The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi accorded approval for several initiatives. They are
- Extension of last date of registration till 31st March, 2022 for Atma Nirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY)
- Revised Implementation Strategy Of BharatNet through PPP Model
- Loan Guarantee Scheme for Covid Affected Sectors (LGSCAS) and to enhance the Target Credit Line for Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS)
- Approval for ‘Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme’
- MoU between India & Myanmar in the field of health research
- MoU between India & Nepal in the field of health research
- MoU between India & Gambia for overhauling Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms.
Extension of last date for ABRY Scheme
The last date for registration of beneficiaries for availing the benefit under Atma Nirbhar Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) has been extended from 30th June, 2021 to 31st March, 2022. The estimated expenditure of the scheme (including the expenditure for the proposed extended period) is INR 22,098 crore.
- The extension is expected to generate around 71.8 lakh employment in the formal sector.
- As on 18th June 2021, a benefit amount of INR 902 crore has been distributed to 21.42 lakh beneficiaries.
It was launched on October 1, 2020 to incentivise employers for creation of new employment, restoration of loss of employment through EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation).
- The scheme is implemented through EPFO, and the subsidy is provided for a period of 2 years.
- Under ABRY, establishments registered with EPFO and their new employees drawing a monthly wage of less than INR 15,000 are being benefited if the establishment recruits new employees or those who lost their job between 01.03.2020 to 30.09.2020.
- Under ABRY, the Central Government will credit the employees’ and employers share (24% of wages) or only the employees’ share (12% of wages) for a period of 2 years.
Revised Implementation Strategy of BharatNet through PPP mode
The cabinet approved the revised implementation strategy of BharatNet through Public Private Partnership mode (PPP) in 16 states of India with optical fibre connectivity to around 3.61 lakh inhabited villages.
- The estimated maximum viability gap funding for the above PPP model is INR 19,041 crores.
i.The revised strategy includes creation, upgradation, operation, maintenance and utilization of BharatNet.
ii.BharatNet PPP Model will bring in the following advantages – high quality of service, competitive tariffs for services, access to all online services & will help in substantial savings of public money.
Approval for Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID-19 Affected Sectors
The Union Cabinet approved the Loan Guarantee Scheme for COVID-19 Affected Sectors (LGSCAS), which enables funding of up to INR 50,000 crore for providing financial guarantee cover for brownfield expansion and greenfield projects related to health/medical infrastructure.
- LGSCAS will be applicable to all eligible loans sanctioned up to 31.03.2022 or till an amount of INR 50,000 crore is sanctioned.
- The cabinet has also approved the introduction of a scheme for other sectors/lenders including those allied to better healthcare.
i.The cabinet has also approved additional funding up to INR 1,50,000 crore under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS). With this, the Target Credit Line under the ECLGS scheme has increased from INR 3 Lakh crore to INR 4.5 Lakh crore.
- It will be applicable to all eligible loans sanctioned till 30.09.2021 or till an amount of INR 4.5 Lakh crore is sanctioned under the GECL (Guaranteed Emergency Credit Line (GECL).
CCEA approves Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Reforms-based and Results-Linked ‘Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme’, which aims to improve the operational efficiencies and financial sustainability of DISCOM (Distribution Company (India)) in the Power sector (not applicable to private DISCOMS).
- The scheme will be available till 2025-26 and is worth INR 3.03 Lakh crore (Central Fund – 97,000 crore).
- Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) & Power Finance Corporation (PFC) have been nominated as nodal agencies for facilitating the implementation of the scheme.
- The main objective of the scheme is Reduction of AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) losses to pan-India levels of 12-15% by 2024-25 and reduction of ACS-ARR (Average Cost of Supply – Average Revenue Realized) gap to zero by 2024-25.
i.The major focus of the scheme will be on improving electricity supply for the farmers and for providing daytime electricity to them through solarisation of agricultural feeders.
ii.Prepaid Smart metering to be implemented in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode under this scheme with an aim to install approximately 10 crore prepaid Smart Meters by December, 2023 in the first phase.
iii.It will subsume other central schemes like Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS), Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), and Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (or “Saubhagya” scheme).
MoU between India & Nepal in the field of Health Research
The cabinet gave approval to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India and the Nepal Health Research Council (NHRC), Nepal.
- The main objective of the MoU is to collaborate jointly for research activities of mutual interest through exchange of knowledge, skills, adoption of tools, guidelines, and best practices related to health research.
- It will concentrate on cross-border health issues, Ayurveda/traditional medicine and medicinal plants, climate change and health, non-communicable diseases, mental Health, Population based cancer registry, tropical diseases and others.
- Each Party shall fund the components of the research approved under the MoU to be conducted in their country or may apply jointly for third party funding.
MoU between India & Myanmar in the field of health research
The cabinet also approved the MoU between Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India and the Department of Medical Research (DMR), Ministry of Health and Sports, Myanmar. It aims to build on the health research relationship in the topics of mutual research.
- Objective – Elimination of infectious diseases, Harmonization of regulatory mechanism, Development of network platform of emerging and viral infection, Training/capacity in research methodology, management, clinical trials, ethics.
- A Joint Working Group (JWG) consisting of delegates from each organization will be established.
MoU between India & Gambia
The cabinet approved the signing of an MoU between the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Government of India and the Public Service Commission, Office of the President of the Gambia on Refurbishing Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms.
- The main objective of the MoU is to strengthen and promote bilateral cooperation between the two countries in Personnel Administration and Governance Reforms.
- It will help in understanding the personnel administration of both countries and help in improving the system of governance through replicating, adapting and innovating some of the best practices and processes.
- The areas of cooperation under the MoU include Improving Performance Management System in Government, Implementation of contributory Pension Scheme & E-recruitment in Government.
Acting President – Myint Swe
Capital – Naypyidaw
Currency – Kyat
President – Bidya Devi Bhandari
Capital – Kathmandu
Currency – Nepalese Rupee (NPR)
President – Adama Barrow
Capital – Banjul
Currency – Gambian Dalasi (GMD)