As the Centre works on an economic package, the Finance Ministry has reviewed the support extended by public sector banks (PSBs) to companies hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
As per the review, State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda have together sanctioned Rs 10,000 crore as immediate credit assistance, Business Standard reported.
PSBs have inbuilt financial assistance capabilities to aid companies and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). Officials have termed this a regular review, adding a discussion was also held on working capital reassessment, the newspaper said.
Feedback from the exercise would be utilised for formulating the economic package, the timeline on which was unclear, officials said.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Moneycontrol could not immediately verify the report.
An SBI executive told the business daily that establishing the impact of the viral outbreak was important in availing relief loans. There was no elaborate scrutiny as these were emergency loans, they added.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in India now stand at 31,332. The death toll is at 1,007. Globally, 31.1 lakh cases have been confirmed and at least 2.16 lakh people have died of the virus that was first reported in China late 2019.