• The Indian Railways is set to further downsize the Railway Board and move out 50 more senior officers, reducing the board strength to about 100, as it looks to fast-track the decision making process in the mammoth organisation and make it leaner.
  • In a bid to arrest the rise in steel imports in the ‘others’ category, the government is in the process of creating 1,200 new HSN (Harmonised System of Nomenclature) codes to be placed under Chapter 72, which lists base metals.
  • These new codes will accurately define and classify the imported product.
  • Nestle plans to spend as much as 2 billion Swiss francs ($2.1 billion) in a plan to push the plastics industry to address the dearth of recycled packaging that’s safe to use for food.
  • The KitKat maker will earmark more than 1.5 billion francs to pay a premium for such plastic to encourage production, the company said. Recyclers have tended to neglect that market because of the difficulties in making non-toxic food-grade packaging.

Former finance secretary Subhash Garg has said India’s real fiscal deficit in FY20 is likely to be higher at 4.5-5% of GDP due to an expected shortfall in revenue, and higher spending.

  • National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has charted a Rs 3.10-lakh crore plan to build 22 greenfield expressways as part of a plan to decongest major cities, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said.
  • Of the 7,500 km new roads, NHAI plans to build six expressways of 2,250 km, entailing an investment of Rs 1.45 lakh crore, while another 16 greenfield corridors with aggregate length of 5,250 km will require an investment of Rs 1.65 lakh crore.

The asset manager BlackRock’s announcement that it will pull out its investments in companies that get 25% their revenues from thermal coal production, besides making no future direct investment in such firms, could shrink the bouquet of investors for players like NTPC, the Adani group and Coal India (CIL).