Current Affairs in Short: 1 April 2020
All Indian states have been asked to implement Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana within the next week.
Andhra Pradesh to deliver pensions to over 58 lakh beneficiaries
• The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to distribute pensions worth around Rs 1,395 crore to 58,44,240 beneficiaries through door-to-door delivery.
• The state government will be using its 2.5 lakh volunteer force, which had successfully implemented the two phases of door-to-door surveys.
• The pension will be disbursed starting from April 1, 2020. The decision is expected to benefit many people including widows, old-aged persons and single women.
• While old people, toddy tappers, single women, widows, fishermen, weavers, traditional cobblers and folk artists will get an amount worth Rs 2,250, people with disabilities, dappu artists and transgenders will receive an amount of Rs 3,000.
• Besides this, those who are suffering from chronic diseases or are undergoing kidney dialysis at government and network hospitals will get an amount of Rs 10,000.
States to implement Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana
• All the Indian states have been asked to implement Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Yojana within the next week.
• The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announced that the process will be carried out in a staggered manner to ensure social distancing. This move will involve large cash transfers to the beneficiaries.
• This was shared during a meeting organised by Cabinet Secretary with all the Chief Secretaries and DGPs of the states on April 1, 2020. The concerned officials were also sensitised about increasing contact tracing of Tablighi Jamat participants, which was put the COVID-19 containment efforts at risk.
Government regulates 24 classes of medical devices as Drugs for quality control
• The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has revised the ceiling price of 883 scheduled formulations. The authority in its meeting noted that the supply disruption caused by COVID-19 outbreak of active pharmaceutical ingredients is now returning to normalcy.
• The government is regulating 24 classes of medical devices that have been notified and regulated as drugs under Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945.
• For the remaining non-scheduled medical devices that are notified and regulated as drugs, the NPPA is monitoring MRPs to ensure that no manufacturer and importers can increase the price more than ten percent in the preceding twelve months.
• Besides this, all medical devices shall be governed under the provisions of the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 2013 which come into effect from today. The government will be doing quality checking and price monitoring.
Public sector banks announce 3-month moratorium on loan payments
• The Public sector banks have announced deferment of EMI payments on loans to customers for a period of three months due to the COVID-19 crisis.
• The RBI had earlier urged all the lending institutions to allow a three-month moratorium on loan payments.
• The public sector banks such as the State Bank of India, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab and Sind Bank and Canara Bank have announced the offer of the moratorium to customers through tweets.
DGCA allows cargo operations using passenger category aircraft
• The Director General of Civil Aviation on April 1, 2020 granted special permission to conduct cargo operations using passenger category aircraft in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
• The decision was taken to meet the increasing demand for cargo operations for transportation of essential goods and medical equipment during the lockdown period.
• However, the type of cargo to be carried shall have to be per the current government directive and transportation of dangerous goods including oxygen canister, lithium batteries will not be allowed.