On April 11, 2018, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved following bilateral agreement and initiatives.
Cabinet approves MoU between India and United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants
This MoU will streamline the procedure of return of nationals (to their Home country) who are caught to be staying illegally, in the other country (either in India or United Kingdom) in a specified time-frame.
- Besides, it will also facilitate the Visa Free Agreement for holders of diplomatic passports as well as liberalization of United Kingdom (UK) Visa Regimefor Indians travelling to the UK legally.
Quick Facts about United Kingdom:
♦ Capital – London
♦ Currency – Great British Pound
♦ Current Prime Minister – Theresa May
Cabinet approves revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
The revision will bring the pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories at par with that of the Secretary to the Government of India.
- As per the norms, pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories remain at par with those of officers of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India.
- Pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories was last revised with effect from January 1, 2006 from Rs. 26,000/- (fixed) per month to Rs.80000/- (fixed) per month plus dearness allowance, sumptuary allowance at the rate of Rs. 4,000/- per month and local allowances.
- After that, with effect from January 1, 2016, pay of officers of the rank of Secretary to the Government of India was revised from Rs. 80,000/- to Rs. 2,25,000/- per month as per Central Civil Services (Revised) Pay Rules, 2016.
- Thus, with this approval, pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories too has been revised from Rs. 80,000/- to Rs. 2,25,000/- per month with effect from January 1, 2016.
Cabinet approves Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance
Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to Union Ministry of External Affairs for entering into Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
- This agreement was signed on March 26, 2018.
- This agreement will institutionalize the functional arrangements between India and ISA and will help in smooth transition of ISA as international inter-governmental organization.
- Headquarters of ISA is located in Gurugram, Haryana, India.
Cabinet Approval to boost ‘Ease of doing Business’ in Petroleum and Natural Gas sector
Union Cabinet has given its approval for delegating the powers to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Minister to award the Blocks/Contract Areas to successful bidders under Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) after International Competitive Bidding (ICB).
- The current procedure of awarding blocks is quite lengthy and time consuming as it involves Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS) at various levels, Inter Ministerial Consultations (IMC) and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA).
- Thus delegation of powers to Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Minister will expedite the decision making process on awarding blocks and will thereby enhance ease of doing business.
Cabinet approves framework for Coal Bed Methane Extraction by Coal India Limited (CIL) and its Subsidiaries
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved to amend PNG Rules, 1959 in order to grant relaxation to Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries for not applying for grant of license/lease for extraction of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) under their Coal Bearing Areas.
- This decision, which is in line with Government’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Initiative’ will expedite the exploration and exploitation of CBM, enhance the availability of natural gas and reduce the gap in demand and supply of natural gas.
- Besides, it will also generate employment opportunities in CBM operations and in related industries.
Quick Facts about Coal India Limited (CIL):
♦ Founded in – 1975
♦ Headquarters – Kolkata, West Bengal
♦ Current Chairman – Gopal Singh