After the Expansion & Reshuffling of Cabinet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held the first high-level meeting with the new Union Cabinet. During the meeting, the cabinet granted approval to new initiatives.
- 11th extension of the term of the Commission constituted under Article 340 by 6 months up to 31st January 2022.
- Continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary till March 31, 2026 at a total cost of INR 9000 crore.
- Increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) & Dearness Relief (DR).
- INR 1,624 crore for promotion of flagging of merchant ships in India.
- Continuation of CSS National AYUSH Mission (NAM)
- Change of Nomenclature & Mandate of North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM) as North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR)
- Extension of RoSCTL on Export of Apparel/Garments & Made-ups
- MoU between India and Kingdom of Denmark on Cooperation in Health and Medicine
- MoU between India and Russia on cooperation regarding Coking Coal, which is used for Steel making.
- CCEA approves realignment of schemes of Animal Husbandry department to leverage an investment of Rs 54,618 crore in next 5 years.
11th Extension of Term of Commission
The cabinet approved the 11th Extension of term of the Commission constituted under Article 340 by 6 months beyond 31st July 2021 and up to 31st January 2022.
- The committee examines Sub-categorization within Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in the Central List.
- The extension of tenure will enable the ‘Commission’ to submit a comprehensive report on sub-categorization of OBCs after consulting various stakeholders.
Article 340 – Appointment of a Commission to investigate the conditions of backward classes
Article 340 (1) – The President may by order appoint a Commission consisting of such persons as he thinks fit to investigate the conditions of socially and educationally backward classes within the territory of India
Continuation of CSS Scheme till 31st March 2026
The Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary has been extended for 5 years from April 1, 2021 – March 31, 2026 at a total cost of INR 9000 crore (Central’s Share – INR 5357 crore).
- The allocation includes INR 50 crores for the Gram Nyayalayas Scheme.
- The schemes will be implemented in a Mission Mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms.
Implementation of the Scheme from 2021 to 2026
i.During the period 2021 to 2026,
- 3800 court halls and 4000 residential units for Judicial Officers (JO) in all District and Subordinate Courts will be constructed at a cost of INR 4500 crores.
- Similarly, 1450 Lawyers’ Halls (INR 700 Crores), 1450 Toilet Complex (INR 47 crores), 3800 Digital Computer Rooms (INR 60 crores) will be constructed in all the District and Subordinate Courts.
ii.Operationalisation of Gram Nyayalayas in implementing states with an expenditure of INR50 crores.
iii.Department of Justice with technical assistance from ISRO has upgraded the online monitoring system ‘Nyaya Vikas-2.0’ web portal and mobile application for monitoring physical and financial progress of CSS judicial infrastructure projects.
iv.The Gram Nyayalaya Portal will help in monitoring the working of Gram Nyayalayas by implementing states.
The scheme will increase the availability of well-equipped Court Halls and Residential Accommodations for the Judiciary. It will help in improving the overall functioning and performance of the Judiciary.
- The Financial Assistance to Gram Nyayalayas will provide speedy, substantial and affordable justice to common man at his doorstep.
i.The CSS for development of infrastructure facilities for Judiciary was introduced in 1993-94. From 2014-2021, the government has sanctioned INR 5200 crores for the scheme.
ii.The Gram Nyayalayas Act, 2008 was enacted for the establishment of Gram Nyayalayas for speedy and easy access to the justice system in the rural areas of India. An Amount of INR 81.53 crore has been sanctioned for the scheme since its inception in 2009.
Increase in Dearness Allowance & Dearness Relief
The cabinet has approved the increase of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to Pensions to 28%, which is an increase of 11% compared to existing rate of 17% of the Basic Pay/Pension.
- The increase will come into effect from 01.07.2021.
- Due to the pandemic, 3 additional instalments of DA & DR which were due from 01.01.2020, 01.07.2020 and 01.01.2021 had been withheld.
- The rate of DA/DR for the period 01.01.2020 to 30.06.2021 will remain at 17%.
INR 1624 crore Subsidy scheme for Indian Shipping Companies
The Union Cabinet has approved an INR 1624 crore subsidy scheme for a period of 5 years to Indian shipping companies in global tenders floated by Ministries & Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) for import of Government Cargo.
- Under the scheme, ships older than 20 years are not eligible for any subsidy. The scheme will also be reviewed after 5 years.
- The scheme was announced by Nirmala Sitharaman in the Union Budget session 2021-22 to address the cost disadvantage suffered by Indian flag ships.
Subsidy rates for Ships flagged after February 1, 2021
|Time Period||Subsidy Rate|
|Ships flagged in India after February 1, 2021 and less than 10 years at the time of flagging||15% of the quote|
|Ships flagged in India after February 1, 2021 and are between 10-20 years old at the time of flagging||10%|
The rate at which subsidy support is extended for the 2 categories of ships will be reduced by 1% every year till it falls to 10% & 5% respectively.
Subsidy rates for Existing ship
|Time Period||Subsidy Rate|
|Existing Indian flagged ships which are less than 10 years old on 1st February 2021||10%|
|Existing Indian Flagged Ships which is between 10-20 years old on 1st February, 2021||5%|
The scheme also proposed a 2-layer monitoring system – Apex Review Committee (ARC) & Scheme Review Committee (SRC) for review of the scheme.
- The scheme has potential to generate employment to Indian seafarers since Indian ships are required to employ only Indian seafarers.
i.The Indian fleet comprises only 1.2% of the world fleet in terms of capacity.
- The share of Indian ships in carriage of India’s EXIM (Export Import) trade has declined from 40.7% in 1987-88 to about 7.8% in 2018-19.
- The decrease has led to an increase in Foreign Exchange outgo on account of freight bill payments to foreign shipping companies, to around USD 53 billion in 2018-19 and approximately USD 637 billion during the last 13 years.
Continuation of National AYUSH Mission (NAM)
The Union Cabinet approved the continuation of National AYUSH Mission (NAM) as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2026 with a financial implication of INR 4607.30 crore (Central share – INR 3000 crore, State share – INR 1607.30 crore).
- It was launched in 2014 and is implemented by the Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa-Rigpa and Homoeopathy).
- The main objective of the mission is to promote the AYUSH medical system through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening the educational system. It also facilitates the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homeopathy (ASU & H) drugs and sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
- Under NAM special focus is given on vulnerable and remote areas.
i.Better access to AYUSH healthcare services by increasing healthcare facilities offering AYUSH services, enabling better availability of medicines and trained manpower.
ii.Improvement in AYUSH education by enhancing the number of well-equipped AYUSH Educational institutions.
iii.Reducing communicable/non-communicable diseases through targeted public health programmes using AYUSH systems of Healthcare.
Change of Nomenclature & Mandate of NEIFM
The nomenclature & mandate of North Eastern Institute of Folk Medicine (NEIFM) has been changed as North Eastern Institute of Ayurveda & Folk Medicine Research (NEIAFMR).
- The change will help in imparting quality Education and Research in Ayurveda & Folk Medicine.
- The institute will provide opportunities for students of Ayurveda and Folk medicine in India as well as neighboring countries like Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia, Nepal, China and other Central Asian countries.
- NEIFM situated in Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh was established for systemic research, documentation and validation of traditional folk medicine and health practices of North East Region.
Continuation of RoSCTL
The cabinet has approved the continuation of the Rebate of State and Central Taxes and Levies (RoSCTL) on exports of Apparel/Garment and Made-ups with the same rates as notified by the Ministry of Textiles. It has been extended till 31st March 2024.
- The continuation will make the products globally competitive by paying back all embedded taxes/levies which are not being rebated under any other mechanism.
- It will provide a level playing field to Indian textiles exporters and promote startups, entrepreneurs to export and ensure creation of lakhs of jobs.
- It will also help in generating additional investment and give direct and indirect employment to women.
RoSCTL was notified by the Ministry of Textiles in 2019. Under the scheme, exporters are issued Duty Credit Scrip for the value of embedded taxes and levies contained in the exported product.
- Exporters can use the scrip (substitute for legal tender) to pay basic Customs duty for import of equipment, machinery or any other input.
Approval for Implementation of Special Livestock sector package
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the implementation of the Livestock sector package worth INR 54,618 crore.
- The package revises and realigns various components of Government of India’s schemes for the next 5 years from 2021-22 to boost the growth in the livestock sector to make it more remunerative.
- The package provides Central Government’s support amounting to INR 9800 crore over duration of 5 years for leveraging a total investment of INR 54,618 crore for 5 years.
Merging of schemes
As per the Package, the schemes of the Department will be merged into 3 broad categories as
- Development Programmes – Rashtriya Gokul Mission, National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD), National Livestock Mission (NLM) and Livestock Census and Integrated Sample Survey (LC & ISS) as sub schemes.
- Disease Control Programme (renamed as Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH & DC)) – Livestock Health and Disease Control (LH & DC) scheme, National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP), & Infrastructure Development Fund.
- 3rd Category – Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund (AHIDF) & Dairy Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) have been merged and included in this category. It also includes the present scheme for support to Dairy Cooperatives and Farmer Producer Organizations engaged in Dairy activities.
Rashtriya Gokul Mission will help in development and conservation of indigenous breeds and will contribute in improving the economic condition of the rural poor.
- The National Programme for Dairy Development (NPDD) scheme aims to install around 8900 bulk milk coolers and provide benefit to more than 8 lakh milk producers and 20 LLPD (Lakh Litres Per Day) milk will be additionally procured.
- Under this scheme, financial assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be availed to strengthen and create fresh infrastructure in 4500 villages.
MoU between India & Denmark
The Cabinet has approved the MoU signed between the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, India & Ministry of Health of Denmark on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine.
- The MoU aims to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries in the health sector through joint initiatives, development of research and technology development.
- It will help in improving the public health status of people of both countries.
MoU between India & Russia
The cabinet has approved the MoU between the Ministry of Steel, India & Ministry of Energy, Russia on cooperation regarding coking coal, which is used for Steel making.
i.Objective – To Strengthen cooperation between India & Russia in the steel sector.
- The activities involved in cooperation are aimed at diversifying the source of coking coal.
- The MoU will benefit the entire steel sector by reducing their input cost. It will lead to reduction in cost of steel in India and promote equity and inclusiveness.
- It also provides an institutional mechanism for co-operation in the coking coal sector between India and Russia.
Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen
Capital – Copenhagen
Currency – Danish Krone
About Ministry of Steel
Cabinet Minister – Ramchandra Prasad Singh
Minister of State – Faggansingh Kulaste