India

Here's how to gain an edge in the competitive global marketplace When it comes to being an entrepreneur, the focus and productivity levels will make or break you. Even just a 10 per cent advantage can be the difference between a wildly successful initial public offering, and having to close up shop. With such wild competition in the business world, being able to focus and improve productivity are becoming more and more important—and as the world becomes more globally connected, your competitio…


Ahmedabad lockdown news: Today's updates from your city | Ahmedabad News - Times of India


Union Agriculture ministry has asked state governments to allow bulk buyers, processors and big retailers to purchase agri-produce directly from farmers by bypassing the established mandi systems for at least three months. The directive is meant to achieve two objectives - to decongest mandis in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and to allow farmers to sell their products at remunerative prices by allowing aggregators to source it directly from them.....


2020-04-05

MG Motor India is in talks with three medical device makers, including GE, to produce ventilators at its Halol facility to help meet demand during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a top company official. The company, which has also launched a hunt for a low-cost ventilator design through a challenge, is also developing its own ventilator and hopes to be ready with a prototype within a week as part of its three-pronged approach to get into ventilator manufacturing considering the shortage…


Govt tightens export ban norms for anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine The drug is also not allowed to be shipped by EOUs or under any export promotion scheme. The government has tightened the export ban norms on anti-malarial drug hydroxycloroquine by including special economic zones (SEZs) under its prohibition ambit to ensure there is no shortfall during Covid-19 crisis.The drug is also not allowed to be shipped by export oriented units (EOUs) or under any export promotion scheme."The export…


Also handle nearly 8,000 refunds using VPN The lockdown has not deterred business entities from getting new GST registrations. Statistics released by the GST Network (GSTN), the IT backbone for the indirect tax system, show that over 10,000 entities registered themselves between March 25 and April 3, the first 10 days of the lockdown. According to the data, 20,273 registrations were processed during the period. These include 10,077 cases of new registration, 3,377 core amendments, 3,784 cancell…


he government cannot move one step without a file. Here's how filed are being moved in this situation Corridors of the many government offices in Lutyens’ Delhi are as deserted as the streets of the city to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. The situation is similar in the secretariats in almost all state capitals.Barring emergency services, the rest of India’s government machinery is either working from home or sitting dormant. “VC” (video conferencing) and “VPN” (virtual privat…


2020-04-05

The National Health Authority (NHA) on Friday said it has inked a pact with ride hailing app Uber to provide transport services for frontline healthcare workers involved in treatment of covid-19 patients.   Uber will initially facilitate the provision of 150 cars free of cost to support medical facilities in certain cities--New Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Prayagraj and Patna through its UberMedic service.....


The pessimists among us are already afraid of a protracted tragedy that could lead to a deep recession How long will the coronavirus pandemic last along with the deep economic recession it has created? I am a pessimist and fear a protracted tragedy.Consider three possible scenarios. First, with effective medical and economic responses, the crisis might rise explosively and then rapidly peter out. A deep recession in the first half of 2020 could be followed by a sharp V-shaped recovery. Read more…


Allaying fears of electricity grid failure following the Prime Minister's appeal to switch off lights on Sunday night, the power ministry said these apprehensions are misplaced and all protocols are in place to handle the fluctuation in demand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Friday urged people to switch off the lights at their homes and light up lamps, candles or mobile phone torches for nine minutes at 9 pm on Sunday to display the country's "collective resolve" to defeat the coronavirus.…


About two-thirds of the 4.3 mn ITBPO workforce across the country have moved to a work-from-home model The lockdown announced by the government to contain the spread of coronavirus has forced employees to work from homes (WFH) for about three weeks now. This new normal might just become a standard practice, at least for some employees even after the Covid-19 situation is resolved.About two-thirds of the 4.3 million ITBPO workforce across the country have moved to a work-from-home model to keep s…


The Centre has also deferred the application of restricted input tax credit (ITC) of 10% under goods and services tax (GST), providing relief to industry The government has extended the validity of e-way bills that were set to expire during the 21-day lockdown, put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), addressing companies’ fears that their goods transported through trucks could be confiscated by the authorities.....


A healthcare expert said rapid tests are not as authoritative as RT-PCR tests, but could be a tool to know if there is community transmission As confirmed COVID-19 cases crossed 3,000, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory to carry out rapid antibody tests on all influenza like illness cases reported from containment zones and in large migration gatherings or evacuees centres of the country. All persons having cough, cold, mild fever or sore throat from such locati…


2020-04-05

Private sector lender HDFC Bank has said its advances aggregated to ₹9.93 lakh crore as of March 31, marking a growth of about 21 per cent as compared to ₹8.19 lakh crore a year ago and ₹9.36 lakh crore on December 31, 2019. The bank's deposits aggregated to ₹11.46 lakh crore, clocking a growth of 24 per cent as compared to ₹9.23 lakh crore as of March 31, 2019 and ₹10.67 lakh crore on December 31, 2019.....


The containment strategy would contain the disease within a defined geographic area by early detection The government has drawn out a containment plan as clusters posing high risk of further spread of COVID-19 cases have emerged in several states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Telangana as also Delhi and Ladakh. The cluster containment strategy would be to contain the disease within a defined geographic area by early detection of cases, breaking the chain …


The world is staring at a recession, economic output in June 2020 quarter is going to shrink, and growth for FY21 will be sharply lower — these will take a toll on corporate earnings as well as stock prices Global financial markets that were cheerfully sailing on fair winds of liquidity, infused by global central banks, have been suddenly hit by a giant wave of selling that has sent prices crashing and left investors gasping for breath.....


2020-04-04

A team of chemists, computer scientists, and engineers are working to develop efficient quantum chemistry methods and free software A research team from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay) is working to develop new methods for quantum chemistry and implement them efficient and free computer software. The team’s project, led by Dr Achintya Kumar Dutta, will study electron attachment to aqueous DNA, which has significant implications in the radiation therapy-based treatment o…


In order to deliver an omni-channel experience, businesses might end up buying separate solutions for each channel, only to later discover that it wasn't the safest bet With customer experience taking center stage, businesses can no longer rescript the channels which can or can’t be used to contact them. Today, customers demand the flexibility to communicate with businesses in more than one way. In order to deliver an omni-channel experience, businesses might end up buying separate solutions f…


2020-04-04

Startups in fast-growing consumer categories such as fashion, beauty and furniture are struggling with a slump in demand as consumers pare discretionary spending while the ongoing nationwide lockdown disrupts operations.   The 21-day lockdown by the government to contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus has upset the supply chains of e-commerce and other companies that are slowly starting to resume normal business. Only essential products such as groceries and medicines are currently being…


Flipkart CEO reassures staff, says will honour all job offers In a virtual townhall, Flipkart CEO assured over 6,000 employees that Flipkart was “financially healthy” Walmart-owned ecommerce marketplace Flipkart has assured its employees that there would be no pay cuts and that all job offers, including internships, will be honoured.In a virtual townhall, the first after the ongoing 21-day nationwide lockdown was put in place, Flipkart Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy assured ove…


Middle East

2020-04-06

The ideal way to receive medical advice during the current health crisis is through digital means, a recommendation emphasized by Saudi authorities while a nationwide lockdown is in force due to the coronavirus outbreak.The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has launched electronic services that contribute to promoting health awareness and interactive communication, while also tightening control and facilitating the performance of businesses....


2020-04-06

Abu Dhabi-based agri-business venture Pure Harvest Smart Farms on Monday said it has secured a $100 million multi-year funding commitment from Kuwait’s Wafra International Investment Company, the biggest agriculture technology investment in the region. Pure Harvest managed to raise $20.6 million in its Series A financing round, with the Kuwaiti asset management firm – which has $6 billion assets in its portfolio – the biggest financial backer with a $10 million capital injection....


Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar has taken a 100% pay cut, as an economic crisis fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic hits Dubai’s real estate sector. In an email seen by Arabian Business, the chairman tells his 6,600 employees that a new salary structure across all levels and Emaar entities must be implemented to “secure the continuity of the business”. Effective April 1st, 2020 and until further notice, the new structure will see the chairman will take a 100% reduction on his salary, while se…


2020-04-06

Dubai Startup Hub moves its networking meetings for new members online to support business continuity and ensure entrepreneurs have effective channels of communication, with peer community and the organization Dubai Startup Hub stressed on importance of securing mentorship support from startup founders and the experts available at Dubai Chamber   Dubai, UAE – Dubai StartUp Hub, an entrepreneurship initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, organized its first online event for its…


2020-04-06

As part of the directives of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management to extend sterilisation operations to 24 hours a day for a renewable period of two weeks, starting from Saturday evening, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the closure of all its customers happiness centres, and centres it jointly operates with Dubai Municipality and other service providers, effective from Sunday 5th April  till further notice. The Authority invited customers to use onlin…


2020-04-06

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is continuing with its development projects. Since the start of the year, DEWA has commissioned 8 new 132/11 kilovolt (kV) substations. These have a conversion capacity of 150 megavolt-amperes (MVA) with 16 kilometres (km) of high-voltage 132kV cable to connect different areas of Dubai. This ensures the efficiency, reliability, and availability of DEWA’s 132 kV transmission networks. “Commissioning these new substations supports the vision of His …


2020-04-05

To help with the containment of the coronavirus outbreak, Dubai Customs has boosted its centers’ preparedness to provide all services to companies and complete transactions online. Companies can enjoy smart services of Dubai Customs to benefit from the excellent facilitations available, including booking an inspection date, which will be done fast and with minimal contact.Using Dubai Customs’ smart channels, clients can access all the services and clear their shipments without any need for a…


2020-04-05

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has issued a new circular extending the temporary closure of commercial centres, shopping malls, cinemas, electronic game halls (arcades) and other entertainment destinations in the emirate of Abu Dhabi until further notice. Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, said that the newly issued circular is being implemented in cooperation and coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and the …


2020-04-05

 Abu Dhabi Police have warned against suspicious links sent via social media and emails, urging the public to look out for such text scams. Abu Dhabi Police advised users not to click on any suspicious links, which could be fraudulent and in most cases have nothing to do with the institution fraudsters claim to be affiliated with. Text scams may include links for travel websites for canceling prior bookings on coronavirus outbreak, or links to download some social apps, which could be malicious…


2020-04-05

Over 12,000 students benefit from free mobile data to access e-learning applications More than 10 million mobile subscribers get free data while browsing over 800 websites on education, health & safety Etisalat provides access to 9 apps & platforms for distance learning, allowing visual & audio communications Etisalat today announced that it enabled at least one million students in the UAE to access distance learning websites and platforms using its advanced network, with more than 10 million …


2020-04-05

Dubai Chamber will help blue collar workers who have completed their projects to return home The Chamber will be assisting blue collar workers in the construction and real estate projects, especially those who completed their work and were unable to return home as airports closed around the world. The Chamber will make an initial contribution of AED10 million, towards the newly established fund The Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business will be playing a larger role in the upcomi…


2020-04-05

Metro and tram services will be suspended during the two-week period that is subject to renewal Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) today announced its public bus services will be free of charge for individuals permitted to leave their homes during the extended two-week sterilisation period. Additionally, Dubai Taxi vehicles and franchised taxis will offer a 50 per cent discount on normal fares.   The decision follows an announcement made by Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and D…


2020-04-04

The Saudi Ministry of Commerce is checking stocks on a daily basis and monitoring prices to ensure there is no shortage of goods or rise in the cost of essential commodities, according to Majed M. Al-Tahan, co-founder and managing director of Danube Online, the hypermarket chain. “We have full support from the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Telecommunications and they are dealing with us closely to give whatever support we need to make sure people are getting what they want,” said…


2020-04-04

Commerce ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) held a virtual meeting to discuss the economic impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Overseeing the provision and smooth flow of necessary basic commodities to citizens of their countries was highlighted as one of the key roles of the ministries. The meeting was chaired by the UAE’s minister of economy, Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansoori, and was attended by his GCC counterparts along with the council’s secretary-general, Dr…


2020-04-04

Saudi Arabia's foreign and energy ministers on Saturday denied Russia's claim that the Kingdom abandoned the OPEC+ deal, leading to a collapse in world oil prices. In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said "a statement attributed to one of the media of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation claimed that one of the reasons for the decline in oil prices was the Kingdom's withdrawal from the deal of OPEC + and that the Kingdom…


Supermarket giant has signed contracts worth $109m to boost Ramadan stocks Union Coop is to increase its inventory by 30 percent with the opening of branches in Al Warqa and Al Barsha South 1. It comes as Dubai Economy has reiterated that there is no shortage of food or supplies in the emirate amid the current coronavirus crisis. Union Coop has storage space in the Middle East exceeding 424,442 square feet, with stock worth AED500 million.....


2020-04-04

Turkish officials are believed to be negotiating with their American counterparts for secure access to the US Federal Reserve’s dollar swap lines as the country’s economy struggles with the costs of the coronavirus pandemic. In March, as the contagion spread across the world, the US central bank established liquidity swap lines with the Bank of England, Bank of Japan and European Central Bank as well as their counterparts in Canada and Switzerland, before piping dollars into other central ba…


Dubai Police has arrested an Asian man for posting a video on social media promoting fake news. According to a statement from the police authority, the video was intended to spread fear among community members. The statement said: “Dubai Police herby warns that spreading rumours is a serious offence that will be severely penalised as per Article 198 of the federal law concerning Information Technology – which states that any person who intentionally disseminates false or malicious news, stat…


2020-04-04

Leaders of the global oil industry are planning a crucial “virtual” summit next Monday amid ongoing volatility in crude prices and falling energy demand. The meeting follows a call from Saudi Arabia on Thursday for an urgent meeting and a round of telephone diplomacy last week involving the Kingdom, Russia and the US, as well as meetings between policymakers and oil industry executives....


The UAE National Disinfection Programme is to continue indefinitely. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Ministry of Interior have announced that new facilities and establishments across all seven emirates would be added to the plan. It will be up to local authorities in each emirate to draw up and implement their own respective plans....


South East Asia

2020-04-06

 Singaporean firm F&N Dairy Investment Pte Ltd has filed an offer to purchase more than 17.4 million shares in domestic dairy producer Vinamilk (HoSE: VNM).F&N Dairy Investment plans to purchase the shares via put-through or order-matching transactions from April 8 to May 7.If completed, the deal will increase the Singaporean firm’s ownership in Vinamilk to 18.69 percent, equal to 325.54 million shares, from 17.69 percent.F&N Dairy Investment had previously offered to buy the same amount o…


2020-04-06

Oakwood has promoted Lina Abdullah to the role of regional general manager, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand. This dual-role is in addition to her current position as general manager of Oakwood Hotel & Residence Sri Racha in Chonburi, Thailand. In her new capacity, Abdullah will oversee a cluster of six operating properties in Thailand, as well as pre-opening projects in Cambodia and Myanmar, while maintaining the growth of Oakwood’s portfolio in these countries.....


Changi Airport's Terminal 2 will suspend operations for 18 months from May 1, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact the aviation sector, Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan announced in Parliament on Monday (Apr 6).    Airlines currently operating at the 30-year-old terminal will be relocated to the airport's other three terminals, Mr Khaw said. Singapore Airlines will consolidate its operations at Terminal 3......


2020-04-05

The Ministry of Information and Communications has issued a directive and launched a campaign to “apply Vietnamese technology for digital life.” According to news reports, the key content of the campaign is to promote digital applications in all fields, create a digital life and create new opportunities to promote socio-economic development. The directive outlines ten key tasks, including developing a digital work environment, a health system, and a daily utility system, then training the s…


2020-04-05

The free service enables people to work, learn and enjoy their lifestyle at home True Corporation Plc has launched a cloud-based platform for remote working and learning services to cater to the trend of working from home in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The platform, known as True Virtual World, was launched on 23 March 2020. The free service enables people to work, learn and enjoy their lifestyle at home. The Chairman of the board for the corporation stated that the company has integ…


RESORTS World Sentosa (RWS) has temporarily suspended all of its attractions from April 6 until May 4 in line with the Singapore government's "circuit-breaker" measures, it said in a bourse filing on Monday. The latest measures, which include the closure of most workplaces, were announced by the government on Friday to combat the spread of the coronavirus....


2020-04-05

New investment up in the air as coronavirus spreads New hotels in Phuket scheduled to open in the first half have postponed plans indefinitely, while new investments are in doubt. Yet long-term investors remain bullish on the Andaman island. In 2020, Phuket was set to have 5,009 new rooms from 21 properties, adding 6% to the hotel supply. The majority of pipeline projects are in the upscale and mid-scale tiers, according to C9 Hotelworks, a Phuket-based hospitality and property consultancy....


2020-04-05

All passenger flights have been banned from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the aviation agency said on Friday. The ban came into effect on Saturday morning and will run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday....


Pertamina has guaranteed that domestic supplies of fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) remain secure, even as the state-owned oil and gas company implements a “work from home” policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said its stock of diesel and gasoline, including the highly demanded Pertalite gasoline brand, could last more than 22 days, which was “ a safe level”, Pertamina spokeswoman Fajriyah Usman said. Pertamina has also secured supply for its LPG cooking canisters for 1…


2020-04-05

The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2-caused acute respiratory disease (COVID -19) pandemic has cost many real estate firms trillions of VND from their market capitalisation value.Dat Xanh Group Joint Stock Company (DXG) is one of those to have suffered the greatest impacts of the pandemic, leading falling share prices.The price of DXG dropped strongly from 14,300 VND per share on January 2, 2020 to 7,770 VND on April 1, costing the group over 3.4 trillion VND (145.2 million USD) in its market c…


THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is warning the public against investing in groups looking to take advantage of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. In a statement yesterday, the SEC said there are at least 14 groups that have been flagged for trying to lure the public into unauthorized investment activities since the coronavirus outbreak started last month. These include MAGINVESTKA.ONLINE (MIK.O), Azenzo-Online, and President: Rodrigo Duterte Charity Foundation, which ha…


2020-04-05

As expected, due to the spread of COVID-19, the Philippine economy is now seen to grow at a lower rate in 2020 than originally forecast. Colliers International, in a new report, cited data from Oxford Economics which projects that the Philippine economy will grow by 3.9 percent in 2020 from its original estimate of 5.9 percent. However, Oxford Economics also expects a sharper recovery in 2021, with the country’s gross domestic product estimated to grow by 7.3 percent....


2020-04-05

Vietnam’s economic growth is expected to slow sharply in 2020 to 4.8 per cent from the initial supply shock to economic activity from the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent and ongoing drop in demand from Vietnam’s principal trade and investment partners, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today Economic growth decelerated to 3.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2020, from 6.8 per cent in the corresponding period in 2019. Travel and other restrictions imposed by the go…


2020-04-05

The price of pepper and cashew in southern Việt Nam is falling as demand has dropped due to the COVID-19 crisis, affecting farmers and businesses.  Currently, the price of pepper in the Central Highlands and southern Việt Nam is VNĐ34,500–37,500 (US$1.46–1.58) per kilo, the lowest in the past few years. Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province’s pepper is among the highest priced in the region, but its price dropped by VNĐ2,000 per kilo compared to last week.....


2020-04-05

 Vietnam exported 7.5 million tonnes of cement and clinker in the first quarter of this year, earning 291 million USD, reported from the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Exports witnessed strong decreases of nearly 40 percent in quantity and 20 percent in value compared to the same period last year due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and a global price decline. During the same period last year, the country shipped 12 million tonnes of cement and clinker abroad for 360 million USD....


Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) announced it has rolled out the country’s first-ever 5G mobile banking kiosk to different areas in the country to help make banking services more accessible to customers, amid the enhanced community quarantine implemented in Luzon. UnionBank said its “Bank on Wheels” is the “Philippines’s first 5G-powered air-conditioned banking kiosk in a mobile van that enables customers to conveniently and comfortably avail of banking services like balance i…


Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) said on Friday it was proposing to its board to form a $5 billion financing facility to help public and private sector entities navigate the coronavirus pandemic. The proposed crisis recovery facility is in response to urgent economic, financial and public health pressures, and to support a quick recovery after the current crisis, AIIB said in a statement. The facility will aim to help efforts to deal with both the health crisis — from…


2020-04-05

Telecommunications and digital service provider PLDT Inc. has assured its customers it would continue  to provide  vital communication services despite the constraints imposed by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. “Our customers need us now more than ever.  Our internet services and solutions power homes and businesses and keep families connected while maintaining social distance in these trying times,” PLDT executive vice president and chief revenue officer Al Panlilio said....


Singapore Airlines (SIA) will provide at least 300 "care ambassadors" to help fill a manpower gap at hospitals, in light of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.  Responding to CNA's queries on Friday (Apr 3), the national carrier said there is an "urgent and growing need to fill the manpower gap for the care of other patients as hospital nurses are re-directed from their original duties to care for patients infected with COVID-19". ....


2020-04-05

 In the face of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Wilcon Depot, the Philippines’ leading home improvement and construction supply retailer, releases a total of P100 million financial assistance to its employees and community partners during the month-long enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. Considering its employees as the company’s top asset, Wilcon allocates P80 million to support its affected workforce in spite of the discontinuation of work in corporate offices and s…