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Government borrowed £62BILLION in April the highest on record

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The scale of the coronavirus hit on the public finances was laid bare today with figures showing the government borrowed a record £62.1 billion in April.

The eye-watering figure was the highest for any month on record, amid desperate moves to bail out millions of workers and businesses.  

It was even higher than analysts had predicted, with a consensus of economists predicting £30.7billion for the month.

The sum is thought to have pushed total public debt to the brink of the £2trillion mark for the first time – roughly the same size as the entire economy. 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1 billion higher than the same month last year

The figures appear to be even worse than the doomladen estimates produced by the independent OBR watchdog last week

The figures appear to be even worse than the doomladen estimates produced by the independent OBR watchdog last week

The figures appear to be even worse than the doomladen estimates produced by the independent OBR watchdog last week

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said borrowing was £51.1billion higher than the same month last year. 

The sum for April was almost the same as the entire financial year from April 2019 to March this year – estimated at £62.7 billion.

Some £14billion of the borrowing came from the furlough scheme, the biggest of the government’s bailout. It is covering 80 per cent of income for around 7.5million employees, up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month.

Meanwhile, state borrowing in March 2020 has been revised up by £11.7billion to £14.7billion.

It said this was driven by a reduction in previous estimates of tax receipts and National Insurance contributions.

It comes after the Chancellor stepped up financial support for businesses and employees after vast areas of the economy were forced to halt due to the coronavirus lockdown.

As a result of the jump in borrowing, public sector debt rose to £1,887.6 billion at the end of April – £118.4billion higher than April 2019.

The ONS said that the Government borrowed £62.7billion over the 12 months to the end of March, representing a £22.5 billion rise on the previous year. 

The Office of Budget Responsibility has warned that the government could borrow £300billion this year.  

Apocalyptic predictions from the Bank and England and others show the UK is on track for the worst recession in 300 years, when the Great Frost swept Europe

Apocalyptic predictions from the Bank and England and others show the UK is on track for the worst recession in 300 years, when the Great Frost swept Europe

Apocalyptic predictions from the Bank and England and others show the UK is on track for the worst recession in 300 years, when the Great Frost swept Europe

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Coronavirus LIVE: India records 6,977 cases in a single day; China 51

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Coronavirus update: India has overtaken Iran to become 10th worst affected country. Globally, there are 5,497,650 Covid-19 cases. Stay tuned with Business Standard for LIVE updates on Covid-19 cases Source: Business Standard

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Hockey icon, three-time Olympic gold medalist, Balbir Singh Sr. passes away

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One of the country’s greatest athletes, Balbir Sr was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history

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Hockey India

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning hockey legend Balbir Singh Dosanjh, also known as Balbir Singh Sr., died in Chandigarh on Monday after battling multiple health issues for over two weeks.

The iconic player was 95 and is survived by his daughter Sushbir and three sons Kanwalbir, Karanbir, Gurbir.

“He died at around 6:30 this morning,” Abhijit Singh, Director Fortis Hospital, Mohali, where he was admitted on May 8, told PTI.

Balbir Sr was in a semi-comatose state since May 18 and had developed a blood clot in his brain after being first admitted to the hospital for bronchial pneumonia with a high fever.

One of the country’s greatest athletes, Balbir Sr was the only Indian among 16 legends chosen by the International Olympic Committee across modern Olympic history. His world record for most goals scored by an individual in the men’s hockey final of the Olympics still remains unbeaten.

He was the part of three Olympic gold medal winning teams in 1948 (London),1952 (Helsinki) and Melbourne (1956). He was the captain of the Indian team that won the gold medal at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 by beating Pakistan in the final.

First Published: Mon, May 25 2020. 08:34 IST

Source: Business Standard

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Domestic air travel, international arrivals: Check guideline details here

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The guidelines include installing the Aarogya Setu app on the passenger’s mobile devices, mandatory thermal check-ups at the entry and exit points of all the airports

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Coronavirus | domestic flights | international flights

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Domestic passenger flights are scheduled to resume from Monday, after a hiatus of two months – ever since the nationwide lockdown was announced. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued new guidelines for both domestic travel and international arrivals.

The Indian Railways has also listed 100 pairs of trains, like Durontos, Sampark Krantis, Jan Shatabdis and Poorva Express, that will operate from June 1.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus LIVE

The guidelines include installing the Aarogya Setu app on the passenger’s mobile devices, mandatory thermal check-ups at the entry and exit points of all the airports, railway stations and bus terminals, and ensuring the availability of soaps and sanitizers everywhere.

International/ Domestic travel:

  • For international travel, before boarding, all travellers should give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days – 7 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 7 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health. Home quarantining of passengers will be permitted for 14 days, in exceptional cases.

For domestic travel, all asymptomatic passengers will be permitted to go with the advice that they will self-monitor their health for 14 days, and inform the authorities if they develop any symptoms.

  • Dos and Don’ts will be provided along with tickets to the travelers by the agencies concerned.
  • Use of the Arogya Setu app made mandatory, while only asymptomatic travelers will be allowed to board after the thermal screening. The screening is also made mandatory at the exit points.
  • Everyone will have to sign a self-declaration form about his/her health, a copy of which will be given to Health and Immigration officials present at the airport/ seaport/ Iandport.
  • Precautionary measures such as environmental sanitation and disinfection should be carried out at the airports and the flights, all possible measures to ensure social distancing to be ensured.
  • Wearing of masks, environmental/ respiratory/ hand hygiene should be observed by everyone.
  • For domestic and international travel, passengers showing mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public & private facilities) as appropriate and tested as per ICMR protocol.

    If tested positive, they will continue in Covid Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol. If negative, the passenger may be allowed to go home, isolate him/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further 7 days.

    While in home isolation, if any symptoms develop the passengers should inform the district surveillance officer or call the state/ call center at 1075.

“States can also develop their own protocol with regards to quarantine and isolation as per their assessment, in case any domestic or international traveller shows symptoms of Covid-19,” the guidelines added.

First Published: Mon, May 25 2020. 07:07 IST

Source: Business Standard

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