The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved a slew of decisions aimed at promoting ‘Make in India’ and creating jobs, apart from giving nod for several major projects of the Indian Railways.
The National Capital Goods Policy, which has been given a go-ahead, is a major step by the Modi government to promote production of capital goods in the country and raise employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.
Doubling of several railway lines, MoUs with Japan and Maldives, new IITs are among the other decisions that found focus today. We take a look at 12 major decisions taken by the Cabinet on Wednesday:
1) National Capital Goods Policy: Cabinet has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy. This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector with a clear objective of increasing production of capital goods from Rs 2,30,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 7,50,000 crore in 2025 and raising direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.
The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 percent to 40 percent of production. It will increase the share of domestic production in India’s demand from 60 percent to 80 percent thus making India a net exporter of capital goods. The policy also aims to facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, increase skill availability, ensure mandatory standards and promote growth and capacity building of MSMEs.
“The Policy will help in realising the vision of ‘Building India as the World class hub for Capital Goods’. It will also play a pivotal role in overall manufacturing as the pillar of strength to the vision of ‘Make in India’,” says the Cabinet release.
The objectives of the policy will be met by the Department of Heavy Industry in a time bound manner through obtaining approval for schemes as per the roadmap of policy interventions, it adds.
2) Railway projects: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for taking up Bina-Katni 3rd line project at an estimated cost of Rs 2,478.23 crore and expected completion cost of Rs 2,917.06 crore.
The 278.7 km long railway line is expected to be completed in five years. Besides facilitating the travel, the thermal power plants in the area will get 3rd line for transportation of their products, says the Cabinet press release. “It will also greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between Bina-Katni section thereby increasing the revenue of Railways. Sagar, Damoh and Katni districts of Madhya Pradesh would also be benefitted through this project,” adds the release.
Bina-Katni is critical and busy section of West Central Railway serving Coal rakes for Thermal Power Plants at Chhabra Gugur and Jhalawar in Rajasthan and POL traffic for Mahadevkhedi in Madhya Pradesh.
Approval has also been given fortaking up Vizianagaram and Titlagarh 3rd line project at an estimated cost of Rs 2,335.68 crore. The 3rd line is an alternative route to over-burdened existing line. This link also opens an alternative route to oversaturated Kharagpur – Jharsuguda section Howrah-Mumbai Grand Trunk Route and Howrah-Chennai section main line. Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha and Vizianagaram and Babbili districts of Andhra Pradesh would be benefitted through this project.
> Doubling of Roza -Sitapur Cantt.- Burhwal Broad Gauge single line project at an estimated cost of Rs.1,295.42 crore with expected completion cost of Rs.1,486.46 crore with 5% escalation per annum has also been given a nod.
> Doubling of Surendranagar-Rajkot project at an estimated cost of Rs.1,002.39 crore with expected completion cost of Rs.1,137.17 crore with 5% escalation per annum has been given approval.
> Doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa railway line project at an estimated cost of Rs.3,627.47 crore and expected completion cost of Rs.4,246.84 crore with 5% escalation per annum.
3) IITs: Cabinet granted ex-post facto approval to the Amendment to The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 for incorporation of six new IITs at Tirupati (AP), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa, Jammu (J&K) and conversion of ISM, Dhanbad to an IIT under the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961
The approval will bring six new Indian Institutes of Technology within the ambit of The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and declaring them as the institutions of national importance. The above Amendment is also for conversion of ISM, Dhanbad into an IIT by bringing it into the ambit of the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and also declaring it as an institute of national importance.
4) MOU between India and Japan: Ex-post facto approval has been given to the MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India.
The signing of the MOU will help India to address issues and barriers in promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development that have been identified through the preceding Pre-Primary Study and the on-going cooperation towards Energy Efficient Renovation & Modernization as well as new power development, by means of diagnostic activities to support Renovation and Modernization (R&M) materialization and implementation, knowledge and technology exchange activities to support Clean Coal Technology (CCT) for thermal power plants such as Ultra Super Critical (USC) and other environmental technologies, all of which will be conducive to overall power development for India as well as to facilitate relevant policy implementation.
5) Yes Bank foreign investment limit: CCEA granted ex-post facto approval to the proposal of Yes Bank for increase in the foreign investment limit to 75% from the existing foreign equity of 41.87% without any sub-limits, for investment by way of issue of non-equity shares and/or other permissible instruments to eligible non-resident investors.
6) Financial restructuring of Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation: Nod was given for financial restructuring of Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation Limited (HFCL). The Cabinet, amongst other things, approved waiver of GoI loan of Rs. 1916.14 crores (as on 31.03.2015) and the outstanding interest on GoI loan as on date (the interest amount was Rs. 7163.35 crores as on 31.3.2015). The Cabinet also approved transfer of 56 acres of Ash Dyke land of Barauni unit to Bihar State Power Generation Company Limited (BSPGCL) to settle dues of HFCL for faster revival of Barauni Unit.
This Cabinet approval will facilitate de-registration of HFCL from BIFR by making its net worth positive. It will clear the way for faster revival of Barauni unit of HFCL.
7) Ex-post facto approval for cadre review of Indian Postal Service: The cadre review will enable the Department of Posts to meet the functional requirements and strengthening the cadre structure both in the headquarters and in the field on the basis of functional requirement, which will provide more avenues to earn review and respond effectively to the customer needs, reduce the existing stagnation and improve the career prospects of Indian Postal Service officers.
8) MoU between ISRO & United Arab Emirates Space Agency: Cabinet was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) for cooperation in the exploration and user of outer space for peaceful purposes.
The MoU would result in setting up a Joint Working Group with members from ISRO and UAESA, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.
9) National Institute of Technology for Andhra Pradesh: Ex-post facto approval was given for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh which has been registered as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 with effect from 20th August 2015.
The Cabinet also approved introduction of a Bill namely the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for inclusion of the NIT, Andhra Pradesh in its First Schedule.
The post- facto approval of the Cabinet for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 2001 would give a legal entity to NIT, Andhra Pradesh.
10) MOU between India & Maldives: Ex-post facto approval was given to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Maldives for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.
The Memorandum of Understanding with Maldives will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.
11) Financial restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction: Cabinet has given its approval for financial restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction Limited (HSCL). It has also approved its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited (NBCC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Urban Development.
NBCC and HSCL are Government of India enterprises with similar lines of business activities. The decision will benefit in economies of scale for NBCC and would assist in better manpower utilization.
12) Amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order: Nod has also been given for introduction of two Bills in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes in respect of five States, namely, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and identification of new communities in the Union Territory of Puducherry.