Narendra Modi cabinet met on Tuesday and took a number of key decisions. The highlights of the cabinet meet included pacts with Morocco and Armenia, doubling tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh, hiving off BSNL mobile towers into separate company, hiking of DA to 5 pct for 1.1 cr employees and pensioners, and doubling of Daund-Manmad railway line. Here’s a detailed look at the key decisions:
DA for Central Government employees, pensioners hiked to 5 pc
Centre approved hiking of dearness allowance (DA) and dearness relief by 1 per cent to 5 per cent, benefiting 50 lakh employees and 61 lakh pensioners. This decision was taken at the Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here. “Release of additional installment of DA is an increase of 1 per cent over the existing rate of 4 per cent of the basic pay/pension, to compensate for price rise,” according to an official statement.
Pacts with Morocco and Armenia
In a key decision, Union Cabinet approved the signing of an agreement with Morocco on healthcare and another one with Armenia on cooperation in disaster management. As per PTI, the memorandum of understanding with Morocco will see cooperation in the fight against child cardiovascular diseases and cancer. While the memorandum of understanding with Armenia is signed for cooperation in the field of disaster management.
Centre clears bill to double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh
The Union Cabinet approved an amendment bill that doubled the tax-free gratuity for formal sector employees to Rs 20 lakh. “The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in Parliament,” an official statement said. A PTI report says that the current upper ceiling on gratuity under the Act is Rs 10 lakh. The provisions for central government employees under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, with regard to gratuity are also similar.
Hiving off BSNL mobile towers into separate company
The Cabinet has okayed hiving off mobile towers of state-run telecom firm BSNL into a separate company. There are around 4,42,000 mobile towers in the country, out of which BSNL owns more than 66,000. “The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for hiving off mobile tower assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) into a separate company, fully-owned by BSNL,” an official statement said.
Doubling of Daund-Manmad railway line
The Centre okayed the doubling of Daund-Manmad railway line which affects the passengers and goods across Pune, Ahmednagar and Nashik in Maharashtra. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave the nod for the project at an estimated cost of Rs 2,081.27 crore and expected completion cost of Rs 2330.51 crore. The railway line is 247.5 km long and is expected to be completed in five years.