Covid-19 Lockdown: Flour mills run at 25% capacity on wheat, labour paucity

Flour mills across the country have reduced their operating capacities to an average 25 per cent due to unavailability of wheat, workers and packaging materials following the 21-day nationwide introduced to prevent the spread of

India has some 2,500 units with an annual wheat processing capacity of about 25 million tonnes for producing flour, semolina (sooji) and refined flour (maida). Contributing nearly half by number, small wheat processing mills have been forced shut due to the blockage of working capital by biscuit, bread and pav (double bread) manufacturers.

During this lockdown, all such bakery units, which are primarily from the unorganised sector and cottage industry, have shut shop to prevent public gathering and maintain social distancing. Capacity reduction in wheat processing is set to hit the supply of flour, sooji and maida in the near future, and consumers may have to pay much more to buy them.





“Procurement of wheat has become a big problem due to closure of several mandis. Also, the movement of trucks is restricted for fear of police harassment. This, despite the government’s assurance on allowing inter-state movement of trucks. Also, packaging material and labour remain scarce. We are operating

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ITC launches new hand sanitiser under Savlon brand to take on Covid-19


In the wake of the huge global demand for hand sanitisers following the Covid-19 pandemic, cigarettes-to-hotels major Ltd has launched a hand sanitising liquid under the Savlon brand.


Priced at Rs 250 for a 500 ml bottle, claims that the formulation offers quick and persistent action and helps protect against many enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, in addition to 99.99 per cent bacteria and fungi. The product, Savlon Hexa, is aimed at consumers and frontline medical professionals alike and is in the process of being launched across the country.


“Our advanced hand sanitiser is one of our quickest launches, brought to fruition in record time. Savlon Hexa has been designed to address the critical and urgent need for trustworthy, effective preventive hygiene solutions of the nation during these challenging times of Covid-19,” said Sameer Satpathy, chief executive of the personal care products business division at


According to the company, the rapid spread of Covid-19 has made hand hygiene more critical than ever and the demand for hand sanitisers and handwashes has increased exponentially among consumers and health care professionals.


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Work from home a success for many companies, may become new normal


(WFH) — a strategy adopted by multinational to combat the spread of novel disease (Covid-19) — may well become the new normal as have faced success with its adoption.


With the physical world on hold and the digital world being busier than before, are now turning adversity into advantage. This period will serve as a reckoning for remote work and may help to spur on digital transformation.



“Around 25-35 per cent of the shift (to remote working) is irreversible. There will be more videoconferencing as opposed to work-related travel in the future,” said Anand Agarwal, group chief executive officer and whole-time director, Sterlite Technologies.


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He said demand, which has seen a surge of late, is expected to continue and hence, requires strengthening of the fibre network.


Agarwal said companies are planning to advance their capital expenditure towards servicing the increased internet demand by investing in network strengthening.


Almost every technology-driven task that can be done remotely is being done from a remote location.

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Our Vande Mataram moment, says IndiGo as it offers relief flights for free


IndiGo, the largest Indian airline with a fleet of 259 aircraft, has proposed to operate relief flights for carrying food and medicines to remote areas free of cost. This was announced by the airline’s CEO Wednesday.


has been authorised by the government to operate 30 relief flights, but Dutta said the airline wants to do more without charging the government.


The airline has a fleet of 219 Airbus A320 aircraft and 25 smaller ATR-72 jets which can fly to remote areas. It flies to 63 destinations in the country including six cities in North Eastern area – Imphal, Shillong, Aizawl, Dimapur, Agartala and Guwahati.


With passenger aircraft movement banned, feels its fleet can be used to ferry essentials across the country. While it has become an alternative revenue source for other airlines, wants to do it for free. “Charging for transporting emergency medical supplies in the middle of a pandemic is not a profit opportunity moment for IndiGo. It instead is a Vande Mataram moment for us,” Dutta said.


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Get ready for social distancing when you fly next after lockdown ends


From operating an aircraft with less capacity to no shopping – and airports will have to take strict measures of social distancing until the corona virus pandemic is over.


Indian aviation regulator is framing a set of protocols to ensure that distancing is measured in confined places like aircraft and airport once air transport resumes. Airlines will have to follow the protocols till the World Health Organisation declares the outbreak over which according to the agency’s own estimate is months away.



The measures executive fear could make return to normalcy painful for a sector which has been the worst effected due to the outbreak and a consequential


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 21-days on March 25-one of the most stringent measures any country has taken to control the outbreak of the virus. The government is likely to remove the ban in phases for both domestic and international flights in order to prevent crowding at airports.


The Standard Operating Procedure being formulated by DGCA will make it mandatory for

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Coronavirus impact: Hiring of IT graduates by firms likely to be delayed


Hiring of fresh engineering graduates from college campuses by information technology (IT) services is likely to be delayed owing to uncertainties arising out of global spread of (Covid-19). IT firms are expected to absorb these freshers in a staggered manner. Sources in the know said the chances of dishonouring joining letters seem remote at this point in time.


Since most IT firms anticipate a demand slowdown in the coming quarters, hiring from tier-III and IV through walk-in interviews is going take a massive hit in 2020, said industry experts.



“Freshers, slated to join in May-June, are likely to be scheduled for onboarding in August-September. Some IT firms are likely to defer their joining, based on the developments in the US, the UK, and Continental Europe,” said Aditya Narayan Mishra, director & chief executive officer at CIEL HR Services. In a worst-case scenario, only 5 per cent of offer letters may not be honoured, he said.


Anticipating demand, the top four IT firms of India added more than 50,000 freshers last year. Hiring of fresh graduates is also part of the initiative of most IT firms

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