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Union Cabinet Approvals – July 21, 2016

Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2105 approved by Union Cabinet
i. With the desire of introducing in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament, the Union cabinet approved the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill, 2015 on July 20,2016.
ii. This new amendment fortifies the existing Bill in terms of legal and administrative procedure in order to overcome the practical difficulties which come out in the case of implementation of the provisions of the Bill when it formulates as an Act.
iii. This Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Bill is aimed at curtailing domestic illegal and black money and it also endows the Government to impound the benami property with the help of proper guidelines and regulations.
iv. It promotes equity across all citizens by providing a way for those who declare their benami properties under income declaration scheme will get immunity under this Act.
v. The bill was tabled in May last year but was subsequently referred to Parliament’s standing committee on finance. Under this bill, the term “property” will cover all kinds of movable, immovable, tangible and intangible properties.

Union Cabinet nods for the Indo – Swiss MoU for Skill Development
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed between India and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation for cooperation in skill development.
ii. This MoU was signed on June 22, 2016, during the visit of a delegation, led by the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to Switzerland.
iii. This MoU is highly conscious about capacity building and exchange of best practices in the area of skill development between both the nations.
iv. Hence a bilateral cooperation framework has been established between the two countries in the area of skill development and will regularize and strengthen this togetherness.
The MoU projects the constitution of a Joint Working Group to create, monitor and review the framework for the MoU implementation.

AIIMS Gorakhpur got its approval from the Central Cabinet
i. PM Narendra Modi Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a new All India Institutes of Medical Sciences AIIMS at Gorakhpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY).
ii. Under National Health Mission, The establishment of new AIIMS will serve the dual purpose of providing super speciality health care to the population while creating a large pool of doctors and other health workers in this region that can be available for primary and secondary level institutions.
iii. This new centre will also perform research on prevailing regional diseases and other health issues and provide better control and cure of such diseases.
iv. This centre has been established in UP in order to correct the regional imbalances in availability of affordable tertiary level healthcare in the country and also to augment facilities for quality medical education in backward States in India.
v. AIIMS shall have a hospital with capacity of 750 beds which includes, Emergency beds
Trauma Beds, AYUSH Beds, Private Beds, ICU Speciality beds, Super Speciality beds.
vi. Apart from these there will be an Administration Block, AYUSH Block, and Auditorium, Night Shelter, Hostels and residential facilities for the well being of the patients.

Cabinet Approves a MoU between India and Mozambique on Airline Promotions
i. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved signing of the Air Services agreement between India and Mozambique.
ii. This Agreement intends as a move to regulate and advance air connectivity between the two countries.
iii. According to the government statement, the draft text of the Air Services Agreement has been finalised in consultation with Ministry of Finance, External Affairs and Ministry of Law & Justice.
iv. As per this agreement designated airlines of either countries to establish offices in the territory of other for the promotion and sale of air services.
v. The designated airlines shall also have fair and equal opportunity to operate the agreed services on specified route and the airlines of both the countries can operate to multiple destinations in the other countries too.

Transgender show relief signs after the approval of The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016
i. The Union Cabinet chaired by Shri. Narendra Modi approved The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016 on July 20.
ii. This Bill has evolved as a mechanism for the social, economic and educational empowerment of transgender persons in India.
iii. The bill will benefit a large number of transgender persons; extenuate the stigma, partiality and offence against this marginalized section and to bring them into the mainstream of society.
iv. The lines of the The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014, which was moved in 2015 and passed by the Rajya sabha, is drafted by the social justice ministry.
v. The bill proposes that transgender persons be included in the OBC category in case they are not listed as scheduled caste or schedule tribe.
vi. The bill also has provision of jail for minimum six months for those found harassing transgender persons with maximum imprisonment for two years.

The Sagarmala Port Project gets its nod from the Central Union Cabinet on July 20
i. Giving a boost of modernizing port infrastructure Sagarmala programme, the Union Cabinet approved incorporation of Sagarmala Development Co. (SDC) under the Companies Act, 2013.
ii. The Union government decided to incorporate Sagarmala Development Company (SDC) under the Companies Act, 2013. SDC under the administrative control of the ministry of shipping.
iii. The programme has 150 projects comprising of port modernization, connectivity, port-led industrialization and coastal community development.
iv. This act will provide equity support to the project Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) and funding support to the residual projects under the Sagarmala Programme.
v. It will have an initial authorized share capital of Rs 1,000 crore and a subscribed share capital of Rs 90 crore and the funds allocated will be used by SDC.
vi. It is noted that the Sagarmala Programme was launched with the approval of the Union Cabinet on March 25th 2015 in the State of with a view to achieve the broad objective of promoting port-led economic development in India.
vii. The Sagarmala Project includes the following ports in India,

West Bengal Sagar Island
Tamil Nadu Colachel
Gujarat Wadhwan
Karnataka Tadadi
Andhra Pradesh Machilipatnam

Indo – African MoU gets its approval from Indian Union Cabinet
i. The Union Cabinet sanctioned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Tunisia .
ii. This MoU is signed between both the countries both the countries on June 2, 2016 for toning up bilateral cooperation in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy.
iii. The agreement signifies to surrogate active cooperation and exchange between private entities, governments, institutions involved in raising capacity building and other public and private organizations of the two countries in the field of ICT and Digital Economy.

CCEA Approves Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) in UP
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Okayed a plan to set up a thermal power plant at Ghatampur in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
ii. This plant is able to generate 1,980 mw thermal energy and this project is figured to cost Rs 17,238 crore.
iii. Ghatampur Thermal Power Project (GTPS) is going to be constituted through a joint venture company named Neyveli Uttar Pradesh Power Ltd formed jointly by Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam.
iv. The power project will constitute three 660 mw units and it will supply the electricity generated at the plant mainly to the host state.

CCEA approves for Cochin Shipyard Limited’s new Dry Dock Construction
i. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved setting up of a new dry dock within the existing premises of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL).
ii. This new augmentation facility will enable Cochin Shipyard to utilize the market potential of building specialized and technologically-advanced vessels.
iii. This project is figured for an estimated cost of Rs 1799 crore to enhance shipbuilding and repair capacity of Indian maritime Industry.
Once this new platform is set to roll, many specialized vessels like
♦ Liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels
♦ Indigenous higher capacity aircraft carriers
♦ Jack up rigs
♦ Drill ships
♦ Large dredgers
Repairing of offshore platforms and larger vessels can be done at ease.

Union Cabinet approves Election Commission’s proposal to procure EVMs
i. The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval for the proposal of Election Commission to procure Ballot Units.
ii. Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Election Commission’s proposal to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs today received a push by the government’s first tranche of nearly Rs 920 crore to procure 5.50 lakh new ballot units and 5.45 lakh control units during 2016-17.
iii. The procurement plan for Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail Units (VVPAT) for 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 would be considered subsequently after price negotiations.
iv. Now, PSUs namely Bharat Electronics Ltd, Bengaluru and Electronic Corporation of India Ltd, Hyderabad produce EVMs and VVPATs.
v. It is noted that the EC plans to buy nearly 14 lakh new EVMs at a cost of over Rs 5200 crore before 2019 when the next Lok Sabha polls are due.
vi. The decision to explore the involvement of start-ups for producing new voting machines with paper trail machines got the backing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a view to have better version of the machines at a competitive and cheap price.