On May 3, 2017, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved wide-ranging economic measures and MoUs with foreign countries.
Cabinet approves NPA ‘package’ for banks
The cabinet has cleared the nonperforming asset (NPA) resolution package that includes an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act for empowering the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to deal with bad assets in an effective manner.
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the measures would be sent to President for approval.
- As per the latest government data, public sector banks’ gross bad loans stood at Rs 6.07 lakh crore as on December 31, 2016 as compared to Rs 5.02 lakh crore on March 31, 2017.
Cabinet approves cooperation between Indian and Japan on Railway Safety
Union Cabinet has given gave ex-post facto approval to the signing the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) with Japan on Railway Safety. This MoC was signed in February 2017.
The MoC enables cooperation in following areas:
- Routine track Safety
- Latest technology related to railway track safety
- Rolling stock safety
- Any other railway safety matter jointly agreed by both sides
Cooperation activities under MoC:
- Dispatch of experts
- Training of core staff in Japan
- Sharing information and best practices
- Collaboration between National Traffic Safety and Environmental Laboratory of Japan and Research Design and Standards Organisation of Union Ministry of Railway.
- Capital: Tokyo
- Currency: Japanese yen
Cabinet approves modifications in the 7th CPC recommendations on pay and pensionary benefits
Union Cabinet has approved modifications in the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) relating to the method of revision of pension of pre-2016 pensioners and family pensioners. The modifications were based on recommendations made by the Committee chaired by Secretary (Pensions) which was constituted with the approval of the Cabinet.
- Besides, cabinet also approved the retention of percentage-based regime of disability pension implemented post 6th CPC. 7th CPC had recommended replacing this regime by a slab-based system.
- The benefit of the proposed modifications will be available with effect from the date of implementation of 7th CPC recommendations i.e. 1st January, 2016.
Cabinet approves MoU on Urea manufacturing Plant in Malaysia
Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to signing of MoU with Malaysia on development of a urea and ammonia manufacturing plant in Malaysia.
- The plant will be built at an estimated cost $2.1 billion. It will have capacity to produce 2.4 million tonnes of urea and 1.35 million tonnes of ammonia per annum with provision of dedicated supply to Indian market.
- Capital: Kuala Lumpur
- Currency: Malaysian ringgit
Cabinet approves signing of MoU between India and Spain in Civil Aviation
Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in area of Civil Aviation with Spain.
- This MoU will positively impact bilateral trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between India and Spain.
- Capital: Madrid
- Currency: Euro
Cabinet approves Policy for providing preference to domestically manufactured iron & steel products in government procurement
With an objective to encourage domestic manufacturing, Union Cabinet has approved the policy for providing preference to Domestically Manufactured Iron & Steel Products (DMI&SP) on Government procurement. The policy is applicable on all government tenders where price bidding has not yet started.
- However, this provision will not apply if projects require specific types of steel which is not manufactured in India or if Indian companies cannot meet the required quality standards.
- Indian steel makers who import raw materials or intermediate products can claim the benefits under DMI&SP policy if they add a minimum of 15% value to the product.
Cabinet approves MoU signed in 2011 and Renewal of MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Higher Colleges of Technology, United Arab Emirates
Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2011 and renewal of MoU between the Institute of Chartered Accountants, of India (ICAI) and Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), United Arab Emirates.
- This MoU is geared towards strengthening the Accounting, Financial and Audit knowledge base within UAE.
- It was signed on January 4, 2011 for a period of 5 years. The renewal terms of MoU are centred on collaborations in offering professional courses, organising joint seminars and workshops and student exchange programmes among others.
Cabinet approves New Central Sector Scheme – SAMPADA (Scheme For Agro-Marine Processing And Development Of Agro-Processing Clusters)
Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for Scheme for Agro-Marine Processing and Development of Agro-Processing Clusters (SAMPADA) for period 2016-20.
- SAMPADA is an umbrella scheme incorporating ongoing schemes of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
- Objective of SAMPADA is to bring down harvest losses and modernize food processing. Financial outlay for SAMPADA is Rs. 6000 crore.
Cabinet approves MoU on Third Line of Credit of US $ 4.5 billion to Bangladesh for implementation of developmental projects
Union Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on 3rd Line of Credit (LoC) of US $ 4.5 billion to Bangladesh. The MoU was signed during the visit of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to India in April 2017.
- This LoC has been extended for developmental projects in Bangladesh. It aims to strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh.
- This LoC will be deployed for projects that will also benefit India. Improving connectivity with Bangladesh will also enhance accessibility to India’s North-Eastern region. Moreover it will also offer business opportunities for Indian infrastructure companies.
- Capital: Dhaka
- Currency: Bangladeshi taka
Cabinet approves MoU between the Defence Services Staff College, Wellington and Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur, Dhaka for Cooperation in Military Education
This MoU seeks to establish a framework for enhanced cooperation in the field of military education concerning strategic and operational studies and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Bangladesh
- Through joint training and exercises, armed forces of both the countries will be able to coordinate joint action in response to common challenges such as terrorism.
Cabinet approves Vijayawada Airport as International Airport
Union Cabinet has given its approval for the declaration of Vijayawada Airport in Andhra Pradesh as International Airport. The decision is in accordance with the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
- This move will improve air connectivity to Vijayawada, offering more options of services to air travellers. It will also help in promoting tourism in Andhra Pradesh.
- The decision was taken on account of repeated demands from airline operators and surge in passenger traffic. The infrastructure upgradation required for international operations will be carried out by Airports Authority of India.