CHENNAI SATURDAY MARCH 28, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION BIG DROP IN REPO RATE Rate at which banks borrow money from RBI slashed by 75 basis points (bps) to 4.4 per cent REVERSE REPO RATE TOO CUT Rate at which banks park money with RBI cut sharply by 90 basis points to 4% to make it unattractive for banks to deposit funds PANEL VOTES 4:2 ON SLASH Six-member Monetary Policy Committee votes 4:2 in favour of rate cut. Chetan Ghate and Pami Dua had pushed for 50 bps rate cut CRR CUT SHARPLY Cash Reserve Ratio cut sharply by 100 bps to 3%, releasing L1.37 lakh crore into the system. CRR is the share of total deposit banks must keep as liquid cash L3.74 LAKH CRORE INFUSION Several measures by the central bank expected to add about `3.74financial system lakh crore to the DEEPENING SLOWDOWN Global slowdown is deepening, will have adverse implication for India. But crude oil slump will help the country’s economy NO PREDICTION ON GROWTH MPC refrains from giving out growth, inflation outlook for the coming fiscal since the situation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak is uncertain EMI MORATORIUM Central bank permits all lenders to allow three-month moratorium on payment of installments on term loans. Lenders to take the call on who all are eligible CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI WHAT DOES THE MORATORIUM ON EMIs COVER? DECLUTTERING EMI JARGON WILL IT ATTRACT PENALTY? WILL THE MORATORIUM COVER ALL CUSTOMERS BY DEFAULT? IS THIS A ONE-TIME WAIVER? WILL IT IMPACT MY CREDIT SCORE? All term loans like home, auto, consumer durables, education and crop loans given by all lenders come under the three-month moratorium window. EMI dues between March 1 and May 31 will be rescheduled to June. No penalty for late payment up to June. But interest will continue to accrue on your existing term loan. Banks have to frame boardapproved policies to provide relief to eligible borrowers. While SBI said all loan repayments stand cancelled, other banks may come up with directions on how to go about it. Get in touch with your lenders for clarity. No. Your EMI gets delayed, that is all. However, it’s unclear if dues of March and May will need to be paid in one shot or if it’ll be a monthly outgo. WHAT’S IN IT FOR BUSINESSES? WILL IT AFFECT ASSET CLASSIFICATION? NO, IT WON’T BE DOWNGRADED. DOES MORATORIUM COVER CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS? All working capital loans sanctioned in the form of cash credit or overdraft are permitted under the moratorium. The accumulated accrued interest shall be recovered after moratorium ends. NO. YES. WHAT ABOUT STRESS ON BIZ DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? Lenders can recalculate the drawing power by reducing the margins and/or by reassessing the working capital cycle. Relief available for all such changes effected up to May 31 Home loan rate at its lowest; EMI off for 3 months RBI slashes policy rates to prod banks to offer credit; allows lenders to announce moratorium on term loans in view of the pandemic and its economic impact S U N I T H A N AT T I THE Reserve Bank of India on Friday came out wearing brass knuckles to fight the ‘invisible assassin,’ aka, the coronavirus. It unclogged a five-point starter pistol to prevent us from getting sucked into what Governor Shaktikanta Das called a ‘black hole’. Ripping his own rulebook, he summoned an emergency meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee, which despite a 4-2 split vote, went for a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to rate cuts, while the raft of measures squeezed an entire season’s good luck through one policy action. A 75 bps repo rate reduction to `3.74 lakh crore liquidity support to regulatory forbearance, Das pulled an allrounder making the week long wait for monetary stimulus worth its while. Just as dawn follows dusk, SBI sprung into action reducing rates by full 75 bps effective April 1. Interestingly, repolinked home loan rates will touch an all-time low of 7.15 per cent as against 7.9 earlier. How- ever, a decision on MCLR-based rates for both existing borrowers and fresh loans will have to wait till next month. The juiciest bone includes a three-month moratorium on all term loans, such as home, auto loans and even credit card dues. For companies getting knocked down due to the 21-day lockdown, he offered both deferral of interest payments and flexible working capital financing for better credit flow. Repo rate at a 11-year-low of 4.4 per cent will lower interest rates and monthly EMIs, while the 100 bps reduction in cash reserve ratio will free up `1.37 lakh crore liquidity As it is, the . banking system is flush with funds, yet Das decided to inject another `2 lakh crore via targeted long-term repo operations and others. In essence, for banks, capital is as unlimited as sunshine, but the only thing that’s missing are borrowers. Amid the prevailing demand slump, fewer customers are taking out loans resulting in an anemic credit growth of 8 per cent credit till February. But Crisil expects Friday’s measures to tur n growth-supportive once the economy starts humming, though no one knows when that will be. FOREX RESERVES FALL BY $12 BILLION India’s foreign exchange reserves fell by $11.98 billion to $469.909 billion last week as the RBI pumped dollars into the market to stem the slide of the rupee, which hit an all-time low of `76.15 on March 23 As for growth, expectations of a global recovery in 2020 from a decade-low have been unceremoniously dashed, while chances of large parts of the world economy slipping into recession appear certain. For now, Das confirmed that India’s estimated 5 per cent GDP growth for FY20 is clearly at risk, but he offered no clues where we are headed next. The unprecedented uncertainty scared our central bank so much that it even refrained from looking into the middledistance. Inflation, for which RBI has a record of missing its estimates, will likely soften in summer, but again Das gave no forward guidance, implying RBI may not have enough power over economic forecasts that we think it has. That said, as RBI stands battle-ready, Friday’s measures could be a first in its war efforts. The central bank is not only holding onto its accommodative stance, but has kept all its conventional and unconventional policy arsenal on the table, which means, it’s yet to shoots its bolts. Dubai top source of imported Covid-19 cases in India: Study Remain indoors, S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi THE first-ever trend analysis of Covid-19 cases in India reveals Dubai is the leading source of imported cases in the country . The analysis is based on 720 confirmed cases in India. Of them, about 100 came from Dubai —where a large number of Indians work. The city is also a major transit hub for all trav- ellers from Europe and the US who are bound for India. “A large number of positive cases arrived from Dubai, followed by the UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the US. We should have quarantined people more aggressively right from early March,” said Dr Anupam Singh, a public health researcher with the Santosh Institute of Medical Sciences in Uttar IAS OFFICER SUSPENDED Kollam sub-collector Anupam Mishra, who travelled to his hometown jumping home quarantine, has been suspended by the Kerala govt A tribute by Shruthi D, a Hyderabad-based reader, to the coronavirus warriors across the world BRIDGING THE VENTILATOR GAP One PSU to supply 10,000 ventilators. Also, Bharat Electronics Ltd to produce 30,000 ventilators. India has an estimated 40,000 ventilators, most of them in private hospitals. “There is a paucity of ventilators,” admits Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary in the health ministry CLEAR RECESSION, SAYS IMF “It is clear that we have entered a recession” that will be worse than in 2009 following the global financial crisis, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said. With the worldwide economic “sudden stop”, IMF estimates the overall financial needs of emerging markets is $2.5 trillion at the lower end UK PM, HEALTH SECY INFECTED British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus. Both have placed themselves in self-isolation and are working from home | P9 EXPRESS READ Boxer Akhil’s friendly gesture for a cause Chennai: Amid countrywide lockdown, Olympian pugilist Akhil Kumar, along with a few of his friends formed a WhatsApp group called Naya Savera to help the poor and needy with food and sanitisers. Akhil is posted as an ACP with Haryana Police in Gurugram | P11 WORK FROM HOME 1.4 lakh companies have allowed employees to work from home to check spread of the virus, says health ministry SOLIDARITY TRIAL India is soon expected to participate in the WHO’s multi-country “solidarity trial” for developing potential treatments for the coronavirus, the Union health ministry said Pradesh’s Ghaziabad. Dr Singh’s analysis reveals other interesting facets of Covid-19 cases in India. Nearly 65 HEALTH WORKERS The analysis found that the infection rate among healthcare workers in India stands at 3.6 per cent, as 26 of them have tested positive so far per cent of all who tested positive in India are men. Globally the male to female ratio of Covid-19 patients is 60:40. Also, in India, like in many other parts of the world, most people who died of Covid-19 were aged above 60. The mortality rate in this age category is 6.25%. Further, the mean age of those who died of the virus is 65 while that of those who recovered is 45. Sensitising states on the apparent negligence in screening, Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba pointed to the big difference between the total number of people who arrived in India between January 18 and March 23, and the number of people the states are monitoring. He said the gap in the figures could seriously jeopardise the fight against the dangerous virus. WRONGLY QUARANTINED BY FAMILY, MAN ENDS LIFE S O W M YA M A N I @ Pudukkottai IN a shocking case, a 35-yearold man under home isolation in Aranthangi allegedly committed suicide on Thursday It’s not clear if the stress . due to isolation or his financial distress led to the extreme step. While the family sent him to isolation thinking he had just returned from Maldives, where they believed he was working, it turns out that he had returned to Tamil Nadu way back, in January. Due to financial issues, he did not inform his family about his return, but started working with a firm in Tirupur. Police say Kumar (name changed), returned to India on January 15. He landed in Chennai and straight went to Tirupur. There, he worked in a hosiery unit for two months. Following the lockdown, he returned to his village, Maramadakki, on March 24. As he had not informed his family about his return from Maldives in January, his mother 9 MORE CASES IN TN Nine more tested positive for COVID-19 in the State on Friday, taking the total tally to 38. Meanwhile, a 21-yr-old man hospitalised in Chennai was cured and discharged | P4 and family members assumed he ar rived from abroad in March and isolated him in a separate house. His mother also wanted him to undergo a test for COVID-19. On Friday, they found him hanging from the ceiling. According to a resident of the village, Kumar was working as a farm labourer in Pudukkottai for a long time. His family had taken a huge loan and sent him abroad to work. However, he had stopped sending money to his family for the past few months. So, when he came back from Maldives, he might have started working in Tirupur. US TOPS THE +VE LIST At 86,500+, the US now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. China is second with 81,000, closely followed by Italy BETWEEN DEVIL & DEEP SEA Migrant workers who were denied entry into AP and sent back being stopped near Red Hills on Friday | DEBADATTA MALLICK NEET, JEE postponed; 39 new cases in Kerala EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Centre on Friday postponed the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test and Joint Entrance Examination (Main) in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the country . “Since parents and students have to travel to different examination centres, to avoid any inconvenience to them, I have directed National Testing Agency to postpone NEET (UG) 2020 and JEE(Main) till last week of May,” tweeted Union Human Resources Development Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The total number of Covid-19 cases in India reached 724 on Friday, according to the Union health ministry A total of 17 people . have died so far. However, Worldometer and other sources put the total number of confirmed cases in India at well above 850. Kerala reported a whooping 39 cases on Friday alone, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the state to 164. Trailing closely behind is Maharashtra, which reported 28 cases on Friday In Telangana, 14 more test. ed positive while Karnataka added nine cases to its count. EPS tells people Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami inspecting a new facility at Government Medical College Hospital at Omandurar Estate in Chennai on Friday E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai TAMIL Nadu is now in stage 1 of COVID-19 disease and it is going to stage 2. To prevent this, the government is taking various measures. So, people should support it by staying at home, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami told reporters at DMS here on Friday . The government has recruited 530 doctors, 1,000 nurses and 1,500 lab technicians to treat patients and procured 200 new ambulances. Palaniswami said Section 144 CrpC will be in place for 21 days. “COVID-19 is a deadly infectious disease and it can be prevented only by social distancing and isolating oneself from others,” he said. The Chief Minister also appealed to people not to come out of their houses unless it is necessary . “The government has made arrangements to make available all essential commodities to people, including vegetables, milk and medicines. So, JUSTIFIES people should not suffer. The ACTION police is taking action only Chief Minister on people who roam for fun. Edappadi K People should respect the Palaniswami has law,” he said. said that the Palaniswami further addpolice is taking ed that COVID-19 patients action only will be treated at two excluagainst those sive facilities set up at Govpeople who are ernment Medical College roaming on the Hospital at Omandurar Esstreets for fun. tate and also ESI Hospital in People should Coimbatore with 500 and 350 respect the law beds respectively . and stay indoors. The Chief Minister also said 14 testing centres, 10 government and four private, have been set up in the State. People with cold, fever and cough can call COVID- 19 Control Room functioning at DMS for medical support. Palaniswami also said people who have to go for dialysis can call ‘108’ ambulance. “The vehicle will take them for dialysis and drop them back home,” he said. Until Thursday, as many as 3,168 cases of curfew violations have been registered in the State. A total of 186 people were booked for roaming on the streets in Chennai between 6 pm on Thursday and 6 am on Friday . Earlier in the day Prime Minister Narendra , Modi called up Palaniswami and discussed about various ongoing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu. FRESH RESTRICTIONS Petrol bunks to be open 6 am-2.30 pm Exclusive 24/7 bunks for govt vehicles & ambulances Eateries (only takeaways) and medical shops can function all day KOYAMBEDU MARKET OPEN 6 AM -2.30 PM Veggie, fruit trucks can come to Koyambedu market only between 6pm & 6 am App-based food delivery: 7 am to 9.30 am, 12 noon to 2.30 pm, 6 pm to 9 pm All those who returned from abroad after Feb 15, and their contacts must quarantine themselves, and report the same to civic authorities | P2
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