Addressing close to 250 participants of the Indo-Canadian business corridor, Hon’ble Rajya Sabha member, India’s Sherpa for G20 & G7 nations and former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, revealed that the Government of India was working on an “aggressive strategy to attract FDI into India” in the Covid-19 aftermath. Shri Prabhu made the comments at the fifth Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC) hosted Webinar themed Fostering Trade Relations Post COVID-19, on Thursday. He was accompanied as lead speaker by Mr. Victor Fedeli, Hon’ble Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (Ontario, Canada).
Other key attendees of the webinar included Shri Ajay Bisaria, India’s High Commissioner to Canada; Victor T.Thomas, the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canada-India Business Council (C-IBC) in Toronto; Ms. Kashmira Mewawala, Head – Business Development and Chief Ethics Counsellor – TATA CAPITAL; Mr. Jaimin Shah, CEO & MD of Dev Information Technology Limited; Mr. Sandeep Asthana, Country Head of Sunlife Capital and Mr. Rakesh Aerath, Senior Vice-President and Business Unit Leader – Asia Pacific Financial Services Delivery Centre of CGI, among others. Ms. Nadira Hamid, CEO of ICBC, moderated the hour-long discussion.
Shri Prabhu also recognized the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes it would bring to global business and trade practises, while outlining eight key areas of enhanced cooperation between India and Canada going forward. He specifically listed out High-Tech, Financial Services, Capital Investment, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Environment, Logistics and Trade Promotion as those that would see a major uptick between the two countries.
Minister Fedeli, while sharing various measures adopted both by the Canadian Federal Government and the Provincial Government of Ontario to protect jobs and livelihood, also hinted at a virtual platform to further foster trade between the two economies.
Responding to a question Minister Fedeli said, “We might have to do virtual trade shows as we rely so much on imports from Indian manufacturers. We are looking aggressively at a B2B bridge”.
Addressing Jaimin Shah’s question on steps taken by Canada to help Non-IT businesses adopt IT in the COVID-19 aftermath, the Minister said, “Ontario is the number two IT cluster in the whole of North America, after the Silicon Valley. I live in a town of 4,800 people and am able to communicate flawlessly with just three devices because of this robust system. So yes, there will be lots of changes in both IT and Non-IT sector. For the purpose we have the Ontario Together fund of Canadian $50mn available for companies.”
On questions from Mr. Aerath and Mr. Shah on support and relief measures for businesses and SMEs in India, Shri Prabhu said, “The Prime Minister has constituted a task force headed by the Finance Minister which is looking specifically into this and I am sure it will be communicated to the right people soon.”
The Webinar was also attended by key ICBC member representatives like Mr. Arun Pandeya, Country Head & GM – India Sub-continent of Air Canada, Kapil Malhotra and Ravikant Tiwari from the Ontario Office in India, Canadian Wood, as well as Government officials of Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick Provinces of Canada.
Alankit Ltd. is no Longer a Facilitation Centre Service Provider for NSDL e-Gov
NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Ltd. (NSDL e-Gov) has terminated the agreement with Alankit Ltd. as a Tax Information Network facilitator (TIN FC)/PAN Centre. Alankit Ltd. is no longer a facilitation centre service provider for NSDL e-Gov and cannot provide services on its behalf for accepting and processing PAN applications, e-TDS/e-TCS Statements etc. The termination is on account of non- remittance of PAN applications fees and TDS filing fees collected from applicants/filers to NSDL e-Gov.
Anyone desiring to apply for a PAN card or for making ‘Change Requests’ in a PAN Card can visit any of NSDL e-Gov’s 17,209 centres across the country or use Online services available on www.tin-nsdl.com. Also, e-TDS/e-TCS Statements filers can submit their Returns/Statements through any of the 4,142 centres across the country. A complete list of all NSDL e-Gov’s TIN facilitation centres/PAN Centres is available on the aforesaid website.
For any query/grievance relating to PAN /e-TDS Statements services provided by NSDL e-Gov, Applicants/Filers can send an email to email@example.com
PM Modi Announced Lockdown Extension which will now Continue till 3rd May
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today announced the extension of lockdown till 3rd May, 2020. The earlier 21 day lockdown is ending on the 14th of April 2020. Addressing the Nation in combating the spread of the corona virus, PM said the extension of lockdown was decided keeping in mind suggestions from many states, experts and the people. He requested people to continue maintaining vigil and to adhere to social distancing during this lockdown.
Prime Minister also suggested that those areas which are of low risk may be permitted to open up for certain specific activities from 20th April 2020. PM said, “Until 20th April, every town, every police station, every district, every state will be evaluated on how much the lockdown is being followed. Areas that succeed in this litmus test, those which will not be in the hot-spot category, and will have less likelihood to turn into a hot-spot maybe allowed to open up select necessary activities from 20thApril”. “However, permissions will be withdrawn immediately if lockdown rules are broken, and if there is threat of spread of Coronavirus” he cautioned.
A detailed guidelines will be issued by the Government tomorrow in this regard. The Easing of restrictions in the low risk areas is being done keeping in mind the difficulties being faced by the poor and daily wage earners, he said. “Those who earn daily, make ends meet with daily income, they are my family. One of my top-most priorities is to reduce the difficulties in their lives. The government has made every possible effort to help them through Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojna. Their interests have also been taken care of while making the new guidelines” he said.
Prime Minister mentioned that India had been pro-active even before a single case of COVID -19 surfaced in the country. He said, the screening of the international passengers, 14 day mandatory isolation of the international travellers, shutting of malls, clubs, gyms were taken at very early stages. Prime Minister said India also proactively went into a nation wide lock down which was ending on the 14th April.
Prime Minister said India has benefitted from Lockdown. He said notwithstanding the economic travails being faced, it is clearly the correct path as it protected so many lives in the country. “From an economic only point of view, it undoubtedly looks costly right now; but measured against the lives of Indian citizens, there is no comparison itself. The path that India has taken within our limited resources has become a topic of discussion in the entire world today”, he said.
He assured the country that there are ample reserves of medicines, food and other essential goods. Prime Minister also assured that the health infrastructure is being further strengthened.
“From having only one testing lab for Coronavirus in January, we now have more than 220 functional testing labs. Global experience shows that 1,500-1,600 beds are required for every 10,000 patients. In India, we have arranged more than 1 Lakh beds today. Not only this, there are more than 600 hospitals which are dedicated for Covid treatment. As we speak, these facilities are being increased even more rapidly” he said.
News Source: PIB
StrandedinIndia Portal Rescues Thousands of Tourist During Lockdown
The StrandedinIndia portal of the Ministry of Tourism continues to provide support to the tourists. Till 9th April the number of tourists who have been assisted are 1194. In addition the regular toll free helpline 1363 which the MOT runs has had 779 calls from 22 March to 9th April.
Beside this the Ministry officials are working round the clock with the tourism and hospitality industry to understand the immediate and long term issues that are coming up as an impact of COVID-19. It is a fact that because of lockdowns and with no travel possible, the industry is being badly hit. Therefore it is the time to evaluate, introspect and think about the way forward.
The Director General of Ministry of Tourism, Smt. Meenakshi Sharma in a webinar organised by the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India spoke of the country’s need to prioritise containing the spread of the pandemic. She said that the government is sensitive to the needs of the citizens on the marginal levels of existence and everything is being done to assist them in this grim period. The Association requested the Ministry to come out with guidelines on how to sanitize camps, how to run trekking lodges and such related issues. Mrs Sharma agreed with the need to come out with the guidelines. She also emphasised on the potential of domestic tourism and the impact that social media has in capturing the imagination of potential travellers as the way forward for the sector as we gradually come out of the impact of COVID-19.
Similar webinars are being organised by FICCI and other Tourism related bodies and at every platform the ideas are being actively discussed on the roadmap for promotion of Incredible India. The popularity of the webinars shows that industry and citizens are very positive and keen to work together to come out stronger out of the situation.
News Source: PIB
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