On November 16, 2017, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following initiatives and bilateral agreements.
Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority under GST
Union Cabinet has given its approval for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under Goods and Services Tax.
- NAA has been set up to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates are passed on to the end consumers by reduction in prices.
- NAA is a part of an institutional framework to implement “anti-profiteering” measures under GST regime.
- Along with NAA, this framework comprises a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
Cabinet approves agreement between India and Belarus on Scientific and Technological Cooperation
Union Cabinet has been apprised of the agreement between the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture, etc.
- This agreement was exchanged on September 12, 2017 at New Delhi during the visit of Belarus President H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko.
- Objective of this MoU is to identify, assess, develop and commercialize globally competitive technologies from India and Belarus.
- Technology transfers, exchange of visits and joint workshops for scientific and economic benefit have also been included in the scope of this MoU.
Quick Facts about Belarus:
- Capital – Minsk
- Currency – Belarusian ruble
- Current President – Alexander Lukashenko
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Poland for the promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation
Objective of this MoU is to recognize the mutual benefit of cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation with a special emphasis on improving Regional Air Connectivity in India.
- Term of the MoU is 5 years.
- The MoU seeks to address any legal and procedural issues in civil aviation sector which may negatively affect cooperation between the two countries.
- Flight simulators monitoring and approvals, maintenance personnel approvals, aircraft maintenance facilities approvals and aircrew members approvals have also been included in the scope of this MoU
Quick Facts about Poland:
- Capital – Warsaw
- Currency – Polish zloty
- Current President – Andrzej Duda
Cabinet approves Continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella Scheme “Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)”
The sub-schemes that will be continued are Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, Child Protection Services and National Crèche Scheme.
- Besides, cabinet has also approved conversion of National Crèche Scheme from Central Sector to Centrally Sponsored Scheme. This scheme aims to provide a safe place for mothers to leave their children while they are at work.
- These sub-schemes will be continued till November 30, 2018 with financial outlay of over Rs.41000 crore.
- Above mentioned sub-schemes are continuing from the 12th Five Year Plan. However, Government has rationalised these sub-schemes in financial year 2016-17 and have been brought under Umbrella ICDS as its sub-schemes.
- It is expected that around 11 crore children, pregnant women & Lactating Mothers and the Adolescent Girls will gain benefits through these schemes.
Cabinet okays increase in carpet area of houses under PMAY
Approval for increase in the carpet area has been provided for those houses that are eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for the Middle Income Group (MIG) under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
- As per this approval, carpet area in the MIG I category of CLSS has been increased from the existing 90 square metre to up to 120 square metre.
- For MIG II category of CLSS, the carpet area has been increased from the existing 110 square metre to up to 150 square metre.
- These changes have made effective from January 1, 2017.
About Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY)
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY – U)scheme launched in June 2015 by PM Modi has a vision to provide Housing For All by year 2022, which coincides with 75 years of Indian independence.
- It is geared towards fulfilling housing requirements of urban poor including slum dwellers.
- It is administered by Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.
Cabinet allows export of all varieties of pulses
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for removal of prohibition on export of all types of pulses.
Expected benefits from allowing export of all varieties of pulses:
- This decision has been taken to ensure that farmers have more choices in marketing their produce and in getting better prices for their produce.
- Farmers will now be encouraged to expand the area of sowing pulses.
- Opening up of export market would provide an alternative avenue to ship out surplus production of pulses.
- Besides, this will help Indian exporters to regain their lost market share, which will eventually benefit the country in terms of increased foreign exchange income.