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COVID-19 impact: Assocham seeks wage support, interest subsidy to help industry

The association suggested that the surplus funds of ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation) should be used for providing wage support measures/stimulus packages for the employees.

June 02, 2021 / 05:41 PM IST

Industry chamber Assocham on Wednesday recommended the government to extend relief measures such as regulatory easing, wage support, and interest subsidy for the MSMEs which are reeling under the severe impact of COVID 19.

As the states are in the process of easing lockdowns, the trade and industry would need all-around support to pick up their business thread again, it said.

It has suggested that the surplus funds of ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation) should be used for providing wage support measures/stimulus packages for the employees.

"This is time to support and spend without giving too much focus on the fiscal parameters. I am sure, the RBI and the government are constantly working on innovative solutions to keep infusing cash into the system despite understandable revenue pressures," it said.

It added that the government and the RBI should 'consider an interest subvention scheme with validity till March 31, 2022, especially, for the micro and small business segment.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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For providing relief to the worst-hit hospitality sector, the chamber suggested allowing GST Input Credit for restaurants.

"For giving a much-needed boost to the realty sector, it has recommended reduction in stamp duty as also property tax by half at least for three years," it said.
PTI
first published: Jun 2, 2021 05:41 pm

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