On January 10, 2018, Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following initiatives/bilateral agreement:
Cabinet approves major changes in FDI policy
In a bid to liberalise and simplify the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy and to provide ease of doing business in India, Union Cabinet has approved a number of amendments in the existing policy.
Major Amendments in FDI Policy:
- 100% FDI under automatic route has been approved for Single Brand Retail Trading. Till now, only 49% FDI was permitted under automatic route while FDI beyond 49% and up to 100% was to be brought through Government approval route.
- Foreign airlines have been permitted to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India.
- It has been clarified that real-estate broking service does not amount to real estate business and is thus, eligible for 100% FDI under automatic route.
- Foreign institutional Investors (FIIs) and Foreign portfolio investment(FPIs) have been allowed to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in Science & Technology
This memorandum of understanding (MoU) will provide a mechanism to foster scientific cooperation between Research & Development (R&D) and academic institutions of India and Canada.
- The MoU was signed between Indian Government’s Department of Science and Technology and Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).
- In order to promote multidisciplinary research partnership between India and Canada, the MoU envisages supporting India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme.
- Safe and sustainable infrastructure and integrated water management have been identified as areas for mutual cooperation under this MoU.
Cabinet approves implementation of CCEA decision on closure of Tungabhadra Steel Products Limited
Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA’s) decision on closure of Tungabhadra Steel Products Limited (TSPL) and disposal of its immovable assets.
- In December, 2015, CCEA had approved the closure of Tungabhadra Steel Products Limited (TSPL) after clearing all dues to employees/workers and creditors.
- Company had 37 acres of land at Hospet. Cabinet has approved to sell this land to Karnataka Government for use of the Karnataka State Housing Board.
Cabinet approves continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval to continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till the term of the 14th Finance Commission i.e. till March 31, 2020.
- MPLAD Scheme is a Central Sector Scheme which was launched in 1993-94.
- Under this scheme, Members of Parliament recommend works for creation of durable community assets (related to drinking water, education, public health, sanitation, roads etc.) based on local needs in their constituencies.
- Durable community assets constructed under this scheme have positively impacted social, cultural and economic life of the local communities across India.
- Extending this scheme till March 31, 2020 would entail an annual allocation of Rs. 3950 crore.
Cabinet approves fixed term for Chairperson and Members of the National Trust
Cabinet has approved proposal to amend Section 4(1) and Section 5(1) of the National Trust for the Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.
- As per Section 4(1) of the National Trust Act, 1999, Chairperson or a Member of the Board of National Trust would continue in office beyond the prescribed term of three years until his/her successor is appointed.
- As per section 5(1) of the Act, In case of resignation of the Chairperson, he/she should continue in office until his/her successor is appointed by the Government.
- The amendment approved by cabinet fixes the term of the Chairperson and Members of the Board of National Trust for three years to avoid such a situation and eliminate any chance of prolonged continuation in the same post by any incumbent.
- The National Trust is a statutory body of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. Its mission is to create an enabling environment, i.e. providing opportunities for Persons with Disabilities through comprehensive support systems.