From extension of Chennai Metro Rail project to proposal to set up India Post payments bank, the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a slew of decisions. We take a look at some of the major decisions taken by the Cabinet on Wednesday:
1) India Post payments bank: Government cleared a proposal to set up India Post payments bank with a corpus of Rs 800 crore and has plans to have 650 branches operational by September 2017.
“The Cabinet has cleared proposal of postal payments bank. We have 1.54 lakh post offices of which 1.39 lakh are rural post offices. 650 branches of postal payments bank will be established in the country which will be linked to rural post offices,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
There is also a discussion to give iPad and smartphones to postmen in urban post offices. At present, core banking network of post offices is more than that of State Bank of India. SBI has 1,666 core banking branches while 22,137 post offices now have core banking facility.
2) Proposal for extension of Corridor-1 of Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase-I: Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I Project from Washermanpet to Wimconagar. It covers a length of 9.051 km at a total cost of Rs 3770 crore.
The project will be executed by the existing SPV of Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.
This extension will provide improved access to public transport for dense population comprising predominantly industrial workers to move towards the central business district of the city for work.
3) Additional allocations for the BPL and APL families in non NFSA State: The Cabinet also gave its approval for additional monthly allocation of 41,800 tonnes of foodgrains for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at BPL rates and 20,507 tonnes of foodgrains for Above Poverty Line (APL) families at 2/3rd of Minimum Support Price (MSP) rates to three non-National Food Security Act (NFSA) States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nagaland, from April to June, 2016 or till implementation of NFSA by the respective State, whichever is earlier.
4) MSP for Kharif Crops of 2016-17 season: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval for Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for Kharif Crops of 2016-17 season. The prices would be effective from 1.10.2016. The higher MSPs would increase investment and production through assured remunerative prices to farmers.
The approved MSP is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) which takes into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, the likely effect of the Price Policy on the rest of economy, besides ensuring rational utilization of production resources like land and water, while recommending MSPs.
5) MoU between India and Qatar: Cabinet approved MoU between India and Qatar for cooperation in Skill Development and Recognition of qualifications. The MoU will facilitate workforce mobility, skill development and placement of youth in overseas jobs in Qatar.
An MoU strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism was also given approval.
The main objectives of the MoU are:
a) To create favourable conditions for long-term co-operation in the field of tourism for the mutual benefits.
b) To exchange expertise, publications, information/data and statistics related to tourism.
c) To encourage cooperation through the exchange of programmes, propaganda and advertising materials, publications, films, promotion and marketing of their tourism products via media etc.
d) To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism.
e) To encourage co-operation between tourism sectors, tour operators, travel agents and other tourism private sector’s firms and bureaus in the two countries.
f) To encourage public and the private sectors to invest in tourism.
6) MoU between USA and India: Cabinet granted for signing of an MoU between United States of America and India to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking.
With the approval, India will benefit from the expertise of the US Institutions in the field of wildlife conservation and management of wildlife areas and in combating illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives.
7) Mau-Tarighat New Railway line project: Cabinet also gave its approval for a new broad gauge line between Mau Station of North Eastern Railway and Tarighat Terminal station of East Central Railway. The total length of this new broad gauge line will be 51 kilometers.
The estimated cost of the project is Rs 1765.92 crore and expected completion cost is Rs.2109.07 crore with 5 percent escalation per annum. The project is likely to be completed in the next six years during 12th and 13th Plan period.
8) Public Enterprises Selection Board: Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Amendment to the Resolutions dated 3rd March 1987 of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). The proposed amendments are as under:
(a) selection of candidates from State Public Enterprises and Private Sector as non-internal candidates for a period of five years for appointment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs);
(b) holding of office by the Chairperson and Members of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for a period of 3 years from assumption of charge or until attaining the age of 65 years or until further orders whichever is earlier.