On August 2, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved the following:

Cabinet_decisionCabinet approves Extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS)

On August 2, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad.

  • The total outlay for this scheme is Rs.625.63 crore .
  • MEA selects the specific projects keeping in view strategic interest of India and sends the same to Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
  • The DEA will decide on the projects based on the committee’s decision headed by Secretary, DEA.
  • It is presently being operated through the Export-Import Bank of India.
  • Government of India (GoI) provides counter guarantee and interest equalization support of 2% to the EXIM Bank.
  • The Government will extend the Scheme for another five years from 2018 to 2023.
  • The financial assistance break-up is as follows:
IES Amount (In INR crore) ; Total – 625.63 CrYear
42.25(2018-19)
65.00(2019-20)
188.50(2021-22)
208.00(2022-23)
Background:

This scheme would offer concessional finance to any foreign Govt. or foreign Govt. owned or controlled entity, if any Indian entity, succeeds in getting contract for the execution of a project.

Cabinet approves: Raising of Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) amounting up to Rs. 15,000 crore during the financial year 2018-19

On August 2, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved:

  • Raising funds up to Rs.15,000 crore as Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) (Gol Fully Serviced Bonds) for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) [SBM(G)] during the financial year 2018-19 through NABARD.
  • Authorized International Centre for Drinking Water Quality for receiving EBR funds for SBM(G) and giving them to Sates/UTs implementing agencies, and its repayment.
  • Changed the name of ‘International Centre for Drinking Water Quality’ to ‘National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality’.
  • These decisions would benefit around 1.5 crore rural households under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
  • The loan amount of Rs.15,000 crore will be repaid to NABARD as single bullet payment at the end of 10th year from the date of loan.

Cabinet approves Policy Framework for exploration and exploitation of Unconventional Hydrocarbons

On August 2, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the policy to permit exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc.

  • It will be carried out under the existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), CBM contracts and Nomination fields.
  • It will encourage the Contractors to unlock the potential of unconventional hydrocarbons in te areas.
  • With this, there will be new investment in Exploration and Production (E&P) activities, introduction of new, innovative and cutting-edge technology.

Cabinet approves issue of fresh equity to the extent of 15% of the paid up equity capital by Hindustan Copper Limited

On August 2, 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved issue of fresh 13,87,82,700 equity shares to the extent of 15% of paid up equity capital.

  • This will be done by Hindustan Copper Limited(HCL) through the Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) route as per SEBI’s guidelines with face value of Rs.5 for each share.
  • GoI’s shareholding in HCL will come down from 76.05% to 66.13%.
  • The paid-up share capital of HCL will increase from the present Rs. 462.61 crore to Rs. 532 crore which will be used for its expansion plan.
  • It would create employment opportunities for 9300 persons approximately.
  • Expansion projects of HCL are located in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand.

 Cabinet approves Re-structuring of the Agricultural Scientists’ Recruitment Board (ASRB)

On August 2, 2018, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the proposal for restructuring of Agricultural Scientists’Recruitment Board (ASRB).

  • The ASRB will now be a Member body instead of Members. It will have a Chairperson and 3 Members.
  • ASRB would be for a period of three years or till attainment of 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
  • ASRB shall be delinked from ICAR and to be attached with Dept. of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) under Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare.

ASRB:

It functions as an independent recruitment agency in recruitment to various scientific positions in Agricultural Research Service and Research Management Positions of ICAR/DARE.