Alert: India Coronavirus Update

March 29, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

Today, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued additional guidelines on the movement of essential goods and services issued on March 24 and March 25, stating that transportation of all goods will now be allowed without the distinction of “essential and non-essential”. [See notification here]

Additionally, per recent directives by the Government of India, states and union territories will have to ensure safety for migrant workers by ensuring arrangement of shelters, and employers are requested to pay their workers with no wage deductions due to the lockdown. See consolidated notice here.

Wishing you all good health in these unprecedented circumstances.

-Team USISPF 

Contact: 

Dr. Mukesh Aghi
President and CEO
US-India Strategic Partnership Forum 

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

March 27, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

This morning [March 27], RBI Governor, Shaktikanta Das addressed the media, announcing measures to safeguard the Indian economy from the impact of the pandemic by way of:

  • Expanding liquidity in the system to ensure that financial markets and institutions are able to function normally in the face of COVID-related dislocations;
  • Reinforcing monetary transmission so that bank credit flows on easier terms are sustained to those who have been affected by the pandemic;
  • Easing financial stress caused by COVID-19 disruptions by relaxing repayment pressures and improving access to working capital; and
  • Improving the functioning of markets in view of the high volatility experienced with the onset and spread of the pandemic.

See press release here. Please reach out to Nelson Chaudhuri for further details on the new provisions. 

Additionally, since yesterday, the Ministry of Home Affairs has now included several other categories of essential goods and services, related to agricultural operations, exempted under the Disaster Management Act. See addendum here.

Wishing you all good health!

-Team USISPF

Contact: 

Dr. Mukesh Aghi
President and CEO
US-India Strategic Partnership Forum 

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

March 26, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

This morning [March 26], India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled Rs 1.7 lakh-crore fiscal stimulus package to help low income and migrant workers tackle the economic fallout arising from the COVID-19 outbreak by providing direct cash transfers and food-security related measures. See press release here. Prime Minister Modi also led a virtual G20 leaders’ summit to forge a globally coordinated response against COVID-19. See press release here.

Action required: We would like to showcase efforts being undertaken by our members companies to help governments in India, United States, and across the world combat COVID-19. Please share your efforts with us at [email protected]

We are tracking some of the recent orders and notifications issued by the Government of India for your reference:

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has issued standard operating procedures for maintaining supply of essential goods and services during the lockdown. See guidelines here.

Wishing you all good health!

Contact: 

Dr. Mukesh Aghi
President and CEO
US-India Strategic Partnership Forum 

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

March 25, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

Following the announcement of a 21 day nationwide lockdown in India, a high level meeting of Group of Ministers was held in New Delhi today [March 25] to discuss prevention and management of COVID-19, actions being taken by states, strengthening capacity of states with adequate resources while also ensuring essential services remain open. See press release here.

Additionally, we continue to track some of the recent orders and notifications issued by the Government of India for your reference:

  • India launches official COVID-19 tracker to provide real time updates on the evolving health situation. See link here.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a notification to extend the regular visa and e-visa of those foreigners who are currently in India and unable to leave the country due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, until April 15, stating that “Regular visa, e-visa or stay stipulation of all foreign nationals which have expired or would be expiring during the period from March 13 (midnight) to April 15 (midnight) would be extended till midnight of April 14 on ‘Gratis’ basis after making online application by the foreigner.
  • List of essential services that will remain open during the 21 day lockdown period are listed here. Addendum to the guidelines issued are here.
  • Online delivery services have been in exempted as essential services in Gurugram. See order here.

Should you require any further assistance as it relates to your business operation, travel advisories, or advocacy with state governments please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact: 

Dr. Mukesh Aghi
President and CEO
US-India Strategic Partnership Forum 

Urgent Input requested: Businesses seeking exemptions during COVID19 lockdown in India

March 24, 2020

Urgent Input requested: Businesses seeking exemptions during COVID19 lockdown in India

We hope you and and your families are safe and healthy during these extraordinarily challenging times. As many of you are aware, the Government of India has announced a national lockdown for the next 21 days all across the country. Every state, district, and village across India will be under lockdown, at a time when the number of positive Covid-19 cases are increasing across the nation. 


We recognize that this lockdown will cause serious disruption to your business operations. In the past few days, we have successfully managed to get exemptions for some of our member companies through advocacy to various state governments. 

Action required: If your business continues to seek exemptions as an essential service under these evolving circumstances, please send us your inputs by March 25, 3 pm IST, to my colleagues Sid Aryan and Bettina Cherian

Additionally, we have put together some of the recent orders and notifications issued by the Government of India for your reference:

  • Press release from Prime Minister Modi’s announcement of nation wide lockdown. 
  • Government of India issues orders prescribing lockdown for containment of COVID-19. See press release here. Link to the order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs is here. Link to the guidelines issued by Ministry of Home Affairs on the measures to be taken by Ministries/ Departments of Government of India, State/Union Territory Governments and State/ Union Territory Authorities for containment of COVID19.
  • Complete list of permitted and prohibited activities in these circumstances included here

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. 

Contact: 

Dr. Mukesh Aghi
President and CEO
US-India Strategic Partnership Forum 

Important India Coronavirus Update

March 22, 2020

Important India Coronavirus Update

The Government of India has decided to completely shut down 75 districts across the country where coronavirus cases have been reported. In addition, different state governments have also put in place their own shut downs. (Full list of districts can be viewed at this link and press release here.)

[ACTION REQUIRED]: Given the challenging situation, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has posted a simple form on their website to ascertain the readiness of companies to deal with the threat of COVID-19. The form can be accessed here, with request to ALL COMPANIES to fill this out starting March 23.

Some other developments of note are included below:

  • The state government of Delhi notified a lockdown in Delhi from 6:00 am on Monday, March 23 to midnight of Tuesday, March 31, that includes no public transport services and closure of all shops, factories, offices, commercial establishments. The order issued by Delhi Police can be viewed here.
  • The state government of Maharashtra has issued containment orders that include closure of public spaces and corporations. (see order here.)
  • USISPF is in communication with different State governments requesting the exemption of certain parts of services industry from the above orders to ensure least disruption to global institutions that rely on India for its vital IT, R&D, and BPO functions. Please write to Nelson Chaudhuri to obtain a copy of the letter.
  • Department of Consumer Affairs has exempted ecommerce operations from prohibitory orders to avoid panic and disruption in supply of goods and services to citizens. (Link to letter here.)

Should you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028 

Urgent Input Requested: USISPF Representation on Mission Critical Business Disruption due to COVID-19

March 20, 2020

Urgent Input Requested: USISPF Representation on Mission Critical Business Disruption due to COVID-19

From everyone on the USISPF team, we wish and your family the best through these extraordinarily challenging times. Daily life has been upended and will likely remain so for some time, but we want you to know that USISPF team remains available to you via email, phone or video conference.

While we have taken all the necessary precautions by cutting down non-essential travel, working from home and doing our part in flattening the curve through social distancing, we also understand that these are extenuating circumstances for our member companies.

For many business entities and essential services providers, an option to work from home will not be feasible due to the complexities involved in the world of global business deliverables.

Additionally, some of you may also be facing supply chain disruptions, workforce mobility issues due to travel advisories, and other challenges.

We also understand that meeting the March 31, 2020 (financial year-end) deadline in India for tax and accounting compliances maybe challenging for some businesses.

In light of the above, we are preparing an urgent representation to the Government of India apprising them of any critical business challenges that are arising due to the current situation. We will take your concerns (both national and state-level) to the relevant ministries, state governments, and departments.

Please send your responses in below format to [email protected].

  • Company Name
  • State and City
  • Executive In-charge
  • Mission Critical Task
  • Delivery Location
  • Number of employees
  • Precautions taken by the Company

There is no precedent for the challenge we have at hand, however our aim is to provide our members and government stakeholders with business continuity in the safest and best possible manner.

Stay safe and healthy!

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028 

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

March 19, 2020

Alert: India Coronavirus Update

This morning (EST), Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation, assuring citizens on the steps being taken by the government to battle the outbreak of the coronavirus and calling on Indians for a self-imposed curfew on Sunday, March 22. Please click here to see the video highlights and text of Prime Minister Modi’s speech.

Some additional points of regarding travel restrictions and guidelines for social distancing practices are below:

In continuation of travel advisories issued on March 11, March 16, and March 17, no scheduled international commercial passenger aircraft shall take off from any foreign airport for any airport in India, starting March 22 until March 29, 2020. Read press release here and additional information here.
As a precaution, maximum employees are being requested to work from home. (See advisory below).
Should you require any further assistance. please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028 

India’s Travel Advisory Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

March 11, 2020

India's Travel Advisory Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

We want to bring to your attention a recent statement issued by the Government of India regarding travel into the country due to the spread of COVID-19.

Please click here to see the full statement.

Some points of note are below: 

  • All existing visas, except diplomatic, official, UN/International Organizations, employment, project visas, stand suspended till 15th April 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
  • Visa free travel facility granted to OCI card holders is kept in abeyance till April 15th 2020. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
  • All incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, arriving from or having visited China, Italy, Iran, Republic of Korea, France, Spain and Germany after 15th February, 2020 shall be quarantined for a minimum period of 14 days. This will come into effect from 1200 GMT on 13th March 2020 at the port of departure.
  • Incoming travelers, including Indian nationals, are advised to avoid non-essential travel and are informed that they can be quarantined for a minimum of 14 days on their arrival in India.Indian nationals are strongly advised to avoid all non-essential travel abroad. On their return, they can be subjected to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

Should you require any further assistance as it relates to the Embassy of India, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Contact: 

Sukanya Sen
[email protected]
240-899-4028