The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the following proposals on July 25, 2019:
Approval was given to the sale of 481.79 acres of land held by Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd. (FACT) to the Government of Kerala. 50 acres of land at the rate of Rs. 1 crore per acre will be sold in lieu of Govt. of Kerala agreeing to give free-hold right over 143.22 acres of land to FACT and remaining 331.79 acres at Rs. 2.4758 crore per acre as assessed by the District Collector of Ernakulam.
- Sale Proceeds: FACT will utilize the sale proceeds to address working capital deficiency, improvement of balance sheet and enabling the company to enhance physical and financial performance by implementing capacity expansion projects for sustainable growth of the company.
- Benefits: It will help FACT to reduce the bank borrowings, implement projects for enhancing fertilizer production capacity, upgrade logistics / raw material handling facilities, create opportunities for expansion and diversification of the company, help to generate more jobs, both directly and indirectly, facilitate resultant savings in foreign exchange to the country, improve fertilizers and food security and boost the economy of the State of Kerala and improve fertilizer availability to South India.
Approval to the merger/amalgamation of NIMH with ICMR-NIOH
Approval was given to dissolve National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH), an autonomous Institute under Ministry of Mines (MoM) and merge / amalgamate with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Occupational Health (NIOH), Ahmedabad, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) with all assets and liabilities; and absorb all the employees of NIMH in NIOH in the similar post/pay scale as the case may be and their pay be protected.
- NIMH, ICMR, NIOH, MoM and Department of Health Research (DHR), MoH&FW will take actions required for affecting dissolution and merger/amalgamation of NIMH with NIOH.
- NIMH was set up by Government of India in 1990 and registered as a Society under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960. The registered office of NIMH is located at Kolar Gold Fields, Karnataka and the Central Laboratory in Nagpur. It conducts applied research in occupational health and hygiene and specializes in providing technical support services to mining and mineral based industry with special reference to metalliferous sector and endeavors for safe mines and healthy miners through research & development.
- The focus areas of NIOH include a vast array of areas related to occupational health, which also includes, occupational medicine and occupational hygiene. In the context of review of working and performance of autonomous institutes, Expenditure Management Commission recommended, inter-alia, that- “Organisations with similar objectives can be considered for merger to encourage synergy in operations and reduction in cost”. Accordingly, recommended merger of NIMH with NIOH.
Approval to the creation of buffer stock of 40 LMT of sugar for a period of one year from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020
Approval was given to the creation of buffer stock of 40 LMT of sugar for a period of one year from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.
- The estimated maximum expenditure is Rs.1674 crores. But, based on the market price and availability of sugar, it may be reviewed by the Department of Food and Public Distribution any time for withdrawal / modification.
- The reimbursement under the scheme would be met on a quarterly basis to sugar mills which would be directly credited into farmers’ account on behalf of mills against cane price dues and subsequent balance, if any, would be credited to the mill’s account.
- In the wake of sugar production during sugar season 2017-18 (October-September) and sugar season 2018-19, and the over-leveraged position in the industry and liquidity crunch, interventions have been taken from time to time by the Government to improve liquidity of the sugar mills enabling them to clear cane price arrears of farmers and stabilize sugar prices in the domestic market.
- Creation of buffer stock of 30 LMT of sugar for one year from 1st July, 2018 to 30th June, 2019 was one of the various interventions which were made by the Government.
- Accordingly, the Scheme for creation and maintenance of buffer stock was notified on 15th June, 2019.
- The buffer subsidy scheme announced in sugar season 2017-18 has expired on 30th June, 2019.
Approval to the determination of ‘Fair and Remunerative Price’ of sugarcane payable by sugar mills for 2019-20 sugar season
- Approval was given to the proposal in respect of Determination of ‘Fair and Remunerative Price’ (FRP) of sugarcane payable by sugar mills for 2019-20 sugar season.
- It is based on the recommendation of the Commission of Agricultural Costs & Prices (CACP) as per its report of August 2018 on the price policy for sugarcane for the 2019-20 season.
- The CACP recommended the same price for the 2019-20 sugar season as it was for the sugar season 2018-19.
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved to provide a premium of Rs. 2.75 per qtl for every 0.1% increase above 10% in the recovery.
- It will ensure a guaranteed price to cane growers.
- The ‘FRP’ of sugarcane is determined under Sugarcane (Control) Order, 1966. It will be uniformly applicable all over the country.
About Union Cabinet:
The Union Council of Ministers exercises executive authority in India. It consists of senior ministers called cabinet ministers, junior ministers called ministers of state and, rarely, deputy ministers. It is led by the Prime Minister.