The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi made a series of approvals on March 6, 2017 for certain MoUs, Agreements and Proposals for the bilateral cooperation and development of the country.
Cabinet Approves Revival of 50 Un-Served/Under-Served Airstrips
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal for revival of 50 un-served/under-served airports/airstrips of the State Governments, Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Civil enclaves on March 6, 2017.
- The total cost of the project is estimated to be Rs. 4500 crore and will be completed by the financial year 2020.
- Under the project, 15 airports/airstrips each would be revived during 2017-18 and 2018-19. During 2019-20, 20 airports/airstrips would be revived.
- Small cities and towns shall be connected with the commencement of operation of flights to under-served/un-served airports.
- Boost the economic development in these areas as well as surrounding areas in terms of job creation and related infrastructure development.
Cabinet approves Revised Cost Estimate-I of Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project in Uttarakhand
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has also approved the Revised Cost Estimate-I of 400 MW Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Uttarakhand.
- The estimated completion cost of the project is Rs. 2,717.35 crore and is being implemented by Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) India Limited.
- Besides, THDC will also regulate releases from Tehri Reservoir for irrigation and drinking water supply.
- The 400 MW Koteshwar Hydro Electric Project (HEP) has already been commissioned fully in March, 2012. The revised estimates have been provided to complete the balance works which are not linked with operation of the Plant but essential for safety and completion of the project.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Portugal on cooperation in IT&E
The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Portugal on cooperation in the field of IT&E which was signed on January 6, 2017 in New Delhi.
- Aim: Develop a long term and sustainable cooperation based on equality and mutual interest in the areas of Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) in line with each country’s laws and regulations.
- Capital: Lisbon
- Currency: Euro
- Prime minister: António Costa
Cabinet approves India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention)
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has also given its approval for India’s accession to the Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets (TIR Convention) and for completion of necessary procedures for ratification, for its entry into force.
Benefits of Joining the Convention
- Help Indian traders to have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties.
- The need for inspection of goods at intermediate borders will be eliminated by simply by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the load compartment or the container.
- Customs clearance can take place at internal Customs locations and thus avoid clearances at Border Crossing Points and Ports.
- Ensure enhanced security in the supply chain as only approved transporters and vehicles are allowed to operate in terms of the Convention.
- No need to make payment of Customs duties and taxes or file multiple declarations satisfying national laws of different countries as TIR carnet itself serves as a Customs declaration.
About TIR Convention
The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to facilitate the seamless movement of goods within and amongst the Parties to the Convention. At present there are 70 parties to the Convention, including the European Union.
Cabinet approves Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Portugal for Cooperation in Renewable Energy
The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Renewable Energy between India and Portugal.
- The MoU was signed on January 6, 2017 in New Delhi. It will help to strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
- Aim: Establish cooperative institutional relationship to promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.
Cabinet Approves Settlement of Legacy Food Cash Credit Account in Punjab for Food Procurement Operations
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for settlement of Legacy Food Cash Credit Accounts (upto crop season 2014-15) of Punjab Government for food procurement operations.
- The proposal of Department of Expenditure was approved by Prime Minister on January 2, 2017 under Rule 12 of (Transaction of Business) Rules, 1961.
- It is one-time measure to settle the outstanding amount in legacy accounts up to 2014-15.
Early settlement of legacy issue will help the banks in better disbursement of food credit to the farmers of the State.
- It will also ensure uninterrupted continuity in food procurement operations to ensure food security for the nation.
Cabinet approves signing of the Definitive Agreement on Oil Storage and Management between India’s ISPRL and ADNOC of UAE
The Cabinet also gave its ex-post facto approval for signing of the Definitive Agreement on Oil Storage and Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserve Ltd (ISPRL) and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) of UAE.
- Objective of the Agreement: The ADNOC will provide 0.81 MMT (5,860,000 million) barrels of crude oil at ISPRL storage facility at Mangalore, Karnataka.
- India and UAE are strategic partners. The investment by ADNOC is the first investment by UAE in India in the energy sector. The agreement will help to further strengthen India’s energy security.
United Arab Emirates
- Capital: Abu Dhabi
- Currency: United Arab Emirates dirham
- President: Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Cabinet approves MoU between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women)
The Union Cabinet led by PM Modi approved signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).
- Aim: UN-Women will provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in strengthening capacities of governance institutions like Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for strengthening gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes.
- Under the MoU, the two parties will work together to develop participatory design of governance processes and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to promote gender responsive governance.
- Activities under this MoU will be implemented at the district and sub-district level in six States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Odisha, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
Cabinet Gives ex-post facto approval to the MoU between India and UAE in the field of providing Energy Efficiency Services
Besides, the government also gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the India’s National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services, UAE to provide various services in the field of energy management and conservation.
Under the MoU, the NPC will provide the following services to UAE:
- Energy Assessment Services
- Training & Certification of Energy Auditors
- Demand Side Management.
Besides, Al Etihad Energy Services, UAE will support NPC by providing the following services to all the relevant projects:
- Customer Support with UAE Government and Private owned organizations in the United Arab Emirates.
- All local support for Field Auditing Professionals, Training & Certification of Energy Auditors and Demand Side Management of Industries based in the UAE.
Benefit of the MoU
Provide opportunity to NPC for energy building and develop institutional mechanism in area of energy efficiency in Dubai and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries.
- Provide recognition and exposure to further build NPC’s capacities and competencies in Dubai.
- Promote NPC for engagements with other International collaboration partners.
About National Productivity Council
♦ NPC is an autonomous body under the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion under Ministry of Commerce & Industry Government of India.
♦ It was established in 1958 to promote productivity culture in India.