Top headlines: Govt to set up Rs 1-trn agri infra fund, job cuts at Zomato

Health workers conduct thermal screening of passengers who have arrived from Delhi by a special train at Howrah station, during the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown, in Kolkata
Govt to set up Rs 1-trn agri infra fund; to amend Essential Commodities Act
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday announced setting up of a Rs 1-trillion agri infrastructure fund for farm-gate infrastructure. This fund will be used for setting up cold chains and post-harvest management infrastructure, she said while announcing the third tranche of Covid-19 relief package. Sitharaman also announced that the government would amend the six-and-a-half-decade-old Essential Commodities Act to deregulate food items, including cereals, edible oil, oilseeds, pulses, onion and potato. The amendment, besides deregulating production and sale of food products, will provide for no stock limit to be imposed on any produce. Read on

Coronavirus vaccine not coming for at least 2 years: Novartis global CEO
"The results of the first clinical studies on the vaccine candidates should be available in autumn," Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). "If everything goes as we hope, it will take 24 months before we have a vaccine." Novartis sold its vaccine business in 2015 to GlaxoSmithKline, one of many companies around the world now racing to make a drug. Read on...

Central banks may be forced to sell gold; India at risk: Chris Wood
There is a growing risk of liquidation of gold in India caused by a lockdown-triggered collapse in economic growth, wrote Christopher Wood, global head of equity strategy at Jefferies in his weekly note to investors, GREED & fear. The potential for forced selling in gold, Wood believes, could come from central banks given the dramatic fiscal deterioration being suffered by many countries. India, he said, is at risk given its substantial gold holdings. Read on...

World Bank approves $1 bn to support India's fight against coronavirus
The World Bank on Friday approved $1 billion 'Accelerating India's Covid-19 Social Protection Response Program' to support the country's efforts for providing social assistance to the poor and vulnerable households, severely impacted by the pandemic.
This takes the total commitment from the World Bank towards emergency Covid-19 response in India to $2 billion. Read more...

Zomato cuts 13% jobs, slashes salaries as CEO blames coronavirus
Food delivery app Zomato is cutting 13 per cent jobs as it does not see enough work for all its employees, co-founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal said in a company-wide email on Friday. These employees will remain with Zomato at 50 per cent salary for the next six months, outplacement teams will help these people look for jobs elsewhere, previously allocated ESOPs will continue to vest during this period of six months, the current health insurance, wherever provided by Zomato will continue for this period along with access to the company's in-house mental wellness team. Read more...

Covid-19 could cause economic loss up to $8.8 trn, 9.7% of global GDP: ADB
Global economic losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic could be between $5.8 trillion and $8.8 trillion this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Friday, more than double its earlier estimates as containment measures paralyse economies.
The ADB's forecast, equal to 6.4% to 9.7% of global gross domestic product, was worse than projections in April when it said the global economy could suffer between $2.0 trillion and $4.1 trillion in losses, depending on how long containment measures were in place. Read on...

US Senator's plan to tackle China mentions India as strategic partner
A top US senator has unveiled an 18-point plan, including enhancing military ties with India, to hold the Chinese government accountable for its "lies, deception, and cover-ups" that ultimately led to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The prominent suggestions are moving manufacturing chain from China and deepening military-strategic ties India, Vietnam and Taiwan. Read on...

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel