport, during the duration of the lockdown. Read More...
halts new orders from Tuesday night, to resume in a few days

Flipkart, one of the two largest e-commerce platforms, will stop taking new orders on its site starting Tuesday night, according to internal communication sent minutes earlier. “We want to first disable taking all orders and then start enabling categories in a sequential manner,” Adarsh Menon, senior vice president, said in an email to employees. Read More...

outbreak: Govt mulls suspending process for 6 months

In a relief for small and medium enterprises facing the threat of insolvency because of the crisis, the government on Tuesday raised the threshold for invoking insolvency to Rs 1 crore from the current Rs 1 lakh. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while addressing the media through video conferencing, also said if the situation continued to be difficult, the government would consider suspending the provisions for triggering insolvency for six months. Read More...

Bond market freezes amid scare; traders working from home

India’s bond market saw no trading in the first 30 minutes on Tuesday, as traders worked from home amid expectations of an imminent rate cut. The volume in the anonymous trading platform, NDS-OM, was Rs 7,210 crore — less than half the normal volume, but not as bad as the start of the day indicated. The trading volume picked up in the latter part of the day as the finance minister held a video-conference on steps to be taken to fight the economic slowdown. Besides, a Rs 15,000 crore purchase of bonds from the secondary market by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) helped lift the sentiment. Read More...

Coronavirus lockdown: With no food or hope, truckers stranded across India

Accordin to estimates made by the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), nearly 500,000 truckers across India are stranded without food, water and any hope. Due to complete lockdown across the nation, the truckers are facing a hard time to convince policemen to let them cross borders. Trucks, even the ones carrying essential goods, are not being allowed to move following the government orders to seal the borders and check posts. Read More...

Coronavirus lockdown hits supply, chemists' body seeks govt help

With a majority of India under lockdown, the going has got tough for providers of essential services, too. traders, for example, are facing a crisis of logistics. The chemists’ association reached out to the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), state chief ministers and even to the Prime Minister’s Office highlighting the challenges faced in transporting medicines. Read More...

Ensure supply, grid security: Contingency plans afoot for power sector

With India going into a complete lockdown, power generators (gencos), suppliers, and grid operators are entering the contingency mode to ensure seamless supply with minimum manpower. While the country’s largest power generator, NTPC, initiated an emergency plan a week ago, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) has shifted complete to remote operations. Read More...

Coronavirus impact: Telcos face a big challenge to keep India Inc connected

Telecom companies are dealing with an unprecedented challenge, other than Covid-19 — of providing seamless internet services for a smoother work-from-home for India Inc. In a bid to do this at the available capacity, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have said they are doing everything to keep the situation under control. Companies have activated a comprehensive pandemic response plan with requisite risk mitigation protocols for keeping networks working as telecom is an essential service. Read More...

‘Lockdown Districts’ now off Nielsen’s research list

Market research firm Nielsen India has discontinued data collection on its panel stores in “lockdown districts” from March 22, in line with government measures to curb spread of Covid-19, and said it will impact data continuity and consistency over the next few weeks, reported Economic Times.

Food prices set to rise amid transport curbs to contain pandemic

Soaring food prices and scarcity of fruits and vegetables can be a near future trouble for the people living in the urban areas of the country as transport curbs and coronavirus fears have created a distance between the farmers and customers. With major states going under lockdown, transports are at risk and there is a shortage of casual labour as well. So, despite healthy production farmers may have to dispose off perishables or leave them to rot, reports Livemint.

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 07:54 IST