Independent Goa MLA Rohan Khaunte on Sunday hit out at Chief Minister Pramod Sawant after 11 passengers, who came to the Union Territory (UT) on the special Delhi Thiruvananthapuram train on Saturday, tested positive for coronavirus, reported PTI. The COVID 19 count in the UT now stands at 66. He said state health minister Vishwajit Rane’s proposal for mandatory COVID 19 negative certificates for air passengers must be respected by the chief minister..
Small and medium size Canadian businesses pummelled by the near shutdown of the economy received a sought after lifeline from the federal government Friday, with Ottawa pledging to subsidize up to 75 per cent of wages, to provide access to one year interest free loans, and to broaden tax deferrals to include sales tax until June.The multi billion dollar program, which aims to keep businesses going and employees paid until the economy gets moving again, includes boosting an earlier pledge to cover just 10 per cent of payroll.The wage subsidy is retroactive to March 15 and was welcomed by industry groups including the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which had been pushing for the higher subsidy to match support offered in other jurisdictions hard hit by measures aimed at containing the spread of COVID 19.Bank of Canada ventures into uncharted territory to fight coronavirus falloutBank of Canada cuts rate for third time to 0.25% in bid to shield economy from coronavirus fallout’It will no doubt get worse’: Canadian unemployment rate may already top 10 per cent, as global jobless claims surgeBeyond the wage subsidy, the program unveiled Friday represents about $95 billion in support, including tax deferrals which will free up an estimated $30 billion in near term liquidity for businesses, according to economists at TD Bank.The creation of a $25 billion Canada Emergency Business Account program will give Canada small business access to government backed bank loans of up to $40,000, interest free for the first year, of which $10,000 will be forgivable.An additional $12.5 billion will be available through Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada to assist businesses facing operational cash flow crunches and requiring capital to stay viable.Despite widespread praise for the aid program, two of Canada stock exchanges say thousands of small and medium size business that are publicly traded may not be eligible for the government aid, as it appeared they were not included in the earlier wage subsidy.John McKenzie, interim chief executive of TMX Group Inc., which owns and operates the Toronto Stock Exchange, said Friday that he was waiting for clarification on whether the government made amendments to include small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), which account for roughly two thirds of around 3,200 firms listed on the main Toronto Stock Exchange and its venture bourse.Canadian SMEs, including public companies, should have access to these same support measures and any subsequent measures under consideration, said McKenzie, who wrote a letter to federal finance minister Bill Morneau this week urging him to reconsider the exclusion.All Canadian SMEs, including public companies, should have access to these same support measures and any subsequent measures under considerationJohn McKenzie, interim chief executive, TMX Group Inc.Richard Carleton, chief executive of The Canadian Securities Exchange, a listings and exchange rival to the Toronto Stock Exchange, said he hopes to meet with federal finance officials next week to seek aid for publicly traded firms that are suffering from the same pressures as their privately held counterparts.potential for substantial layoffs is equally high in both groups, he said, adding that it would be to deny this critical relief to the hundreds of public companies whose shares are listed on domestic stock exchanges. On initial details released by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday, Canadian Federation of Independent Business president Dan Kelly said the aid program won help every company or employee will help small firms retain hundreds of thousands of workers who would otherwise be laid off. Retroactive element will allow some small businesses that had already laid off workers to rehire them quickly, he added.have already heard from a few that will do just that, Kelly said, adding that businesses were also encouraged by Ottawa decision to make a portion of the newly available loans forgivable.Businesses are now awaiting important additional details, such as whether there are caps per employee and employer, and whether businesses must pay 100 per cent of regular wages, particularly if those are above any employee cap.