The Cabinet on Wednesday approved addition of another 60 discovered small fields (DSFs) to be auctioned later this year. These will be offered in the Discovered Small Fields Policy Bid Round II in addition to the ones left from the first round last year. The Cabinet had in September 2015 approved 69 marginal fields to be offered under the DSF policy. Out these, 67 DSFs were clubbed into 46 contract areas and put on offer through online international competitive bidding. In March 2017, 31 contracts were signed with 22 companies, of which 15 were new entrants and the estimated total revenue of from these fields is around Rs 46,400 crore. Fields offered under the DSF policy were relinquished by ONGC and Oil India.
In a release on Wednesday, the government said the 60 fields being added have a total of 194.65 mt of oil and oil equivalent in place and will create 88,000 jobs. “These fields will be developed and monetised faster, thereby augmenting production of oil and gas leading to enhance energy security of the country,” a release said.
According to another Cabinet decision, micro, small and medium enterprises will now be defined on the basis of annual turnover as opposed to quantum of investment in plant and machinery, which has been used till now earlier. A firm with annual turnover of less than Rs 5 crore has been classified as micro enterprise, while turnover between Rs 5-75 crore is to be termed as a small enterprise. Any entity declaring a turnover between Rs 75-250 crore will be termed as a medium enterprise. The change in definition is expected to encourage ease of doing business and align classification with new corporate tax regime, the government said in the statement. Last week, the government had brought down corporate tax rate to 25% from 30% for firms below the threshold of Rs 250 crore of annual turnover. The Cabinet has also approved the incorporation of the Official Amendments to the Major Port Authorities Bill 2016, which is pending in Parliament. The amendments are based on the recommendations of the department-related parliamentary standing committee.
The minimum support price for milling copra has been revised from Rs 7,500 per quintal to Rs 6,500 and ball copra to Rs 7,750 per quintal from Rs 6,785 for 2018.