March 27, 2020
The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) Governor Shri. Shaktikanta Das, during the press conference today, announced various measures to increase liquidity and ease banking regulations during the challenging times and to safeguard country’s economy from the impact of Covid-19 pandemic related lockdowns.
The key highlights of the announcements made are as follows:
- The Monetary Policy Committee reduced the repo rate by 75 basis points and reverse repo rate by 90 basis points.
- The RBI will conduct auctions of Targeted longer-term refinancing operations of up to three-year tenor of appropriate sizes for a total amount up to Rs. 1 lakh crore at a floating rate, linked to policy repo rate.
- The cash reserve ratio of all banks to be reduced by 100 basis points to 3 percent beginning March 28th, 2020 for a year. This cut down will release liquidity of Rs. 1,37,000 crores across the banking system.
- The Marginal Standing Facility (MSR) raised from 2 percent of Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) to 3 percent with immediate effect and shall be applicable up to June 30th, 2020.
- The RBI Governor declared that the above liquidity measures will inject liquidity of Rs 3.74 lakh crores to the Indian economic system.
- All lending institutions and banks are being permitted to allow a moratorium of three months on repayment of installments for term loans outstanding as on March 1st, 2020.
- The lending institutions also permitted to allow deferment of three months on payment of interest w.r.t all such working capital facilities outstanding as of March 1st, 2020.
- The RBI Governor stated that moratorium on term loans and deferment of interest payment will not result in asset classification downgrade.
- Further deferring implementation of last tranche of 0.625 percent of capital conservation buffer to September 30th, 2020.
- The banks in India that operate IFSC banking units allowed to participate in offshore INR NDF market w.e.f. June 1st, 2020.
The RBI Governor further stated that the projections of growth and inflation as the outlook are heavily dependent on the spread and containment of the virus. He further said that RBI will continue to remain vigilant and take whatever steps needed to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 and maintain financial stability in the country.
March 26, 2020
In response to the growing concerns of the capacity of the health care workforce as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 24, 2020 the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, issued a letter and associated Guidance to all Governors urging them to take immediate action. While the federal government, and some states, have admirably waived and relaxed many rules related to the provision of various types of benefits and services, including relaxed telehealth and privacy rules/enforcement, many necessary actions are within the authority of state governments. Presumably, this plea from Secretary Azar is an attempt to “close the gap” between what the federal government has done to remove these barriers and the stringent restrictions of many state licensure laws. Specifically, Azar sets forth eight action items that he is asking Governors and the District of Columbia to consider in order to lift the limits that state rules currently place on licensure, scope of practice, certification, and recertification/relicensure. The action items include:
March 25, 2020
The Union Finance & Corporate Affairs Minister, Government of India, Ms. Niramla Sitharaman, in her interactions with the press yesterday, i.e., on March 24, 2020, has announced multiple relaxations to statutory and regulatory compliances under various legislations viz., the Companies Act, 2013 (“CA2013”), Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 (“LLP Act”), Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (“IBC”), Income Tax Act, 1961, the Goods and Services Tax legislations, Customs Act, 1962 etc. The complete press release vis-à-vis all measures announced can be accessed at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=200639.
March 24, 2020
In the midst of the shutdown of businesses all over India to contain the spread of the highly contagious Covid-19 infection, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman today addressed a press conference on various statutory and regulatory compliance issues and announced a slew of measures for providing relief amid the pandemic outbreak.
The brief highlights of the announcements made by the Finance Minister:
March 20, 2020
Earlier this month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) jointly issued warning letters to seven companies for selling products that fraudulently claim to prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. The products cited in these warning letters are teas, essential oils, tinctures and colloidal silver, all of which FDA considers unapproved drugs that pose significant risks to patient health and violate federal law. READ MORE
March 15, 2020
As the Coronavirus threatens the normal operations of business throughout the country, banks may consider how to tackle the disruption and protect employees and customers while continuing to comply with regulatory obligations. While the country works through the challenges presented by the Coronavirus, the ability of our banks to seamlessly maintain banking services and the availability of loans to those businesses most significantly stressed by the crisis will be critical to maintaining consumer confidence in the strength and resilience of our economy. Read more…
March 13, 2020
On March 6, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent warning letters to companies that are allegedly selling products using deceptive or scientifically unsupported claims about their ability to treat coronavirus (COVID-19). Warning letters were sent to Colloidal Vitality LLC, Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd., N-ergetics, GuruNanda, LLC, Vivify Holistic Clinic, Herbal Amy Inc., and The Jim Bakker Show. Among the products advertised are teas, essential oils, herbs, and colloidal silver. Read more…
March 12, 2020
In response to the continued spread of the coronavirus in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an order on March 4, 2020, providing conditional regulatory relief to publically traded companies that may have been affected by the coronavirus. Subject to certain conditions, the SEC’s order provides qualifying companies an additional 45 days to file certain required reports that otherwise would be due between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020. Read more…