On April 27, 2022, the Union Cabinet Chaired by Narendra Modi has approved the following proposals:
- NBS rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season from April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022
- Revised cost estimate of Rs 2255 crore for Setting up IPPB
- Amalgamation of CDC with CSIR
- USOF to upgrade 2G mobile sites to 4G at security sites in LWE Areas
- Construction of 540 Megawatt Kwar Hydro Electric Project through CVPPPL in J&K
- Continuation of PM SVANidhi beyond March 2022 till December 2024
Cabinet approves NBS rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season
The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season – 2022 from April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022 at Rs. 60,939.23 Crores.
- This amount includes indigenous fertilizer through freight subsidy; additional support for indigenous manufacturing; and imports of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP).
- Now, the subsidy on P&K fertilizers will be provided on the basis of NBS rates for Kharif season 2022.
i.On DAP, a subsidy of Rs. 2501 per bag instead of existing subsidy of Rs.1650 per bag will be provided. This is an increase of 50% over 2021 subsidy rates.
ii.The subsidy will be released to fertilizer companies as per approved rates so that they can make available fertilizers to farmers at subsidized, affordable and reasonable rates.
iii.The reason behind this subsidy is the increase in the international prices of fertilizers & inputs, therefore, the Central Government decided to absorb the increased prices by increasing subsidies on P&K fertilizers including DAP.
Point to be noted:
i.NBS Scheme has been implemented since April 2010. Under this, a fixed rate of subsidy (in Rs per Kg basis) is announced on nutrients namely Nitrogen (N), Phosphate (P), Potash (K) and Sulphur (S) by the government on an annual basis.
Cabinet approves revised cost estimate of Rs 2255 crore for Setting up IPPB
The Cabinet approves revised cost estimate on setting up of India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) with additional funding of Rs 820 crore for FY 2020-21 to 2022-23. This is an increase to Rs 2255 crore from Rs 1435 crore as equity infusion to meet regulatory requirements.
- It also granted in principle approval for future fund infusion upto Rs 500 crore for meeting regulatory requirements and technological upgradation.
Objectives behind this Revision:
i.To build the most accessible, affordable and trusted bank for the common man
ii.To remove barriers for the unbanked by furthering financial inclusion across India.
iii.To supplement Government of India’s vision of “less cash” economy
IPPB was launched in 2018 and enabled 1.36 lakh Post Offices to provide banking services and has equipped nearly 1.89 lakh Postmen and Gramin Dak Sevaks with smartphone and biometric device to provide doorstep banking services.
Since the launch of IPPB, it has opened more than 5.25 crore accounts with 82 crore aggregate number of financial transactions with Rs.1,61,811 crore which includes 765 lakh number of Aadhaar Enabled Payment System (AePS) transactions worth Rs.21,343 crore. Out of the 5 crore accounts, 77% of accounts are opened in Rural areas, 48% are women customers with around Rs.1000 crore of deposit. Nearly 40 lakh women customers received Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) into their accounts valued at Rs.2500 crore.
More than 7.8 lakh accounts have been opened for school students. In Aspirational Districts IPPB has opened around 95.71 lakh accounts having 602 lakh aggregate transaction worth Rs.19,487 crore. In Left Wing Extremism (LWE) districts, 67.20 lakh accounts have been opened by IPPB having 426 lakh aggregate transactions worth Rs.13,460 crore.
Cabinet approves amalgamation of CDC with CSIR
On the lines of Minimum Government Maximum Governance, the Union Cabinet has approved the amalgamation of Consultancy Development Centre (CDC) with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST).
- This amalgamation includes the manpower, moveable assets and liabilities of the Transferor Company.
- With this, CSIR will be befitted by experienced staff of CDC in the field of consultancy in education, export of technologies etc.
i.The existing 13 employees of CDC will be accommodated in CSIR by creating 13 supernumerary posts.
ii.The premises occupied by CDC at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi (Delhi) will be surrendered to India Habitat Centre for re-allocation.
- The realized amount from re-allocation will be deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India.
This amalgamation is on the recommendations of the Advisory Committee constituted for recommending modalities of amalgamation, the necessary procedure under Section 12 Societies Registration Act 1860.
- CSIR and CDC are two separate Autonomous bodies (Abs) under DSIR.
- CDC was set up in 1986 as a society with the support of DSIR for developing, strengthening and promoting consultancy skills and capabilities in India. CDC was approved as an Autonomous Institution of DSIR by Union Cabinet on 13th October 2004.
- CSIR was set up in 1942 under Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860 as a National R&D (Research & Development) organization for scientific industrial research.
Cabinet approves USOF to upgrade 2G mobile sites to 4G at security sites in LWE Areas
The Union Cabinet approved a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to upgrade 2G mobile sites to 4G at security sites in areas troubled by Left Wing Extremism (LWE) at an estimated cost of Rs 1,884.59 crore.
- It is being done to ensure better internet and data services, and to provide mobile connectivity in rural areas.
- The project envisages upgrading 2,343 LWE sites.
BSNL to Upgrade Sites:
The work for the same is awarded to BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited) because these sites belong to BSNL. It will maintain the sites for another five years at its own cost.
- In this regard, Cabinet also approved funding of operations and maintenance costs of LWE Phase-I 2G sites by BSNL for an extended period beyond the contractual period of five years at an estimated cost of Rs 541.80 crore.So, the total cost of the project envisaged at Rs. 2426.39 crore
- The extension will last for up to 12 months from the date of approval by the cabinet or commissioning of 4G sites, whichever is earlier.
i.This approval also fulfil communication needs of the security personnel deployed in these areas.
ii.This will enable -governance services, banking services, tele-medicine and tele-education through mobile broadband in these areas.
About BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited):
Chairman & Managing Director– Pravin Kumar Purwar
Headquarter– New Delhi, Delhi
CCEA approves construction of 540 Megawatt Kwar Hydro Electric Project through CVPPPL in J&K
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved an investment of Rs 4526.12 crore for the construction of 540 Megawatt Kwar Hydro Electric project on river Chenab in Kishtwar district of Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) .
- It will help make J&K self reliant in electricity.
- The project will be commissioned within a span of 54 months.
It will be implemented by Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (CVPPPL) which is a joint venture company between NHPC (erstwhile National Hydroelectric Power Corporation) and JKSPDC (Jammu and Kashmir State Power Development Corporation).
i.The project will generate 1975.54 million units in a 90% dependable year.
ii.Government of India is extending grant of Rs.69.80 crore towards cost of Enabling Infrastructure and also supporting J&K by providing grant of Rs.655.08 crore for Equity contribution of JKSPDC (49%) in CVPPPL. NHPC shall invest its equity (51%) of Rs.681.82 crore from its internal resources.
iii.The construction activities of the Project will result in direct and indirect employment to around 2500 persons and will contribute in overall socio-economic development of J&K.
iv.J&K will also be benefitted with free power of around Rs.4,548.59 crore and Rs.4,941.46 crore with Water Usage Charges from Kwar Hydro Electric Project, during project life cycle of 40 years.
v.Government of UT of J&K to make the Project viable, extending exemption form levy of Water Usage Charges for 10 years after commissioning of the project, reimbursement of State’s share of GST (i.e. SGST) and waiver of free power @2% per year in a decremental manner, i.e. the free power to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir would be 2% in the 1st year after commissioning of Project and thereafter shall increase @2% per year and shall be 12% from 6th year onwards.
CCEA approves continuation of PM SVANidhi beyond March 2022 till December 2024
CCEA approved extension of the Prime Minister Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) beyond March 2022 till December 2024. This decision followed the impact of the pandemic-related stress on small businesses.
- PM SVANidhi, when launched in 2020, had envisaged facilitating loans for an amount of Rs 5,000 crore, but, with this approval the loan amount increased to Rs 8,100 crore, thereby providing the Street vendors working capital to further expand their business and making them AtmaNirbhar.
- The approval is expected to benefit nearly 1.2 crore citizens of Urban India.
About PM SVANidhi:
It has been implemented by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) since June 1, 2020 to provide an affordable working capital loan to Street Vendors. It also aims for the holistic development and economic upliftment of street vendors.
As on April 25, 2022, 31.9 lakh loans have been sanctioned 29.6 lakh loans amounting to Rs. 2,931 crore have been disbursed. As regards 2nd loan, 2.3 lakh loans have been sanctioned and 1.9 lakh loans amounting to Rs.385 crore have been disbursed. The beneficiary Street Vendors have conducted more than 13.5 crore digital transactions and have been given a cashback of Rs.10 crore. An amount of Rs.51 crore has been paid as Interest Subsidy.