Coronavirus impact: Power demand falls 20%, discom revenues to be hit


Following the sharp dip in the energy demand owing to the continuing industrial and commercial shutdown to contain the spread of pandemic coronavirus, the revenue of state power distribution companies (discoms) is expected to be adversely affected and this wll further worsen their already precarious financial condition.

At a pan-India level, the power demand has already fallen by more than 20 per cent to 1,21,937 megawatt (mw) from 1,54,045 mw, while the power supply also crashed to 29,750 lakh units (LU) from 35,650 LU.

All India Power Engineers Federation (AIPEF) chairman Shailendra Dubey said the energy demand had fallen considerably in the country, which posed a serious challenge to the commercial viability of these discoms, most of which are state owned and operated.

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“We have written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the union energy minister seeking moratorium on the payment under the power purchase agreements (PPA) signed with the power generating companies during the entire lockdown period, since the energy requirement has gone down significantly and these payments are elements of a fixed cost for

APMCs across India worry about workers, traders health over Covid-19 curfew


Mandis in Maharashtra and Gujarat are grappling to continue business for daily need essentials such as fruits, vegetables and food grains amidst curfew over outbreak, while smaller commodities like spices have decided to remain close till March 31. In north India, vegetable mandis are also complaining in line with western India of lower offtake down the line following curfew.

Maharashtra government has also reassured that all vegetable shops and kiranas will remain exempted. The issue of workers and traders safety and health are being addressed with sanitisation.

Vashi mandis in Navi Mumbai will be closed, including vegetables and grains due to curfew. Spices, dryfruit are closed till 31 while onion potato section there will operate alternatively, said sources.

Most have issues of safety of traders and workers and arhatiyas coming there which causes big gathering. “In a meeting with representatives of all sections here, formation of committee to suggest ways to operate going ahead was decided which will address all above issues, including maintaining supply of essentials,” said Nilesh Veera, director, Vashi APMC.

Grain market is yet not sure whether they will be able to open market

Covid-19: Supply of essentials hit due to worker shortage, transport issues


Processors and importers are finding it hard to keep up the supply of essential commodities with most markets, such as vegetables, edible oil, grain and pulses being disrupted either because they don’t have workers, or transport facilities are not smooth. If such a situation continues for long, scarcity could be major problem, says markets leaders.

In Mumbai, grain offtake has doubled to 100,000 bags of 30 kg each a day over the past few days. After the lock down was implemented across many states, transporters are saying they may carry grains from producing centres, because when they go empty on their return journey they may not able to prove that the vehicle was used for delivery of essentials and could have their trucks held up. Many transporters complain of non-availability of drivers. In the Mumbai wholesale market, grain stock for 10 days is available and traders hope transport issues get sorted out before that.

The grain market at Navi Mumbai is closed till tomorrow and may also remain shut on Wednesday as workers have left for home due to the scare. “Availability of workers is a big problem. We asked

Insolvency law a ‘Swachhata drive’ against non-performing asset: IBBI chief


The “evolving” insolvency law is a kind of “Swachhata drive” to clean up non-performing assets as well as put companies in the hands of capable and credible people, according to chief M S Sahoo. Around 3,600 companies have been admitted under the (IBC) so far.

While acknowledging that the Code is still evolving, Sahoo said authorities are conscious of the emerging needs.

“As and when they find a problem, they try to address it as expeditiously as possible. The insolvency professionals, creditors, NCLT, — all are on a steep learning curve. The Supreme Court has been settling matters at a quick pace. I believe the road to success is always under construction,” he told PTI in a recent interview.

Sahoo is the chairperson of the Insolvency and the Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI), a key authority in implementing the Code. A case is taken up under the Code only after approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

When asked about the enduring benefits of the Code, which came into force in 2016, the chairperson said, “This is another kind

Directorate General of Shipping lays down rules to combat coronavirus


At a time when the world is readying to take the necessary precautions to fight the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the Directorate General of Shipping has come out with rules to ensure that trade goes on amid the scare.

Shipping services are required to continue to be operational so that vital goods and essential commodities like fuel, medical supplies, food grains etc, are delivered and to ensure that the economic activity of the nation is not disrupted.

According to the DG Shipping order to all stakeholders, which include major as well minor ports, the master of a vessel, before arrival at its first port of call in India, shall ascertain the state of health of each person on board on the vessel and submit a declaration to the health authorities of the port.

If the maritime declaration of health given by the master is found to be incorrect and not reflecting the factual conditions of health of persons on board the vessel, the master is liable to be prosecuted in line with applicable laws.

All the agents of the vessel therefore shall ensure that information regarding

Covid-19: Lenders seek deferment in loan repayment, reclassification of NPA


The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) is set to demand a host of relaxations towards repaying loans in a bid to tide over the crisis, including an extension of 90 days in classifying accounts as non-performing assets (NPA) and deferring the installment of term loans.

The IBA’s managing committee met on Friday and has decided to put up five set of demands to the central government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to help the and retail and corporate borrowers alike, IBA chief executive officer Sunil Mehta told Business Standard over phone.

“We are asking for a 90-day extension of timeline for slippage of a running account – both cash credit and overdraft – into NPA,” Mehta said. If borrowers is unable to repay loans within 90 days of the due date, their loan account is classified as NPA by banks. If the IBA’s recommendations are accepted, the NPA tag will take 6 months.

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During the intervening period, the accounts will also not be classified as Special Mention Accounts (SMA)-1 or SMA-2, he said.

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