CCEA approves proposal for setting up 12,000 MW grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Projects
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy’s proposal for implementation of the Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) Scheme Phase-llfor setting up 12,000 MW grid-connected Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Projects, by the Government Producers with Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support of Rs. 8,580 crore for self-use or use by Government or Government entities, both Central and State Governments.
The 12,000 MW or more capacity of grid connected solar power projects will be set up by the Government Producers in 4 years period, i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, as per the terms and conditions specified in Government Producer Scheme.
The Scheme will mandate use of both solar photovoltaic (SPV) cells and modules manufactured domestically as per specifications and testing requirements fixed by MNRE.
With the implementation of the above mentioned Scheme, 12,000 MW or more of grid connected solar PV power projects would be set up by Government Producers in 4 years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, thereby creating investment of about Rs. 48,000 crores.
· CCEA approves continuation for the Central Sector Scheme of Exploration of Coal and Lignite for a period of 3 years from 2017-18 2019-2020
The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs Chaired Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal for continuation of the Scheme of “Exploration of Coal and Lignite” with an expected expenditure of Rs.1875 Crore.
The approved scheme is for carrying out 24,41,500 meter of drilling and 3575 line km (LKM) of surface geophysical survey for Promotional (Regional) Exploration &Detailed drilling in Non CIL Block in Coal & Lignite along with CBM/Shale gas studies and associated studies to estimate and prove coal resources during 3 years period.
Under the Scheme, approximately 7 billion tonne of resources will be established and 11 billion tonne of resources will be proved.
· CCEA approves creation of Agri-Market infrastructure fund for development and upgradation of Gramin Agriculture Markets
The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs Chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its approval for the creation of a corpus of Rs. 2000 crore for Agri-Market Infrastructure Fund (AMIF) to be created with NABARD for development and up-gradation of agricultural marketing infrastructure in Gramin Agricultural Markets and Regulated Wholesale Markets.
AMIF will provide the State/UT Governments subsidized loan for their proposal for developing marketing infrastructure in 585 Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMCs) and 10,000 Grameen Agricultural Markets (GrAMs). States may also access AMIF for innovative integrated market infrastructure projects including Hub and Spoke mode and in Public Private Partnership mode. In these GrAMs, physical and basic infrastructure will be strengthened using MGNREGA and other Government Schemes.
After approval of AMIF Scheme, the interest subsidy will be provided by DAC&FW to NABARD in alignment with annual budget releases during 2018-19 and 2019-20 as well as upto 2024-25. The Scheme being demand driven, its progress is subject to the demands from the States and proposals received from them.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Malaysia for Mutual Cooperation in the field of Company Secretaryship
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between India and Malaysia for Mutual Cooperation to raise the status and prestige of the Practicing Company Secretary in both countries, and to facilitate the movement of the Company Secretaries across borders in the Asia-Pacific Region.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Election Management Bodies of Namibia and Panama
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for an MoU between India and the the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and with Electoral Tribunal of Panama (ETP) on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
Salient features: This MoU contains standard articles/clauses which broadly express promotion of cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration including promotion of exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of organizational and technical development of electoral process; support in exchanging information, institutional strengthening and capacity building, training of personnel, holding regular consultations etc.
Impact: The MOU would promote bilateral cooperation, aimed at building technical assistance/ capacity support for the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and with Electoral Tribunal of Panama (ETP). It envisages cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration and providing a leg-up to it in conducting elections in their respective countries. This would also result in bolstering India’s international relations.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
Benefits: The MoU will promote cooperation in the areas of mutual interest pertaining to the development of blue economy. Norway is a global leader in the area of Blue Economy and has cutting-edge technologies and expertise in areas such as fisheries, hydrocarbons, renewable energy, sustainable harnessing of ocean resources and maritime transport. The proposed MoU will contribute to create opportunities for collaboration in areas such as exploitation of hydrocarbons and other marine resources, as well as management of ports and tourism development for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders within the framework of the Joint Task Force (JTF). It will contribute to the objective of Food Security through infusion of new technologies in fisheries and aquaculture. It will further offer a platform for businesses in both countries to execute profitable ventures. Scientists and researchers may collaborate on studying ocean ecosystem also in the context of the Arctic region.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Brazil on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Brazil on cooperationin the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
Benefits: The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation between India and Brazil in the areas of Traditional Systems of Medicine. This will be of immense importance to both countries considering their shared cultural heritage.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Maldives for Establishing Mutual Cooperation to Improve the Ecosystems for Agribusiness
The Union Cabinet accorded ex post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, India and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resource and Agriculture, Maldives signed on 17th December, 2018 during the State visit of President of Maldives to India.
The MoU for establishing mutual cooperation to improve the ecosystem for agribusiness provides for cooperation in the fields of agriculture census, agribusiness, Integrated Farming System, Irrigation, improved seeds, Soil Health Management, research, capacity building of local agribusiness, enhancing knowledge of entrepreneurs in the areas of food security and nutrition, developing climate resilient agriculture system, establishing facilities to test pesticide residues etc.
Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group will be constituted to prepare plans of cooperation, implement the tasks determined by the Parties and to indicate the implementation of activities outlined.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and the UAE on Development cooperation in Africa
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates on Development Cooperation in Africa. The MoU entails setting up of a framework of cooperation between the two countries for implementing development partnership projects and programmes in Africa.
Benefits: The proposal will help strengthen political and economic linkages between India and the countries of Africa and serve our broader strategic interests.
· Cabinet approves Signing of Agreement between India and Ukraine for cooperation in Agriculture and Food Industry
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved Signing of Agreement between the India and Ukrain for cooperation in Agriculture and Food Industry.
The proposed Agreement provides for cooperation in various fields of agriculture and food Industry. A Joint Working Group comprising of representatives from both countries would be constituted, the task of which would be to discuss and prepare plans of cooperation in identified sectors and to monitor the implementation of tasks determined by the Parties. The meetings of the Working Group shall take place at least every two years, alternately in the Republic of India and in Ukraine. This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of its signing and shall remain in force for a period of five (5) years, being automatically extended for subsequent periods of five (5) years. This Agreement can be terminated after six (6) months from the date of receipt of notification of either Party of its intention to terminate this Agreement.
· Cabinet approves the revised Office Memorandum pertaining to the Cabinet Note on “Amendment of Constitution to provide for reservation for Economically Weaker Sections”
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex post facto approval to the revised Office Memorandum (OM) pertaining to the Cabinet Note on “Amendment of Constitution to provide for reservation for Economically Weaker Sections”. The OM was approved by the Cabinet on 8th January 2019.
Benefits: The approval will promote social equity by providing opportunities in higher education and employment to those who have been excluded by virtue of their economic status.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Finland in the field of Biotechnology
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the MoU between India and Finland for collaborating based on mutual interest in the field of Biotechnology, for funding and implementing ambitious industry-led innovative and transnational projects within the broad scope of research development and innovation.
Benefits: The Mou will support creation of long-term Research, Development & Innovation collaboration mechanism and to establish and strengthen cooperative network between Indian and Finnish organizations. By funding need-oriented, ambitious joint projects of high international standards, the two countries aim to help reach world-class innovations beneficial to both countries. It will also facilitate knowledge sharing and knowledge generation among scientists, researchers and industry in the two countries.
· Cabinet approves Regularization of certain allowances being paid over and above the 50% (pre-revised) ceiling prescribed by DPE to the executives of certain operational category employees of AAI
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the regularization of certain allowances (Rating allowance, Stress allowance, Proficiency allowance, Flying allowance and Instructor allowance) being paid over and above the 50% (pre-revised) / 25% (revised) ceiling prescribed by Department of Public Enterprisess (DPE) to the executives of certain operational category employees viz. Air Traffic Controllers, Communication Officers, and Pilots of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and to keep these allowances outside the purview of 35% (revised) ceiling. Their job entails complex set of tasks requiring very high level of knowledge and expertise, as well as the practical application of specific skills pertaining to cognitive domains (e.g. spatial perception, information processing, logical reasoning, decision-making) communicative aspects and human relations.
The decision has been taken in view of the fact that air-traffic has increased manifold and these technical personnel are keeping the aviation activity over our skies very safe; in order to attract the best talent and to retain the existing trained manpower to provide world-class facilities to air-travellers, these professionals are required to be compensated suitably.
· Cabinet approves Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for Abolition of Institution of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman.
The approval comes in the wake of alternative complaint redressal mechanisms chosen by public and the institution of Ombudsman could not prove to be more effective than regular existing parallel channels of grievance redressal, both the institutions of Income-Tax Ombudsman as well as Indirect Tax Ombudsman have been abolished.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Uzbekistan for promoting: Bilateral cooperation in the area of e-Governance
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of e-Governance.
The Agreement intends to promote close cooperation in the areas of e-Governance, IT education, Implementation and roll out of generic configurable e-Governance products / devices in various sectors, development of Data Centers etc.
· Cabinet approves Proposal for higher allocation of power to Home State from Under Construction Projects of NTPC Ltd.
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been approved the Proposal of Ministry of Power to allocate 85% power to the Government of Telangana generated from Telangana Super Thermal Power Project (4000MW) of NTPC Ltd. and 85% power from expansion project of Patratu Thermal Power Station (4000MW) of Patratu Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (PVUNL), a subsidiary company of NTPC Ltd, to the State Government of Jharkhand.
Impact: Higher allocation of Power to the State of Telangana from TSTPP will ensure that the Central Government has taken the necessary measures as enumerated in the Thirteenth Schedule of the AP reorganisation act, for the progress and sustainable development of the successor States. Higher allocation of Power to the State of Jharkhand from PTPS will also help in improving the power scenario of the State. It will facilitate mission of the Government towards providing power to all.
· Cabinet approves Framework Agreement between India and Indonesia on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given ex-post facto approval to the Framework Agreement between India and Indonesia on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes. The Framework Agreement was signed and exchanged t Jakarta on May 30, 2018.
Major Impact: The signing of the Framework Agreement will strengthen the cooperation between India and Indonesia This agreement will help in establishing ISRO’s TTC station and IRIMS station at Indonesia.
· Cabinet approves introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Enterpreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 in the Parliament
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019.
The objective of the bill is to confer the status of Institutions of National Importance to National Institute of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM) at Kundli, Haryana, and the Indian Institute of Food Processing Technology (IIFPT) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
Benefits: The legislation would provide for functional autonomy to the institutes to design and develop courses, undertake research activities and leverage enhanced status in their academic pursuits, so that they become world class institutes. The institutes would implement the reservation policy of the Government and would also undertake special outreach activities for the benefits of concerned stakeholders. It would enable the institutes to provide world class teaching and research experience by adopting innovative practices.
· Cabinet approves establishment of a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India through International Financial Srvices Centres Authority Bill, 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approvedestablishment of a unified authority for regulating all financial services in International Financial Services Centres (IFSCs) in India through International Financial Srvices Centres Authority Bill, 2019. Taking into account the regulatory requirements of IFSCs and the provisions of the existing laws of financial sector, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance (MoF) has prepared a draft Bill to set up a separate unified regulator for IFSCs.
· Cabinet approves Proposal for Official Amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval to move official amendments to the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018, pursuant to the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance (SCF). The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 was introduced in Parliament on 18th July, 2018 and was referred to the SCF, which submitted its Seventieth Report on the said Bill to Parliament on 3rd January, 2019. The official amendments will further strengthen the Bill in its objective to effectively tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country, and prevent such schemes from duping poor and gullible people of their hard earned savings