Don’t cut down workforce: PM

CII moots cash transfer via DBT to all citizens

Updated - March 23, 2020 11:20 pm IST

Published - March 23, 2020 10:30 pm IST - New Delhi / Mumbai

Calling COVID-19 an ‘unforeseen hurdle’ for the Indian economy whose impact will be felt for some time to come, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged India Inc. to not cut down jobs despite the negative impact on business.

Mr. Modi on Monday interacted with industry representatives from 18 cities across the country via video conference.

Those in attendance included Toyota Kirloskar vice chairman and president of industry body CII Vikram Kirloskar, Kotak Mahindra Bank MD & CEO Uday Kotak, Tata Sons chairman N. Chandrasekaran, TVS Motor CMD Venu Srinivasan, founder and co-chairman Jubilant Bhartia Group Hari S. Bhartia, Apollo Hospitals Joint MD and FICCI president Sangeeta Reddy, and HUL CMD Sanjiv Mehta.

Mr. Modi added that the challenge posed by the pandemic is graver than even that posed by the World Wars and “we need to be on constant vigil” to prevent its spread. Mr. Kirloskar said CII members would dedicate their plant facilities to help scale up manufacture and availability of essential goods and equipment needed to deal with the medical emergency.

Mr. Kotak said the COVID Rehabilitation Fund would look at the micro and small industry, which would need special handholding and help to rehabilitate their business.

All Indian citizens should be given cash in their accounts through the direct benefit transfer, CII said; while those below 25 years could be given a one-time payment of ₹5,000, senior citizens above 65 can be given ₹10,000, it said.

CII also said there was an immediate need to enable advances for ways and means for industry across sectors and the government could perhaps explore a moratorium on interest and principal for the next three months. “It may also be important to suspend IBC proceedings while redefining norms for NPAs, as several companies will be unable to meet payment obligations.”

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