Covid-2019- Pandemic Rights, Powers and Duties of Government and Citizens Relaxation measures in compliances and relief packages announced by Government and Corporates

Covid-19

COVID-19 is a new disease that is distinct from other SARS, MERS, and influenza. Although coronavirus and influenza infections may present with similar symptoms, the virus responsible for COVID-19 is different with respect to community spread and severity.

The word ‘pandemic’ is used to describe a virus that is spreading in various countries faster than containment can halt it. The WHO Director-General declared the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Italy, witnessed a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, with a steep rise in the number of deaths as well. Post that Italy, France and Spain announced lockdowns for their citizens.

WHO has defined four transmission scenarios for COVID-19:

1. Countries with no cases (No Cases);

2. Countries with 1 or more cases, imported or locally detected (Sporadic Cases);

3. Countries experiencing cases clusters in time, geographic location, or common exposure (Clusters of cases);

4. Countries experiencing larger outbreaks of local transmission (Community transmission).

WHO said Countries could experience one or more of these scenarios at the sub-national level and should adjust and tailor their approach to the local context.

The government has taken many measures to prevent the entry and spread of the virus in India with gradual restrictions on travel, visa and strict screening at airports and ports.

In this direction, Indian Government took certain steps. Let’s review legal provisions in India, practical guidance and relaxation given by various Ministry to Corporate, Poor , Old age, Widows, Self Help group to fight against this disease and lets together document preparedness of our Country to combat the outbreak of this disease COVID-19

Janta Curfew on 22nd March 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi jiappealed on 19th March 2020 a day-long ‘Janata curfew’ on Sunday, 22nd March 2020 and requested people to be prepared to combat the possible outbreak of coronavirus in the country.As the numbers crossed 300 in the country, states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Bihar announced partial lockdown till month end, allowing only essential services to run.The entire country had observed Janata Curfew voluntarily and stayed indoors to check the spread of Corona virus. People had expressed their gratitude towards doctors, nurses, hospital staff, sanitation workers, airlines employees, government staff, police personnel, media people, people associated with train-bus-auto rickshaw services and home delivery agents etc by clapping from their balconies or windows remaining in house

A. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such ‘unlawful assembly’ can be booked for engaging in rioting.

No order under this section shall remain in force for more than two months from the making thereof: Provided that, if the State Government considers it necessary so to do for preventing danger to human life, health or safety or for preventing a riot or any affray, it may, by notification, direct that an order made by a Magistrate under this section shall remain in force for such further period not exceeding six months from the date on which the order made by the Magistrate would have, but for such order, expired, as it may specify in the said notification

Section 144 is imposed in urgent cases of nuisance or apprehended danger of some event that has the potential to cause trouble or damage to human life or property where there is apprehension of a serious disturbance of the public tranquility. The gist of the action under this section is the urgency of the situation, its efficacy in the likelihood of being able to prevent some harmful occurrence. Private rights may be temporarily overridden when there is a conflict between public interest and private right. This section144  is to be applied in cases of urgency and before proceeding under this section, the Magistrate should hold an enquiry and record the urgency of the matter.

B. Epidemic Disease Act, 1897

Section 2A of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 gives Powers to Central Government., when the Central Government is satisfied that India or any part thereof is visited by, or threatened with, an outbreak of any dangerous epidemic disease and that the ordinary provisions of the law for the time being in force are insufficient toprevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof, the Central Government may take measures and prescribe regulations for the inspection of any ship or vessel leaving or arriving at any port in India and for such detention thereof, or of any person intending to sail therein or arriving thereby, as may be necessary.It may also give the power to Central Government to inspect “persons travelling by railway or otherwise, and the segregation, in hospital, temporary accommodation or otherwise, of persons suspected by the inspecting officer of being infected with any such disease”

C. Disaster Management Act, 2005

The Disaster Management Act provides the administrative framework to take measures to deal with such incidents and allows the Government to access funds set up for this purpose.

Section 2 (d) of the Act defines a disaster as “a catastrophe, mishap, calamity or grave occurrence in any area, arising from natural or man made causes, or by accident or negligence which results in substantial loss of life or human suffering or damage to, and destruction of, property, or damage to, or degradation of, environment, and is of such a nature or magnitude as to be beyond the coping capacity of the community of the affected area.”

The Centre has invoked the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to direct states to enforce a lockdown and restrict public movement. Section 10 (2)(l) of the Act allows the National Executive Committee to give directions to governments regarding measures to be taken by them.

Action by Central Government – Chapter V  Section 35 to 40 of the Act are important to know

Section 35 empowers Central Government to take certain measures including measures with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely:—

(a) coordination of actions of the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India, State Governments, National Authority, State Authorities, governmental and non-governmental organisations in relation to disaster management;

(b) ensure the integration of measures for prevention of disasters and mitigation by Ministries or Departments of the Government of India into their development plans and projects;

(c) ensure appropriate allocation of funds for prevention of disaster, mitigation, capacity-building and preparedness by the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India;

(d) ensure that the Ministries or Departments of the Government of India take necessary measures for preparedness to promptly and effectively respond to any threatening disaster situation or disaster;

(e) cooperation and assistance to State Governments, as requested by them or otherwise deemed appropriate by it;

(f) deployment of naval, military and air forces, other armed forces of the Union or any other civilian personnel as may be required for the purposes of this Act;

(g) coordination with the United Nations agencies, international organisations and governments of foreign countries for the purposes of this Act;

(h) establish institutions for research, training, and developmental programmes in the field of disaster management;

(i) such other matters as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing effective implementation of the provisions of this Act.

Violation of this Act- Chapter 10 Section 51 to 60 are relevant to offence and punishment

a. Sections 51 to 60 of the Act lay down penalties for specific offences. Anyone found obstructing any officer or employee from performing their duty will be imprisoned for a term which may extend to one year or fined, or be both. Further, if such an act of obstruction leads to loss of lives or imminent danger, then the person can be jailed for up to two years.

b. Section 52 of the Act states that people intentionally making false claims to get benefits from the government can be imprisoned for up to two years.

c. Section 54 provides for one year’s imprisonment for anyone circulating a “false alarm.

d. Section 58 of the Act further holds that if an offence is committed by a “company or body corporate,” the person who was in charge at the time the offence was committed will be held liable. This provision can be used to ensure that workplaces allow employees to work from home, or that they pay employees their due wages.

D. Essential Commodities Act, 1955

In the situation of lockdown due to outbreak of COVID – 19, the Prime Minister has imposed a nation-wide lockdown for a period of 21 days restricting the movement of people but not that of essential commodities.People have been forced to stay at home, work from home; businesses have been shut. All these to minimize human-to-human contact and break the COVID-19 contagion’s chain. However, people need to buy food and medicine, need supply of power and water, police to protect people ,  travelling services in an emergency and hence the essential services must be up and running.

Essential Commodities is defined under Section 2A of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and further stipulated in detail in the Schedule to the said Act and are subject to reasonable restrictions in the situation of COVID – 19.

Annexure to the Order dated 24.03.2020 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (“MHA”), Government of India outlines the Guidelines on the measures to be taken by the respective Ministries and Departments for containment of COVID – 19 Epidemic in the Country.

The list of essential services are as below

a. Shops including ration shops (including PDS), dealing with food, groceries, fruits and vegetables, dairy and milk booths, meat and fish, animal fodder.

b. Banks, insurance offices and ATMs.

c. Post offices, National Informatics Centre (NIC), early warning agencies.

d. Print and electronic media.

e. Telecommunication, internet services, broadcasting and cable services.

f. Police, home guard, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management and prisons.

g. Defence, central armed police forces, treasury, public utilities (including petroleum, CNG, LPG, PNG), disaster management, power generation and transmission units,

h. District administration and treasury.

i. Other essential services including electricity, water and sanitation.

j. Hospitals and all related medical establishments, including their manufacturing and distribution units, both in public and private sector, will continue to remain fully functional. The transportation for all medical personnel, nurses, para-medical staff and other hospital support services are permitted.

k. Delivery of all essential goods including food, pharmaceutical, medical equipment through e-commerce.

l. Petrol pumps, LPG, petroleum and gas retail and storage outlets.

m. Power generation, transmission and distribution units and services.

n. Capital and debt market services as notified by SEBI.

o. Cold storage and warehousing services.

p. Private security services.

The Secretary, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Department of Pharmaceuticals has also addressed to all the Chief Secretaries of States and Union Territories to issue the following directions in their respective State.

1. COVID-19 has been declared as Pandemic by the WHO and Central/ State Government have taken steps to control, mitigate and improve the situation in the country;

2. Department of Pharmaceuticals has mandated to ensure availability, accessibility and affordability of Medicine and Drug;

3. Various States/UTs have been given direction to close manufacturing operations and impose various restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19

While all the establishments and factories engaged in manufacturing, and distribution of essential commodities like medicines, vaccines, sanitizers, masks, medical devices etc. shall be exempted from such restrictions. Hence, the Chief Secretaries are advised to issue directions treating above activities as essential services and direct concerned authorities to make necessary arrangement of issuance of IDs or Entry Pass so as to facilitate the movement of workers engaged in these essential services, including movement of inter- state workers.

Therefore, in order to implement the containment guidelines issued by the MHA, the District Magistrate will deploy Executive Magistrates as Incident Commanders in the respective local jurisdictions. Further, it will be the responsibility of the Incident Commander for the overall implementation of such measures in their respective jurisdictions.

Correspondingly, the departmental officials in the specified areas will work under the directions of such Incident Commander. The incident commander will issue passes for enabling movements of the essential commodities. Also, the said permits and passes are subject to respective States and districts it is urged by MHA to set-up Nodal Control Room/office with Helplines in the State and appoint a Nodal Officer immediately.The Government has clarified that vehicles supplying water, material used for making hand sanitizers, medicines among others should not be stopped and has declared that there would not be any restrictions on the vehicles carrying essential commodities.

E. Ministry of Home Affairs

On March 24, 2020 Ministry of Home affairs declared “ The COVID-19 epidemic” in India which has affected many countries and the World Health Organization has declared it ‘Pandemic’.

Government of India (GOI) has been taking several proactive preventive and mitigating measures starting with progressive tightening of international travel, issue of advisories for the members of the public, setting up quarantine facilities, contact tracing of persons infected by the virus and various social distancing measures.

Several advisories have been issued to States and Union Territories (UTs) for taking necessary measures to contain the spread of this virus. Government have temporarily suspended metro and rail services as well as domestic air traffic. The situation has been continuously reviewed at the level of the Prime Minister of India.

The PM has addressed the Nation on the need for preventive measures and has also held meeting with all the Chief Ministers through video conference. Experts, keeping in view the global experiences of countries which have been successful in containing the spread of COVID-19 unlike some others where thousands of people died, have recommended that effective measures for social distancing should be taken to contain the spread of this pandemic.

While steps taken by State/UT Governments are in the right direction, lack of uniformity in the measures adopted as well as in their implementation, may not serve the objective of containing the spread of the virus. Considering the situation.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, has issued an Order dated 24.03.2020, directing the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, and the State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities to take effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In compliance of the said Order of NDMA, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an Order dated 24.03.2020 under Section 10(2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act, directing the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities to take effective measures for ensuring social distancing so as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The Order shall remain in force, in all parts of the country, for a period of 21 days with effect from 25.03.2020. The Ministries/ Departments of Government of India and State Governments/Union Territory Administrations, have been directed to ensure strict implementation of these Orders. The implementation of these measures will be monitored by MHA.

During this 21 days Lock out following shops and establishments are allowed to remain open

1. Banks, Media, ITES, Postal

2. Supply of essential commodities

3. Import and Export of agricultural goods, products, and all commodities

4. E-Commerce Delivery (Food, pharma, medical)

5. Transportation of essential items

6. Warehousing of essential items

7. Take away, Delivery at restaurants

8. Hospitals, medical services and related transport

9. Petrol Pumps, Gas, Oil agencies and related transport including godowns

10. Security services (including private)

11. Private establishments supporting essential services

12. Private establishments supporting efforts for containment of COVID-19

13. Airport and related services

14. Government Departments are fully functional

F. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)

On 15th March 2020 MOHFW for the first time issued Strategy of COVID-19 Testing in India which is revised again and last Version 3, dated 20/03/2020 is available on its website.

On 24th March, 2020 Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW)  had issued Annexure to Ministry of Home Affairs Order No. 40-3/2020 dated 24.03.2020 .

On 25th March, 2020, MOHFW has issued a circular to all Front line workers about their Role. Which states that as a Front line Worker your Role is two-fold:

1. Spread key messages in the community about measures to prevent the infection.

2. Take actions for early detection and referral of suspected COVID-19 cases.

On 25th March, 2020 MOHFW had issued Telemedicine Practice Guidelines Enabling Registered Medical Practitioners to Provide Healthcare Using Telemedicine.

On 26th March , 2020, MOFHW took note of Press Note where in Finance Minister Mrs. Normala Sitaraman had announced Rs 1.70 Lakh Crore relief package under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana for the poor to help them fight the battle against Corona Virus.

It had also issued Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidelines on rational use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

It had brought to the Notice of Hospitals about Circular issued by National Task Force for COVID-19  under recommendation of  Indian Council of Medical  Research (ICMR) for the use of hydroxyl-chloroquine for prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection for high risk of population

As on 26th march, 2020 the website of MOHFW shows following Data

> 15,24,266 Passengers screened at airport

> 633 Active COVID 2019 cases

> 44 Cured/discharged cases

> 16 Death cases

> 1 Migrated COVID-19 Patient

https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/Annexure_MHA.pdf

G. Ministry of Textile

Minister of Textiles Smriti Irani has appealed to buyers to do ‘commerce with compassion’ and not to cancel a single order that has already been placed. In her appeal through a video released by the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on March 25, 2020, the minister said, “if needed, delivery schedules can be re-worked and payment plans can be extended”. She further said that “For years you have enjoyed the craftsmanship of our textile industry. Our prime minister has recently announced measures to protect the rights and wages of our workers. Today, I appeal to you. Stand together. Let’s show the world that we can do commerce with compassion. Do not cancel a single order that is being placed.”

H. Reserve Bank of India

Reserve Bank of India on 16th March 2020 issued a Notification bearing No. RBI/2019-20/172 DoS.CO.PPG.BC.01/11.01.005/2019-20 on COVID-19- Operational and Business Continuity Measures giving indicative list of direction which are required to be taken by the respective banks/financial institutions as a part of their existing operational and business continuity plans. Further, as the situation requires to be monitored closely, both from business and social perspective, a Quick Response Team may be constituted for the purpose, which shall provide regular updates to the top management on significant developments and act as a single point of contact with regulators/outside institutions/agencies.

On 26th March 2020 ,the Finance Ministry has asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to consider implementing a series of emergency measures aimed at helping borrowers cope with the economic havoc wreaked by the Covid-19 pandemic.Department of Financial Services Secretary Mr. Debashish Panda also wrote to the RBI on 24th Mach, 2020 suggesting a moratorium of a few months on the payment of equated monthly installments (EMIs), interest and loan repayments and a relaxation in the classification of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). He also mentioned that Businesses and individuals may not be able to service loans due to the lockdown and risk adverse action by banks and damage to their credit profile.

After the announcement of Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojna, few reporters have asked question to FM Madam  about loan repayments, EMIs and credit card payments and classification of NPAs, and Mrs. Sitharaman had said: “We will come back soon.” She had said discussions were on with the RBI on various issues and “We will do whatever it takes to support at this stage and the first and foremost priority of Government is for the Poor and Needy at this crisis.

I. Announcement by Finance Minister on March 24, 2020- Relating to statutory and regulatory compliance matters

The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Niramla Sitharaman on March 24, 2020 had announced several important relief measures taken by the Government of India in view of COVID-19 outbreak, especially on statutory and regulatory compliance matters related to several sectors.

The Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs Shri Anurag Singh Thakur was also present besides Shri A.B. Pandey, Finance Secretary and Shri Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs.

Madam Finance Minister had announced much-needed relief measures in areas of Income Tax, GST, Customs & Central Excise, Corporate Affairs, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code (IBC), Fisheries, Banking Sector and Commerce which are as follow :

(1) Income Tax

a. Extend last date for income tax returns for (FY 18-19) from 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020.

b. Aadhaar-PAN linking date to be extended from 31st March, 2020 to 30th June, 2020.

c. Vivad se Vishwas Scheme – no additional 10% amount, if payment made by June 30, 2020.

d. Due dates for issue  of notice, intimation, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents and time limit for completion of proceedings by the authority and any compliance by the taxpayer including investment in saving instruments or investments for roll over benefit of capital gains under Income Tax Act,  Wealth Tax Act, Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, Black Money Act, STT law, CTT Law, Equalization Levy law, Vivad Se Vishwas  law  where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020  to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

e. For delayed payments of advanced tax, self-assessment tax, regular tax, TDS, TCS, equalization levy,  STT, CTT  made between 20th March 2020  and  30th June 2020,  reduced interest rate  at 9%   instead of 12 %/18 % per annum (i.e. 0.75% per month instead of 1/1.5 percent per month) will be charged  for this period. No late fee/penalty shall be charged for delay relating to this period.

f. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments for giving effect to the aforesaid relief shall be issued in due course.

(2) GST/Indirect Tax

a. Those having aggregate annual turnover less than Rs. 5 Crore Last date can file GSTR-3B due in March, April and May 2020 by the last week of  June, 2020. No interest, late fee, and penalty to be charged.

b. Others can file returns due in March, April and May 2020 by last week of June 2020 but the same would attract reduced rate of interest @9 % per annum from 15 days after due date (current interest rate is  18 % per annum).

c. No late fee and penalty to be charged, if complied before till 30th June 2020.

d. Date for opting for composition scheme is extended till the last week of June, 2020.  Further, the last date for making payments for the quarter ending 31st March, 2020 and filing of  return for 2019-20 by the composition dealers  will be extended till the last week of June, 2020.

e. Date for filing GST annual returns of FY 18-19, which is due on 31st March, 2020 is extended till the last week of June 2020.

f. Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing of return, statements, applications, reports, any other documents, time limit for any compliance under the GST laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

g. Necessary legal circulars and legislative amendments to give effect to the aforesaid GST relief shall follow with the approval of GST Council.

h. Payment date under Sabka Vishwas Scheme shall be extended to 30th June, 2020. No interest for this period shall be charged if paid by 30th June, 2020.

(3) Customs

(a) 24X7 Custom clearance till end of 30th June, 2020

(b) Due date for issue of notice, notification, approval order, sanction order, filing of appeal, furnishing applications, reports, any other documents etc., time limit for any compliance under the Customs Act and other allied Laws where the time limit is expiring between 20th March 2020 to 29th June 2020 shall be extended to 30th June 2020.

(4) Financial Services– Relaxations for 3 months

a. Debit cardholders to withdraw cash for free from any other banks’ ATM for 3 months. The measure has been taken to ease the burden on customers who need urgent cash and avoid overcrowding of bank branches.

b. Waiver of minimum balance fee

c. Reduced bank charges for digital trade transactions for all trade finance consumers

(5) Ministry of Corporate Affairs

a. No additional fees shall be charged for late filing during a moratorium period from 01st April to 30th September 2020, in respect of any document, return, statement etc., required to be filed in the MCA-21 Registry, irrespective of its due date, which will not only reduce the compliance burden, including financial burden of companies/ LLPs at large, but also enable long-standing non-compliant companies/ LLPs to make a ‘fresh start’;

b. The mandatory requirement of holding meetings of the Board of the companies within prescribed interval provided in the Companies Act (120 days), 2013, shall be extended by a period of 60 days till next two quarters i.e., till 30th September;

c. Applicability of Companies (Auditor’s Report) Order, 2020 shall be made applicable from the financial year 2020-2021 instead of from 2019-2020 notified earlier. This will significantly ease the burden on companies & their auditors for the year 2019-20.

d. As per Schedule 4 to the Companies Act, 2013, Independent Directors are required to hold at least one meeting without the attendance of Non-independent directors and members of management. For the year 2019-20, if the IDs of a company have not been able to hold even one meeting, the same shall not be viewed as a violation.

e. Requirement to create a Deposit reserve of 20% of deposits maturing during the financial year 2020-21 before 30th April 2020 shall be allowed to be complied with till 30th June 2020.

f. Requirement to invest 15% of debentures maturing during a particular year in specified instruments before 30th April 2020, may be done so before 30th June 2020.

g. Newly incorporated companies are required to file a declaration for Commencement of Business within 6 months of incorporation. An additional time of 6 more months shall be allowed.

h. Non-compliance of minimum residency in India for a period of at least 182 days by at least one director of every company, under Section 149 of the Companies Act, shall not be treated as a violation.

(6) Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016

a. Due to the emerging financial distress faced by most companies on account of the large-scale economic distress caused by COVID 19, it has been decided to raise the threshold of default under section 4 of the IBC 2016 to Rs 1 crore (from the existing threshold of Rs 1 lakh). This will by and large prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings against MSMEs. If the current situation continues beyond 30th of April 2020, we may consider suspending section 7, 9 and 10 of the IBC 2016 for a period of 6 months so as to stop companies at large from being forced into insolvency proceedings in such force majeure causes of default.

b. Detailed notifications/circulars in this regard shall be issued by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs separately.

(7) Department of Fisheries

a. All Sanitary Permits (SIPs) for import of SPF Shrimp Brood stock and other Agriculture inputs expiring between 01.03.2020 to 15.04.2020 extended by 3 months

b. Delay upto 1 month in arrival of consignments to be condoned.

c. Rebooking of quarantine cubicles for cancelled consignments in Aquatic Quarantine Facility (AQF) Chennai without additional booking charges

d. The verification of documents and grant of NOC for Quarantine would be relaxed from 7 days to 3 days

(8) Department of Commerce

a. Extension of timelines for various compliance and procedures will be given. Detailed notifications will be issued by Ministry of Commerce.

J. Announcement by Finance Minister on March 26, 2020

On March 26, 2020 Finance Minister had announced two major reliefs

1. Rs 50 lakh medical insurance for healthcare workers as sense of gratitude for nurses, doctors, medical and para medical workers and employees. She has also cited that last week we all said for Doctors as “God in white coats’

2. Economic relief package of INR 170,000 crore under “Prime Minister GaribKalyanYojna” which is divided into two parts (a) Food Security (Anna ) and (b) Cash Transfer (Dhann) by DBT ( Direct Benefit Transfer)

Part A: Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Aannayojana : For 80 crore people which is 2/3rd of population of India, everyone will get additional 5 kg of either Rice or Wheat for next three months in addition to what is currently being given (per person)And Additional 1 kg of pulses of choice as per region will be given free for next three months.( per card/ per household)

Part B: Cash Transfer or Direct Benefit Transfers

Under Part B Eight (8) specific announcement is made

1. Farmers: First installment of PM KisanYojana Annual under which annually 6000 given to Farmers , now the 1st installment of Rs.2000/- will be transferred in 1st week of April. This will benefit 8.69 crore Farmers

2. MGNREGA: wage per day will be increased from Rs.182/- per day to Rs.202/- per day which will benefit to 5 crore families this will result in another additional Rs. 2000 in the MGNREGA scheme

3. Poor widows, poor old age people above 60 years and Disabled ( Divyang) : Ex gratia one time amount of ₹1,000 p.min two installments will be given for next 3 months direct in their bank account. This will benefit 3 crore people in this group.

4. Women having Jan Dhan Accounts: Ex gratia amount of ₹500 pm for next 3 months will be given which will benefit 20 crore women.

5. Women of Ujwala Scheme: For next 3 months free Gas Cylinders will be given to which will benefit for 8.3 crore BPL families .

6. Women in Self-Help Groups (SHG): For 7 Crore households and 63 Lac SHG are in India under Din DayalYojna. They will be given additional Collateral free loans of INR 20 Lacs from the current limit of INR 10 Lacs

7a. Organised Sector Workers (EPF): Government to pay Employees Provident Fund (PF) contribution of both employer and employees which is 12% each and totaling to 24% for next 3 months for all those establishment having upto100 employees and 90% of them earn less than INR 15,000pm

7b. Organised Sector Workers (withdrawal of own money): EPF scheme will be  amended to allow non refundable advance of 75% of amount standing in credit of the worker or 3 months wages, whichever is lower.

This will benefit 80 lac employees and 4.83 crore workers are registered with Employees Provident Fund.

8. Construction workers: Currently State Government has Welfare Fund of Construction Worker to the tune of INR 31,000 Crores. Central Government shall give direction to State Government to utilize this Fund to support workers against any economic disruption as a result of Locked Out due to Covid-19 pandemic. Approx 3.8 crore Registered workers will be benefitted.

9. District Mineral Funds :State Government will be requested to use this Fund to supplement and augment mineral workers for medical testing, screening and other activities for fighting and preventing against Corona Virus.

K. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways , Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise

Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways & SME has mentioned in his tweet that there will be waiver of Toll Tax across India which will smoothen essential and emergency supply to various states.

L. Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA)

MCA has relaxed few requirement under Companies Act to make compliance easy for corporate world :

1. MCA has amended the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Rules, 2014 and allowed companies to hold the meetings for following matters through video conferencing or other audio visual means in accordance with rule 3 from 19th March 2020 being the date of the commencement of the Companies (Meetings of Board and its Powers) Amendment Rules, 2020 and ending on the 30th June,2020.

(i) the approval of the Annual Financial Statements;

(ii) the approval of the Board’s Report;

(iii) the approval of the Prospectus;

(iv) the Audit Committee Meetings for consideration of Financial Statement including Consolidated Financial Statement if any, to be approved by the board and

(v) the approval of the matter relating to amalgamation, merger, demerger, acquisition and takeover.

2. No late fees will be charged for any fillings made during April 01, 2020 to Sept 30, 2020 in respect of any document, return, statement etc irrespective of due date of its filing.

3. Onetime relaxation, the gap between two consecutive meetings of the Board may extend to 180 days till the next two quarters, instead of 120 days.

4. The applicability of CARO 2020 be made from the financial year 2020-21.

5. If any company is not able to hold meeting of Independent Director for the FY 2019-20, the same shall not be considered as violation.

6. Requirement of investment for repayment of Debentures (15% investment in specified instruments) for those Debentures which are maturing in next year that is FY 2020-21 is extended to June 30, 2020.

7. Exemption given to newly incorporated companies from filing declaration for Commencement of Business within ‘180 days of incorporation and further additional period of 180 days is granted.

8. Non-compliance of minimum residency in India for a period of at least 182 days by at least one director, under Section 149 shall not be treated as a non-compliance for the financial year 2019-20.

9. MCA on 23 March 2020 notified that addition of expenditure made towards fighting against COVID-19 is included in the list of permitted avenues for CSR expenses. While this is correct from an understanding perspective, technically the notification only communicates that since the novel coronavirus has been declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization and subsequently Government of India has decided to treat this as a notified disaster, funds spent on various activities related to COVID-19 would automatically be covered under the existing items under Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013. The minor difference here being that the list has not changed, only one item now qualifies to be part of the list under already approved activities.

10. MCA had requested all Companies and LLPs to file one web based Form CAR-Covid-19, Company Affirmation of Readiness Towards COVID-10

https://taxguru.in/company-law/companies-meetings-board-powers-amendment-rules-2020.html

https://taxguru.in/company-law/covid-19-special-relief-measures-companies-llp.html

https://taxguru.in/company-law/mca-defers-applicability-caro-2020-1st-april-2020-fy-2020-21.html

M. Relaxation under Listing Obligation and Disclosure Requirement (LODR) Regulations, 2015 for listed companies- with effect from 19th March, 2020 and 26th March 2020

Considering the CoVID 19 pandemic, SEBI vide Circular bearing no. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/38 dated March 19, 2020 has decided to grant temporary relaxations from certain compliance stipulations specified under the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘LODR’) to listed entities w.r.t. the quarter / financial year ending March 31, 2020. SEBI has issued this Circular to the Listed Entities, Stock Exchange and Depositories.

The Circular states that the CoVID 19 virus has hit populations around the world and has resulted in many restrictions, including free movement of people, thereby hampering businesses and day to day functioning of companies. It has been declared a ‘pandemic’ by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Developments arising due to the spread of the virus warrant the need for temporary relaxations in compliance requirements for listed entities. Accordingly, SEBI has decided to grant the following  relaxations  from  compliance  stipulations  specified  under  the  SEBI  (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (‘LODR’) to listed entities.

1. Quarterly filing of Statement of Investor Complaints under Regulation 13(3) of LODR –last date is 21st April, 2020 which is extended to 15th May, 2020

2. Quarterly filing of Corporate Governance Report under Regulation 27(2) – last date is 15th April, 2020 which is extended to 15th May, 2020.

3. Quarterly filing of Shareholding Pattern under Regulation 31 —last date is 21st April which is extended to 15th May, 2020.

4. Last 4th Quarterly / Annual Financial Result under Regulation 33 – last date is 30th May , 2020 which is extended to 30th June, 2020

5. Half yearly filing of Compliance Certificate on Share Transfer facility under Regulation 7(3) of LODR – last date is 30th April, 2020 which is extended to 31st May, 2020

6. Yearly filing of Secretarial Compliance Report under Regulation 24A of LODR – last date is 30th May , 2020 which is extended to 30th June 2020

7. The meeting of the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee shall require to be held at least four times in a year, with a maximum time gap of 120 days between any two meetings under Regulation 17(2) and 18 (2) (a) of LODR, which is now exempted from observing the maximum stipulated time gap between two meetings for the meetings held or proposed to be held between the period December 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. However the Board of Directors and Audit Committee shall ensure that they meet atleast four times a year, as stipulated under regulations 17(2) and 18 (2)(a) of LODR.

Further SEBI vide Circular bearing No. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD1/CIR/P/2020/48  dated 26th March 2020 grant the following further relaxations from the LODR

1. Filing of Half yearly Certificate from Practicing Company Secretary on timely issue of share certificates as per Regulation 40(9) of LODR which is due on 30th April, 2020 is now extended to 31st May, 2020

2. Holding of Annual General Meeting annually within a period of five (5) months from the date of closing of the financial year by top 100 listed entities by market capitalization for FY 19-20 as per Regulation 44(5)is due on 31st August 2020 which is now extended to 30th September, 2020

3. Conducting of atleast one Committee meetings of Nomination and Remuneration Committee, Stakeholders Relationship Committee and Risk Management Committee as per Regulations 19(3A), 20(3A) and 21(3A) respectively by or before 31st March , 2020 is now extended to 30th June, 2020.

4. Relaxation of the operation of the SEBI circular on Standard Operating Procedure dated January 22, 2020 SEBI vide circular no. SEBI/HO/CFD/CMD/CIR/P/2020/12 dated January 22, 2020 issued the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) on imposition of fines and other enforcement actions for non-compliances with provisions of the LODR, the effective date of operation of which is for compliance periods ending on or after March 31, 2020. The said circular dated January 22, 2020 shall now come into force with effect from compliance periods ending on or after June 30, 2020. It may be noted that the SoP circular dated May 03, 2018 would be applicable till such date

5. Publication of advertisements in the newspapers: Regulation 47 of the LODR requires publishing, in the newspapers, information such as notice of the board meeting, financial results etc. It has been brought to the notice of SEBI that some newspapers are not bringing their print versions for a limited period; some newspapers that are still printing are not accepting a ‘e-copy’ of the information to be published which acts as a challenge in ensuring compliance with this regulation. Hence it has been decided to exempt publication of advertisements in newspapers as required under regulation 47 for all events scheduled till May 15, 2020.Link of the Circular is as below:

https://taxguru.in/sebi/sebi-relaxes-certain-listing-regulation-due-covid-19-virus.html

N. Indian Council of Medical Research

ICMR has issued a Notice on 25th March, 2020 informing that it has identified the following 04 National Institutes for validation of Non US FDA EUA/CE IVD approved kits for COVID-19 testing.

1. ICMR – National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune

2. ICMR – National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), Pune

3. ICMR – National Institute of Pathology, New Delhi

4. ICMR –National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata

O. Ministry of Information &Broadcasting (MI &B)

MI&B has posted on 19th March, 2020 an Additional Advisory for Novel Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)

1. No scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall be allowed to land in India from March 22, 2020 for one week.

2. State Governments shall issue appropriate directions so that all citizens above 65 (other than for medical assistance) except for public representatives/ govt. servants/medical professionals are advised to remain at home.

3. Similarly, all children below 10 should be advised to stay at home and not to venture out.

4. Railways and civil aviation shall suspend all concessional travel except for students, patients and divyang category.

5. States are being requested to enforce work from home for Private Sector employees except those working in emergency/essential services.

6. To reduce crowding all Group B and C Central govt. employees will be asked to attend offices   on  alternate   week   and   staggered   timings  forall employees.

P. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI)

IRDAI had on 23rd March, 2020 issued a Press Release stating that to prevent the spread of Covid-l9, Government of lndia has initiated various measures. Several States have enforced lock-down in some areas. This may result in some disruption in the operations of insurance companies and other entities connected with insurance industry. To ensure proper service to policyholders and customers, all the insurers have been asked to maintain continuity of business operations through possible alternate modes including telephonic and digital contact. All insurance companies have been asked to display on their websites, the information on functioning of their offices and the alternate arrangements made for premium payments, renewal, settlement of claims and lodging of other service requests

In the interest of smooth operation of affairs of insurance industry, IRDAI has permitted following relaxations:

i. In case of life insurance policies, there is a grace period for payment of renewal premiums. insurers have been asked to enhance the grace period by additional 30 days if desired by the policyholders.

ii. In case of health insurance policies, the insurers may condone delay in renewal up to 30 days without deeming such condonation as a break in policy. However, insurers are requested to contact the policyholders well in advance so as not to have a discontinuance in coverage.

iii. In case of Board meetings of insurers, the meetings due till 30th June, 2020 may be held through video – conferencing or other audio-visual means in accordance with Rule 3 of the Companies (Meetings of Boards and its Powers) Rules, 2014 as amended on 19th March, 2020.

iv. In case of submission of monthly returns for the month of March, 2020 by insurers and insurance intermediaries, additional time of 15 days will be allowed. Similarly, in case of quarterly returns, an additional period upto one month will be permitted.

IRDAI appeals to all the insurers, insurance intermediaries and distribution channels to be sensitive to the needs of the policyholders in these trying times. IRDAI also appeals to all the policyholders to cooperate.

Further, IRDAI on 23rd March, 2020 issued a Circular bearing no. IRDAI/Life/Cir/MISC/072/03/2020 addressed to all Life Insurers stated as follow :

1. Grace period for payment of Premiums : For premium due in the month of March, 2020 , the grace period shall stand extended by one more months in the area where lockdown has been declared by the State Government.

2. Claim payments with regards to Cobid-19 :

a. Any claims received may be settled expeditiously. Life Insurers may consider developing quicker claim settlement process to suit the emergency situation in the affected area.

b. Information to be provided in the respective website about admissibility or otherwise of Covid-19 death claims, for all products covering the contracts already issued

c. Specific information, product wise , related to any health insurance contracts already issued, regarding admissibility or otherwise of Covid-19 claims to be provided in the website

3. Periodic Reports: A report every fortnight may be submitted to the Authority (IRDAI) giving the details of office fully/ partially closed with duration and steps taken in this regard . Data in respect of claims related to Covid-19 may be maintained separately to be submitted to the Authority as and when called for.

Q. Ministry of Human Resource Development

On 18th March, 2020 Ministry of Human Resources Development had issued a Circular bearing No. Secy(HE)/MHRD/2020 and informed that it is necessary that adequate precautionary measures are taken by various organizations to face the situation arising out of COVID-19.

While maintenance of academic calendars and exam schedule is important, equally important is the safety and security of the students who are appearing in various examinations, as also that of their teachers and parents.

CBSE has already issued detailed instructions for the precautionary measures to be taken at various examination and evaluation centers. However, it is noted that during examinations, large number of parents/guardians accompany their wards.

Further, certain competitive examinations like JEE Mains require examinees to travel to other centers and in some cases even to other cities, to appear in the said examination.  There is also anxiety amongst many examinees, parents and teachers as reflected in their e-mails to CBSE and on various social media platforms.

Therefore, following further precautionary measures are required to be taken by all educational institutions and examination boards under the Ministry of HRD:

a. All ongoing examinations may be rescheduled after 31.03.2020. This would include CBSE, NIOS as also University Exams.

b. All evaluation work may be rescheduled after 31.03.2020. This would include evaluation work of CBSE, NIOS as also University Exams.

c. Since JEE Mains may require travel by examinees to different towns and the dates may clash with rescheduled CBSE and other Board exams therefore, JEE Mains should be rescheduled and new date of JEE Mains will be announced on 31.03.2020 after re-assessment of situation.

All Educational Institutions and Examination Boards are requested to maintain regular communication with the students and teachers through electronic means and keep them fully informed so that there is no anxiety amongst the students, teachers and parents.

All institutions are also requested to notify help-line numbers/e-mails which students can access for their queries.

All students, teachers and parents may be requested not to panic as MHRD is committed to ensure safety and security of students as also the maintenance of academic calendar and all possible steps will be taken in this regard.

R. Ministry of Commerce and Industry – Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT)

1. DGFT had issued a Notification No. 54/2015-2020 dated 25 March 2020 and amended export policy of Hydroxychloroquine and formulations made from Hydroxychloroquine falling under ITCHS Code and prohibited the export immediately. However same will be allowed subject to certain conditions.

2. DPIIT sets up a Control Room to monitor the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, and delivery of essential commodities. Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, has set up a control room to monitor in real time the status of transportation and delivery of goods, manufacturing, delivery of essential commodities to common man and the difficulties being faced by various stakeholders during the lockdown period from 25.3.2020 to 14.4.2020. In the event of any manufacturing, transporter, distributor, wholesaler or e-commerce companies facing ground level difficulties in transportation and distribution of goods or mobilization of resources, the same may be informed to the Department at the following telephone number/ email:-

Telephone: + 91  11 23062487

Email : controlroom-dpiit@gov.in

The telephone number will be functional from 8 AM to 6 PM. The issues reported by various stakeholders will be taken up by the Department with the concerned state government, district and police authorities, and other concerned agencies.

S. Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

Government asks distilleries/sugar mills to maximize manufacture of hand sanitizers. 100 distilleries and more than 500 manufacturers permitted to produce hand sanitizers.

Central and State Governments are taking all steps to ensure supply of essential items during the lockdown to combat the novel Corona virus. In order to prevent spread of corona virus, hand sanitizers are used by public, health workers, hospitals etc. Demand of sanitizers is increasing day by day and in order to maintain demand and supply balance, State Government authorities including Excise Commissioners, Cane Commissioners, Drug Controllers as well as District Collectors of various states have been advised to remove any bottlenecks in supply of ethanol/ENA to manufacturers of hand sanitizers and to give permissions /licenses to the applicants including distilleries who intend to manufacture hand sanitizers. Distilleries/ Sugar mills which can produce hand sanitizers in bulk have also been motivated to manufacture hand sanitizers. These manufacturers have also been asked to work in three shifts to maximize their output.

About 45 distilleries and 564 other manufacturers have been granted permission to produce hand sanitizers; more than 55 distilleries are likely to be given permission in one or two days; and many more are being motivated to produce sanitizers in this scenario. Most of them have  commenced production and others are likely to commence production in a week’s time; thus there will be sufficient supply of hand sanitizers for the consumers and hospitals.

In order to ensure that hand sanitizers are made available to general public and hospitals at a reasonable price, Government has also fixed the Maximum Retail Price of sanitizers. The retail prices of hand sanitizers shall not be more than Rs 100 per bottle of 200ml; the prices of other quantities of hand sanitizers shall be fixed in the proportion of these prices.

T. Ministry of Defence

Urges Armed Forces, Defence PSUs and other organizations to gear up preparedness and provide all required assistance to civilian authorities.

RakshaMantri Shri Rajnath Singh held a review meeting with senior officials of Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the action plan of the Ministry to deal with the COVID-19 situation on 26th March 2020.

During the meeting, Raksha Mantri expressed appreciation on the proactive role played by the Armed Forces and various departments of MoD in evacuating Indian nationals as well as foreigners from COVID-19 affected countries and ensuring them proper care at various quarantine facilities. He urged the Armed Forces and other departments to gear up their preparedness and provide all required assistance to the civilian administration at various levels.

At the meeting, officials briefed Shri Rajnath Singh on various measures and assistance provided so far. The Indian Air Force has made several sorties and evacuated Indian Nationals from affected areas in China, Japan and Iran. Various quarantine facilities of the Armed Forces have, so far, handled 1,462 evacuees and discharged 389. Presently, 1,073 persons are being provided care at the facilities in Manesar, Hindan, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Mumbai. Additional quarantine facilities are on standby with 950 beds capacity.

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) laboratories have manufactured 20,000 liters of sanitizer and supplied to various organizations, including 10,000 liters to Delhi police. DRDO has also supplied 10,000 masks to Delhi police personnel. It is tying up with some private companies to make personal protection equipment such as body suits and also ventilators.

Ordnance Factory Board has also ramped up production of sanitizers, masks and body suits. Bharat Electronics Limited is also engaged in manufacturing of ventilators.

Army medical teams deployed in the Maldives have since returned after completion of their mission. Army medical teams and two ships of Navy are on standby to provide required assistance to friendly countries in the neighbourhood.

U. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE)

Shri Anand Kumar, the secretary MNRE ( Ministry of New & Renewable Energy)  has stated in a tweet that all Renewable Energy projects under implementation will be given extension of time considering period of lock down and time required for remobilization of work force.

V. Ministry of Science & Technology , The Department of Science and Technology (DST)

DST has set up a COVID 19 Task force for mapping of technologies from R&D labs, academic institutions, startups, and MSMEs to fund nearly market-ready solutions in the area of diagnostics, testing, health care delivery solutions, equipment supplies. Some of these solutions include masks and other protective gear, sanitizers, affordable kits for screening, ventilators and oxygenators, data analytics for tracking, monitoring, and controlling the spread of outbreak through AI and IOT based solutions, to name a few.The Task Force is to identify the most promising startups that are close to scale up, who may need financial or other help or connects or projected demand to rapidly scale up.

Nodal officers of concerned Ministries and Departments have been requested to personally expedite the process of obtaining information on startups and other entities supported by them that have technology solutions for any important aspect of COVID-19.

As part of the mechanisms being used for rapid development, manufacturing, and deployment of relevant technology options, DST has already invited two separate sets of proposals, one each under Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB) and Technology Development Board (TDB), to support scientific solutions and commercial manufacturing of both new and existing solutions

W. Ministry of Food Processing Industries

Union Food Processing Industries Minister Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badalsaid that a GrievanceRedressal Cell has been established in the Ministry to ensure that problems faced by food processors duringthe COVID-19 lockdown are resolved at the earliest.

Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Smt. Pushpa Subrahmanyam has written letter to Chief Secretaries of all states regarding need for continued functioning of food industry and their suppliers.A list of essential food products and their inputs has been enclosed with the letter.Secretary has stated that uninterrupted manufacturing of these food products is critical for maintaining supply chain and availability of food to the population. She added that availability of raw materials, packaging materials, movement of trucks carrying them, functioning of their warehouses and cold storages and ability of workers to come and work in the factories and warehouses needs to be ensured for maintaining food supply chain for the general population.

MoFPI Secretary further asked Chief Secretaries to instruct District Collectors, Police and Transport officials to enable continued functioning of food products factories, movement of their products and inputs/raw materials and allowing workers to attend these factories. She further requested them to nominate a Nodal Officer at the State level with whom MoFPIand the industry could raise instances of supply chain disruptions for effective resolution on the field

Initiatives by Private Sector

1. Manufacturing Ventilators

Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group was among the first corporate leaders to come out with clear commitments. He said that his group will begin work to use existing manufacturing facilities to make ventilators to combat Coronavirus. In a series of tweet, Mahindra said, “To help in the response to this unprecedented threat, we at the Mahindra Group will immediately begin work on how our manufacturing facilities can make ventilators.

2. Work From Home

Many companies and organizations have had to re-evaluate their business continuity plans and exigency strategies. While introducing ‘work from home’ measures, it is critical for teams to establish ‘ground rules’ on key aspects—ranging from connectivity and goals, critical tasks, ensuring streamlined communication and coordination as per individual roles and multi-tasking

3. Supply of Essential Goods and its price

Online grocery startups such as Grofers and Bigbasket have put a ceiling on the number of essential goods that can be purchased by a user and have changed algorithms to flag excessive purchases by users with the same address. Additionally, Grofers has started disclosing the inventory levels of products to reduce panic within the consumers. Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) to ITC and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) also undertook to slash the prices of essential products like handwash and sanitisers during this period.

4. Donations

Paytm has launched a campaign, ‘India Fights Corona’, which is supported by brands like Lifebuoy, Unilever and You We Can. The startup is also facilitating in raising donations to procure and distribute soaps and hand washes to people in need.

5. Free services

One of the biggest hospitality startups in India, OYO, has reached out to various state governments, offering support in the form of quarantine and hospital facilities. Additionally, OYO has released various notifications to help individuals stuck in cities without accommodations. . Ola has offered to cover a loss of income of Rs.1,000 per day for driver-partners and their spouses for up to Rs.30,000 if affected by COVID-19. Additionally, Ola has partnered with Mfine to provide free medical consultation to its driver-partners and spouses. Other startups such as Meru and ShakDeal are providing their employees with necessary items to protect themselves from the virus. Flipkart, Mantra, Urban Company, Grofers, and Swiggy have provided free and full health coverage for their delivery staff if affected with the virus.

6. Payment of wages

N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Sons said that Tata group will ensure full payment to daily wage earners and contract workers.

7. Hospitals

Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up a dedicated 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai for patients who test positive for Covid-19. The Foundation has also offered to set up special medical facilities to quarantine travelers from notified countries and suspected cases identified through contact tracing. Reliance Foundation will provide free meals to people across various cities in partnership with NGOs and offer necessary livelihood relief in the current crisis situation. Reliance has built a fully-equipped isolation facility in Lodhivali, Maharashtra and handed it over to the district authorities.It also announced initial support of ₹5 crore to the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.Reliance will provide free fuel for all emergency service vehicles used to transport Covid-19 patients (service is provided only for the vehicle used for Covid-19 patients and as per list provided by Government agencies) to and from quarantine and isolation facilities as well as quarantined people on the basis of lists provided by Government agencies

8. CSR Funds :

India’s largest lender, State Bank of India (SBI), announced a commitment of 0.25% of its annual profit in FY20 towards this cause. The bank will use this fund for various activities related to Covid-19, mainly to support health care for underprivileged people in cooperation with health care professionals and industry, it said.

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Amita Desai is a Fellow Company Secretary and Insolvency professional in practice since 1995 Her expertise lies in following .She can be reached at amita@amitadesai.com 1. Business and Legal Advisory on Corporate Law 2. Foreign Exchange Management Act 3. Drafting and Appearance before Tribunal View Full Profile

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