The significant step that stood out were the conditional approval to interstate movement of passenger vehicles and buses with “mutual consent” of the states and the Union Territories (UTs) involved.(PTI photo)
The significant step that stood out were the conditional approval to interstate movement of passenger vehicles and buses with “mutual consent” of the states and the Union Territories (UTs) involved.(PTI photo)

Rules eased as lockdown 4.0 begins, Centre announces final tranche of stimulus: Covid-19 news today

Here is a preview of the top Covid-19 news today from India and the world.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON MAY 18, 2020 08:21 AM IST

The government announced on Sunday new guidelines with considerable relaxations for the fourth phase of the lockdown, allowing conditional interstate travel, the opening of markets as well as the resumption of autos and app-based cab operators. The Centre also allowed states to define their red, orange and green zones. Earlier in the day, the Centre announced the fifth and final tranche of a Rs 20,97,053-crore stimulus package, approving a substantial hike in states’ borrowing limit while also allocating Rs 40,000 crore for the rural job scheme, among other steps.

States to fix zones in lockdown 4.0

The government on Sunday lifted several stringent curbs, including that on interstate travel and some local transport such as buses, and announced that state governments will grade zones based on the prevalence of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, while it also extended the nationwide lockdown imposed in March-end to stop the spread of the contagion till May 31. Read more

States, Union Territories to demarcate zones

The Centre transferred powers to states and Union Territories to demarcate red, orange, and green zones for carrying out Covid-19 containment activities from Monday, according to a letter by home secretary Ajay Bhalla to chief secretaries of all states. Read more

NREGA outlay, cap on state borrowing hiked in fifth round

Concluding the government’s five-part policy reform and fiscal incentive package worth a total of Rs 20,97,053 crore, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday announced a 66% jump in the allocated budget for the flagship rural job guarantee scheme; a substantial hike in the borrowing limit for states; a new plan that aims to end the monopoly of public sector enterprises (PSEs) and open up sectors for private participation; and substantial ease of compliance for businesses, including relaxations in the insolvency and bankruptcy framework. Read more

Will farmers get a better deal after recent reforms?

The government has announced major agricultural policy changes as part of the economic package it has unveiled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. These include deregulation of farm foods from the Essential Commodities Act (ECA). Read more

Economic package will have multiplier effect, says FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Over five days, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the specific contours of a Rs 20 lakh crore economic package to help the Indian economy overcome the immediate crisis caused by the pandemic and the lockdown imposed to control its spread, as well as lay the foundations for a “self-reliant India”. Read more

Eye on China, India backs 62-nation coalition’s push for probe into Covid-19 origin

India has backed calls to identify how the Sars-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 was transmitted from animals to humans and conduct an ‘impartial’ evaluation of the World Health Organisation’s response to the pandemic, according to a draft resolution proposed for the WHO’s annual meet beginning tomorrow. Read more

Long wait and hope mark rail journeys of migrants to home

In 2001, Chinak Pherai Nishad left home. A resident of Gidhaura village of Siddhartha Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh, the 20-year-old aced his school and college examinations but found no well-paying job in the sparse economy of the Gangetic heartland. Read more

Protest by migrants stokes traffic chaos after UP govt seals borders

The Yogi Adityanath government’s decision to seal the state’s borders took hundreds of migrant workers at the Uttar Pradesh heading home by surprise, leading to chaos at many points. Read more

550 districts in India have Covid-19 cases; many in rural areas

Even as India relaxed restrictions for the next phase of the lockdown, two separate, but related, data points point to a new challenge in India’s battle against the coronavirus pandemic. On May 17, 550 of India’s 736 districts had Covid-19 positives cases, an addition of around 180 districts in the last fortnight, according to data on the disease compiled from different states. Read more

Govt guideline on opening stadiums raises IPL hopes

Indian sports received a boost on Sunday after the Centre allowed stadiums to function in its directives for lockdown 4.0, opening a window for the postponed Indian Premier League to be held later in the year. Read more

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