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This week will decide India's course against the coronavirus

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06 April, 2020, 08:54 AM IST

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Visa freeze by US Embassy due to coronavirus may ground Indian IT companies

The move, necessitated by the Covid-19 virus outbreak will make it difficult for software exporters to send employees on projects and sales calls to the United States, which generates over two-thirds of the Indian IT industry’s revenue. The embassy has said that applicants could reschedule visa interviews once regular consular operations resume.

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  • Sebi’s regulations mandate companies to disclose any material development on a continuous basis. However, disclosing the same in the current scenario could lead to a sharp sell-off in their stocks.

    “At this point of time, one can do nothing except curtail costs and postpone capex plans. Those are the only immediate solutions we have. We are watching the markets closely and taking stock,” said a top official at a leading Indian conglomerate based in Mumbai.

    In the absence of regulatory forbearance, mutual funds, which act as passthrough vehicles, are disallowed by Sebi to reschedule bonds.

    Premji Invest, the investment firm of Wipro’s founder chairman Azim Premji, has led a $126 million funding in Boston-based primary care provider Iora Health. Existing investors Cox Enterprises, Temasek F-Prime Capital, Devonshire Investors, 406 Ventures, Flare Capital Partners, Polaris Partners, and Khosla Ventures participated in the round.

    Automakers are using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other mobile applications and to share tips on how to protect vehicles as they sit unused during the nationwide stay-at-home order.

    Uber, Domino's Pizza, Rapido, Zypp, Swiggy, Zomato and Scootsy have all ventured into grocery delivery in partnerships with retail chains such as Big Bazaar, Spencer’s Retail and Nature's Basket, and online grocers BigBasket and Grofers that are grappling with a massive shortage of employees due to flight of several migrant workers to their hometowns.

    The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) in the Friday order decreased late payment surcharge (LPS) payable by discoms to generation and transmission companies to 1% per month from the previous 1.5% per month from April 24 till June 30.

    The ministry on Thursday directed the discoms to accept invoices and billing through emails and make payments to renewable energy generators as per their power purchasing agreements (PPAs).

    BAT has already started pre-clinical testing on animals, of a plant-based vaccine via US biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing. Philip Morris, on the other hand, through its partially-owned Canadian unit Medicago, expects to start human trials of a potential vaccine this summer.

    “We don’t have enough supplies and may run out of kits by the end of this week,” a health department official in Chhattisgarh told ET. The state has revised its strategy to include testing of all symptomatic travellers from Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Kerala since March 10.

    President Trump has himself accused many IT cos of abusing the work visas to deny jobs to American workers.

    BPM companies are caught between mobility curbs and client protocol that disallows work-from-home. Experts are of the view that the Indian BPO industry faces significant challenges in the short and medium term due to the Covid-19 related restrictions. Analysts say companies face challenges in organising thousands of computers and internet connections to employees at short notice, impacting work.

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