Central funding norms for state irrigation projects relaxed

New Delhi, January 22: | Updated: Jan 23 2002, 05:30am hrs
The government has decided to relax the criteria for releasing Central loan assistance for accelerated irrigation benefit programme for states. Other proposals cleared by the Cabinet on Tuesday include repealing the Banking Service Commission Act, 1984, in order to decentralise recruitment of bank officers and repealing 22 laws in various Union Territories which are “no longer needed.”

As part of the fight against global terror, the Cabinet also approved India’s accession to the convention on the physical protection of nuclear material. With this, India will complete adherence to all the 12 universal instruments which are accepted as benchmarks for a state’s commitments in the fight against international terrorism and are referred to in the UN security council resolution 1373.

The Cabinet has also passed the proposal for signing and ratification of extradition treaties with the Republic of Poland and Malaysia.

Giving details on the decision to relax funding criteria for irrigation projects, an official spokesperson said the states which bring in reforms, such as rationalisation of water charges over five years, will be given loan assistance on liberal terms.

Even those states which come under the general category reform will be given loan assistance in the ratio of 4:1 instead of the earlier 2:1 ratio.

For the special category states, the ratio will now be 1:0 (i.e. the entire assistance to be given by the Centre) instead of 3:1 ratio that existed earlier.

The Banking Service Commission Act, which the Cabinet agreed to repeal, stated that a Banking Service Commission should be set up for conducting examinations for the officers’s cadre of public sector banks.

However, later the matter was reviewed from time to time and it was felt that in the interest of economy and satisfactory functioning of the decentralised system of recruitment, the proposal for setting up of the banking service commission should be kept in abeyance.

After examining the matter further in ’01 and keeping in view the need for providing greater autonomy to the bank managements, it was felt that all future recruitment may be done by the bank themselves, the spokesperson said.

The UT laws, which will be repealed, include the Delhi Municipal Corporation (validation of electricity tax) Act, 1966, the Goa, Daman and Diu opinion poll Act, 1966 and the Punjab pre-emption (Chandigarh and Delhi repeal) Act, 1989

As many as 20 of these acts pertained to Punjab or former East Punjab and most of them were enacted in 1940’s and 1950’s.

In another decision, the Cabinet gave ex-post-facto approval for extending by six months the tenure of loss of ecology (prevention and payments of compensation) authority in Tamil Nadu, constituted under the Environment (protection) Act, 1986.

No additional fund will be required on account of extension of tenure of the authority till March 31, the spokesperson said, adding an estimated expenditure of Rs 249.73 lakh will be met by the authority.

The main objective of this authority is to deal with the pollution and consequent environmental degradation caused by tanneries and other industries in Tamil Nadu.