Govt forms ministerial-level committee to resolve supply-chain issues

The government has formed a ministerial level committee to mitigate problems as India undergoes one of the longest curfews in history.

Headed by Defence Minister and Home Minister Amit Shah, the committee has been tasked with ensuring unhindered supply of essential items during the lockdown. Seven secretaries from the ministries of consumer affairs, road transport, civil aviation, shipping, textile, health and Chairman of the Railway Board are part of the committee which will meet daily at 11 AM through video conferencing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 announced a 21-day lockdown- the most far reaching measure by any government to curb the spread of the pandemic.

The move, which experts believe is essential, but hastily drawn has thrown the country’s logistics system into disarray as local administrations are confused the over interpretation of the government orders.

“The biggest need is now that all administration work in tandem and implement the orders in unison. Hence the committee has been formed which will collect daily inputs and ensure coordination to solve the issues,” said an official, who is part of the committee.

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Tea companies may lose Rs 2000 cr this year due to coronavirus outbreak

in the country maybe heading towards a consolidated loss of around Rs 2000 crore this calendar year as all estates have been shut to contain spread of the deadly

While the estates were initially kept open with plantation argueing that the risk of infection was extremely low on the estates, the call was taken following the announcement of the 21-day shutdown by the government and various state governments passing orders for lockdown.

All of the 1422 registered tea estates and more than 250,000 micro-small planters have stopped production citing safety precautions for workers, unavailability of transport to ferry finished tea and practically no demand either domestically or from importing countries.

“At the moment it is of utmost importance to stop the spread of and estates are thus closed,” Arun Kumar Ray, deputy chairman, Tea Board.

Rough estimates from plantation have pegged production loss in excess of 100 million kg (mkg) across India which is valued at around Rs 2000 crore. Usually, plantation companies in Assam and West Bengal produce around 15 per cent of the total tea during March-April.

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consultation to bring change to IR 35

Off-payroll working has recently attracted headlines in a number of high profile tribunal decisions.

The most notably of these is Christa Ackroyd, the BBC – “Look North” presenter who was recently found to be operating inside IR 35 and ordered to pay over £400,000 in tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

Further headlines followed when other BBC talent similarly found themselves on the payroll. With this background, it might reasonably be supposed that the Government’s consultation issued on 18th May, “Off-payroll working in the private sector”, is a further development of these apparently connected stories – it is of course, although curiously, the Ackroyd case and the BBC’s decision are unconnected.

Off-payroll working simply describes those workers who are not on the PAYE payroll. This is typically because they are engaged through their own personal service company (PSC). The nature of the relationship between the worker provided by the PSC and the engaging client may be identical to that of an employee engaged under a contract of employment, yet the resulting tax may be markedly different. This has long been recognised as unfair and IR 35 (more formally ‘the intermediaries’ legislation’) has been in place since 2000 to address

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