On April 20, 2021, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded approval to several key initiatives. They are
- Approval to Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase 2A & Phase 2B
- Approval for Amendments to Finance Bill, 2021
- Approval for Exclusive subsidy policy for Urea produced through coal gasification by Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL).
Bangalore Metro Rail Project Phase 2A & Phase 2B
The Union Cabinet approved the Bangalore Metro Rail Project (also known as Namma Metro) Phase 2A (Central Silk Board Junction to K. R. Puram) and Phase 2B (K.R. Puram to Airport via Hebbal Junction) of total length 58.19 Km.
- The total cost of the project is INR 14, 788.101 Crore.
- Implementation of the project is expected to improve public transport infrastructure to Bangalore.
- Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL), a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is responsible for the implementation of the Bangalore Metro Rail Project.
- BMRCL is a joint venture of the Government of India & the Government of Karnataka.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) had approved a loan of USD 500 million (approximate ₹3,860 crore) in December 2020 and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed an agreement with Government of India in March 2021 to give a loan of estimated ₹3,717 crore for developing an estimated 80 km of metro line including Phase 2A and Phase 2B.
Amendments to Finance Bill, 2021
The Union Cabinet has granted ex-post facto approval for Government amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021.
- The Finance Bill became Finance Act, 2021 on March 28, 2021, after receiving the nod of President Ram Nath Kovind.
- The bill gives effect to tax proposals for FY 2021-22 which will generate timely revenue for the Government and streamline existing provisions by addressing the grievances of taxpayers.
- The government has made around 127 amendments to the Finance Bill, 2021 which are expected to boost the Ease of Doing Business and easing compliance burden.
- It provides a 10-year income tax exemption to the National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NBFID).
- Under Clause 116 of the Bill, Government has proposed to introduce an Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) on Petrol and Diesel (INR 2.5/litre on petrol and INR 4/litre on diesel).
- Apart from amending the Finance Act, the Bill also amends the Income Tax Act, 1961; Life Insurance Corporation Act, 1956; the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956; the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956; the SEBI Act, 1992.
- A Finance Bill is a Money Bill defined in Article 110 of the Indian Constitution.
- The proposals of the government for levying new taxes, modifying existing tax structure or continuance of existing tax infrastructure beyond the period approved by Parliament are submitted to parliament through this bill.
Approval for Exclusive Subsidy Policy for Urea
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the formulation of an exclusive subsidy policy for Urea produced through Coal Gasification. The proposal was put forth by the Department of Fertilizers.
- The new subsidy policy costing INR 13, 277 Crore will be provided to Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL).
- It is expected to boost fertilizer production in India thereby reducing Urea imports to the tune of 12.7 Lakh Metric Tonnes (LMT) per annum, which will lead to savings in foreign exchange.
- The project will improve the availability of fertilizer to farmers in the eastern region of India (Bihar, Odisha & Jharkhand). It will also help in saving transport subsidies for the supply of urea in the region.
- The project will boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative and the Atma Nirbhar campaign.
- It will help in the development of infrastructure like roads, railways, water and provide a major economic boost to the eastern part of India.
- It will also help in reducing the dependence on imported Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Talcher Fertilizers Ltd (TFL)
It is a Joint Venture company of 4 Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) namely Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF), GAIL (India) Ltd. (GAIL), Coal India Ltd. (CIL) and Fertilizer Corporation of India Ltd. (FCIL) which was incorporated on 13th November 2015.
- India’s Import of urea rose 22% to 91.23 Lakh Tonnes during FY 2019-20.
- India is the World’s Second Largest Consumer of Urea (topped by China).
Recent Related News:
i.December 30, 2020, CCEA approved industrial corridor nodes at Andhra Pradesh’s Krishnapatnam and Karnataka’s Tumakuru under Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor (CBIC) and Multi-Modal Logistics Hub and Multi-Modal Transport Hub (MMTH) at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
ii.December 30, 2020, CCEA chaired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has approved Rs.3,004.63 Crore project to turn Paradip Port in Odisha into a world-class port.
About Talcher Fertilizers Limited (TFL):
MD – Sachchidanand Yadav
Headquarters – Bhubaneswar, Odisha