Ensure there are no supply hiccups: PM tells India Inc

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked Indian companies to ensure that there are no supply disruptions during the coronavirus crisis, which has led to lockdown and curfew in several parts of the country, while promising to act on industry’s suggestions in the coming days.
During an interaction with industry representatives through a video link, Modi said the impact of the pandemic will be felt on the economy for some time to come as several sectors are adversely impacted. At the same time, industry leaders said, Modi complimented them for showing concern for their workers, vendors and small businesses.
Modi recalled his meeting with corporate chiefs before the Budget and said Monday’s meeting came at a time when the world was facing a situation which was comparable with the World Wars.
Several industry leaders who were present in the meeting committed to a host of things — from ensuring adequate supply of goods to a guarantee of no job losses — before making a pitch for a series of steps. As the PM underlined the need to ensure that the vulnerables are protected, some of the CEOs from CII suggested that for those living in cities, the government could immediately think of giving Rs 5,000 each to those earning below Rs 5 lakh annual and Rs 10,000 for those above 65 years through the direct benefit transfer route.
But a bulk of the suggestions focused on concessions for industry, especially rollover of loans for businesses and individuals as their repayment capacity has been impacted, while suspending action under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
“No further accounts should be considered NPAs beginning 16 March 2020. Deferment of payment of standard loans by two quarters should also be allowed. This can be back ended and added to the tenor of the loan,” said Ficci president Sangita Reddy.

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