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Global Markets: House of Commons passes $82B aid package

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, March 25 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– The House of Commons in Canada approved a C$82 billion aid package in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Some of the items in the bill to combat the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic include: a C$2 billion boost for the Canada Child Benefit, up to C$10 billion for the new Emergency Care Benefit, up to C$5 billion for the new Emergency Support Benefit, and C$305 million for the new Indigenous Community Support Fund. Also, there will be a six-month interest-free reprieve on paying back student loans, extending the deadline to file personal income taxes to June 1, and the doubling of funding for the homeless care program. The bill now moves to the Senate for passage.

– Also early Wednesday morning, the White House and leaders from the United States Senate announced they reached an agreement to pass a US$2 trillion aid package to fight the economic ill-effects caused by the pandemic. The legislation includes direct payments to Americans, increases unemployment benefits, provides US$367 billion for small businesses, and provides US$500 billion for loans to larger industries.

– India, with the world’s second largest population of about 1.3 billion people, went into locked on Tuesday in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the 21-day lockdown after several states issued their own orders. The country-wide lockdown began at midnight local time. India has about 520 reported cases of the coronavirus, with 10 deaths.

– The COVID-19 pandemic could be much worse in Italy than what has been reported, according to the country’s Civil Protection Agency. “A ratio of one certified case out of every 10 is credible,” said the Agency’s head Angelo Borrelli. As of Tuesday, Italy had almost 69,200 reported cases of COVID-19, with more than 6,800 deaths, the most for any country so far during the pandemic.

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