Indian states waive labor laws under cover of coronavirus crisis

BANGALORE/LUCKNOW — Workers in a number of Indian states where the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi rules are worried about business-friendly changes to labor laws.

Modi urged heads of the states last month to prompt Indian companies doing business in China to come home. Two days later, he chaired a meeting with the central cabinet to discuss how to attract foreign investors and promote local investment. The meeting focused on removing hurdles to starting a business.

Since then, nine states have relaxed labor laws, including the most populous northern state of Uttar Pradesh, centrally located Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka

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Japan small business aid would cover two-thirds rent for 6 months

TOKYO — Japan’s ruling party is proposing to cover two-thirds of rent for small businesses for up to six months to help them survive a drop in revenue during the coronavirus outbreak.

The subsidy would start next month, with a monthly cap of 500,000 yen ($4,700) for small and mid-size companies and 250,000 yen for mom-and-pop operations, according to a proposal drafted Thursday. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party will discuss the plan with coalition partner Komeito on Friday before making a recommendation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

To qualify for the subsidy, businesses must have suffered a 30% or more

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Consumers are still paying thousands for health cover insurers cannot provide

People who have private medical insurance are having to pay hundreds of pounds a month in premiums even though they are highly unlikely to get private treatment if they are injured or ill.

The entire independent healthcare sector has effectively been incorporated into the NHS to help in the fight against coronavirus.

It means those who pay thousands of pounds a year for on-demand private healthcare will receive only the most urgent forms of care such as life-saving operations or cancer treatments, as long as private hospitals still have capacity.

Other operations and treatments have been deferred and social distancing

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