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Daily briefing: Bihar will not quarantine migrants, Parliament might see change in seating plan

The upcoming Parliament monsoon session is likely to see a few changes in seating. Lok Sabha members might get to sit in the Central Hall and Rajya Sabha MPs in the Lok Sabha chamber. There is also the possibility of an e-Parliament.

Written by Leela Prasad | New Delhi | Updated: June 2, 2020 9:30:10 am

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The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of another Distressed Asset Fund for MSMEs whose corpus can rise up to Rs 20,000 crore. This means the government will provide a partial credit guarantee to any subordinate debt availed by stressed small companies whose loans have been classified as NPAs. Meanwhile, a survey with a sample size of 46,525 respondents including MSMEs revealed that more than a third of them do not see any grounds for recovery and are on the verge of winding up.

In related news, ratings agency Moody’s downgraded India’s sovereign ratings from Baa2 to Baa3, the lowest rating in investment grade.

Not so long ago Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the most prominent members of the White House Covid-19 task force, was excited about the benefits of using remdesivir to treat the virus. But he had later conceded that clinical trials only showed modest benefits. Now, India’s top regulatory body approved its use in severe Covid cases. 

In an interview with The Indian Express, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal was asked whether his ministry should have paid for the fares of the migrants. His answer: for every Rs 100 it spends, it is recovering less than Rs 15. “But it’s not about that,” he says.

The upcoming Parliament monsoon session is likely to see a few changes in seating. Lok Sabha members might get to sit in the Central Hall and Rajya Sabha MPs in the Lok Sabha chamber. There is also the possibility of an e-Parliament. The only roadblock: 800-odd MPs need tech support.

Of the 3,872 confirmed cases in Bihar, 2,743 are migrants who have returned after May 3. But from today migrants returning to the state will not be registered or quarantined, according to a government decision. And its health department is distributing condoms among migrant workers who are leaving for home after 14-day institutional quarantine and to those in home quarantine.

There is a storm brewing in the Arabian sea. It is predicted to intensify into a severe cyclone, ‘Nisarga’,  and make landfall tomorrow close to south of Mumbai. You can find the latest weather updates here, and also learn more about how big the threat is here.

Pratap Bhanu Mehta writes: “The explosion of protest, violence, rioting, curfews and brutal police crackdowns in the wake of George Floyd’s suffocation by police in Minneapolis is another chapter in the long history of a democracy whose self-image often cloaks its more sordid realities.”

The Home Ministry’s switch to swadeshi products at its canteens for Central Armed Police Forces, in line with PM Modi’s “vocal for local” pitch, did not get off to a good start. An order issued to effectively ban the sale of over 1,000 “imported” products from June 1 now stands withdrawn.

🎧 In this episode of Three Things podcast, Apurva Vishwanath talks about how Indian courts are functioning right now, the challenges they are facing, and the role of the judiciary in a crisis like this.

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