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Saudi minister says affordable energy key to economic recovery

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Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud

Riyadh, April 11 : Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said that ensuring affordable energy supply is key to facilitating a global economic recovery.

“In this time of crisis, reliable, affordable and accessible energy is critical to powering our essential services, including healthcare, to ensure we can quickly advance recovery efforts — on both national and global scales,” Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said on Friday in a meeting attended by G20 energy ministers, Xinhua news agency reported.

The meeting aimed to shape a coordinated response to enhance energy markets amid the dramatic health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister also urged all G20 members to take appropriate measures to stabilize the market conditions based on the principles of fairness, equity, transparency and inclusivity.

A G20 ministerial statement will be released later, he added.

The G20 meeting came after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, met on Thursday and agreed on an oil supply pact to cut 10 million barrels per day, which is pending the consent of Mexico.

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77% companies face revenue drop amid Covid pandemic: Report

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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jobs employment rate

New Delhi, July 12 : Around 77 per cent business organisations have witnessed a drop in their revenue as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, according to a recent global survey.

As per a joint survey by 720 Transform of Dubai, Prophecy FZLLC-Middle East and India-based Insights3D, around 7 per cent firms in India and the Middle East have registered an upward revenue growth, while about 16 per cent of the companies remained unaffected.

Around 282 executives, including CEOs and MDs from across industry segments were interviewed for the survey.

Out of the negatively impacted companies which recorded fall in revenue, 30 per cent companies logged an over 50 per cent drop while another 30 per cent firms recorded 30-50 per cent decline.

The report said that around 30 per cent of the companies surveyed will need to undertake drastic measures such as higher levels of rationalisation, sale or merger.

Commenting on the report, Raja Marur of Prophecy FZLLC said: “Our belief that a new normal is being envisaged has been validated by the survey. Further, the impact to organizations varies by scale and level of global integration of their supply chains.”

Most leaders foresee a new normal in terms of remote working and decentralization, coupled with process automations and an increased reliance on artificial intelligence and analytics, the survey showed. However, these changes are likely to pose challenges in governance structures as also in communication lines and objective performance management.

Businesses see challenges with regards to demand, liquidity and availability of finance with MSMEs being the hardest hit amongst all, the survey found.

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Walmart to launch Amazon Prime like subscription service: Report

As per report, Amazon is valued at $1.5 trillion, while Walmart is worth $337 billion. And Amazon Prime is a big reason why.

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San Francisco, July 12 : The retail giant Walmart is reportedly planning to unveil a new subscription service called Walmart+ that will offer similar benefits to Amazon Prime.

Walmart was expected to unveil Walmart+ earlier this year before the pandemic derailed those initial plans. But now, the largest retailer in the US is set to launch the service this summer for $98 per year, news website Vox reported.

Walmart+ will include same-day grocery delivery, discounts on fuel purchases and more.

Meanwhile, Amazon Prime, which costs $119 annually, includes free two-day delivery on a huge number of items – with some products even available on the same day or next day.

Both companies struggled with soaring demand for groceries during the pandemic as people began panic shopping.

While Covid-19 panic-buying helped boost Walmart sales to record highs earlier this year, its US e-commerce presence is still only around an eighth the size of Amazon’s.

As per report, Amazon is valued at $1.5 trillion, while Walmart is worth $337 billion. And Amazon Prime is a big reason why.

Walmart is also going to unveil an online family entertainment program called CAMP by Walmart, in partnership with the retail startup CAMP and the online video technology firm Eko.

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FM reviews Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, Rs 62k cr disbursed under ECLGS

Sitharaman had announced a Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD under the package.

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Nirmala Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 12 : Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman has reviewed the progress of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat economic package’s implementation in matters related to the Finance and Corporate Affair Ministries.

The latest review has shown that as of July 9, banks have disbursed Rs 61,987.90 crore to MSMEs under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). A total of over Rs 1.20 lakh crore have been sanctioned so far.

To provide relief to the businesses, additional working capital finance of 20 per cent of the outstanding credit as on February 29, 2020, in the form of a term loan at a concessional rate of interest is provided under the scheme. This would be available to units with upto Rs 25 crore outstanding and turnover of up to Rs 100 crore whose accounts are standard.

The units will not have to provide any guarantee or collateral of their own. The amount will be 100 per cent guaranteed by the government of India providing a total liquidity of Rs 3 lakh crore to more than 45 lakh MSMEs.

Regarding the Rs 45,000 crore Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme 2.0 for non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), the Finance Ministry statement said that banks have approved purchase of portfolio of Rs 14,000 crore and are currently in process of approval or negotiations for Rs 6,000 crore as on July 3, 2020.

As per the Aatmanirbhar Bharat package, the government had announced to revamp the existing Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme (PCGS) and extend it to cover the borrowings of lower rated NBFCs, HFCs and other Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). Government of India would provide a 20 per cent first loss sovereign guarantee to public sector banks.

Further, NABARD has sanctioned the new front loaded special refinance facility of Rs 30,000 crore sanctioned to regional rural banks and Cooperative Banks. This special facility to benefit three crore farmers, consisting of mostly small and marginal farmers in meeting their credit needs for post-harvest and kharif sowing requirements.

The statement said that when kharif sowing is already on its full swing Rs 24,876.87 crore out of Rs 30,000 crore has been disbursed as on July 6, out of this special facility.

Sitharaman had announced a Rs 30,000 crore Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding for farmers through NABARD under the package.

On the Rs 30,000 crore Special Liquidity Scheme for NBFCs, HFCs and MFIs, the official statement said that SBICAP has received 24 applications requesting about Rs 9,875 crore of financing as on July 7, 2020 which are being processed. The first application in this regard has received its approval and the remaining are also being considered, it added.

It also said that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has raised the threshold of default under Section 4 of the IBC, 2016 to Rs 1 crore — from the existing threshold of Rs 1 lakh. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs is finalising a special insolvency resolution under section 240A of the Code, to provide relief to the MSMEs and the same would be notified soon.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 has been promulgated on June 5, 2020 thereby provided for insertion of Section 10A in the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 to temporarily suspend initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) under Section 7, 9 & 10 of the Code for a period of six months or such further period, not exceeding one year from such date.

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