From ratifying Paris Agreement to implementation of Rs 2,256 crore project SAKSHAM: 10 key decisions taken by Cabinet today

By: | Updated: September 28, 2016 6:13 PM

From ratifying the Paris Agreement to the implementation of Rs 2,256 crore project SAKSHAM, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved several decisions.

Cabinet decided that India will ratify the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change) on 2nd October 2016. Cabinet decided that India will ratify the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change) on 2nd October 2016.

From ratifying the Paris Agreement to the implementation of Rs 2,256 crore project SAKSHAM, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday approved several decisions. We take a look at some decisions that the Cabinet took:

1) Ratification of the  Paris Agreement: Cabinet decided that India will ratify the Paris Agreement (on Climate Change) on 2nd October 2016. With this decision, India will be one of the key countries that will be instrumental in bringing the Paris Agreement into force.  Given the critical role that India played in securing international consensus on Paris Agreement, today’s decision will further underline India’s responsive leadership in the community of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.

While agreeing to ratify the Paris Agreement, the Cabinet has also decided that India should declare that India will treat its national laws, its development agenda, availability of means of implementation, its assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the Agreement is being ratified.

2) Project SAKSHAM: CCEA approved ‘Project SAKSHAM’, a New Indirect Tax Network (Systems Integration) of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). The total project cost involved is Rs 2256 crore which will be incurred over a period of seven years. It will help in:

  • Implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST),
  • Extension of the Indian Customs Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) and
  • other taxpayer-friendly initiatives under Digital India and Ease of Doing Business of Central Board of Excise and Customs.

The implementation strategy for the project will be to ensure the readiness of CBEC’s IT systems by April 1 2017, when GST is to be introduced. The upgrade of the IT systems will be carried out while keeping the existing Tax-payer services running.

ALSO READ: Project Saksham: 5 things to know about new indirect tax network of CBEC and why it is necessary for GST rollout

3) Productivity Linked Bonus to railway employees: Cabinet gave its approval to pay Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days wages to eligible non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) for the financial year 2015-16. The approval entails a financial implication of approximately Rs 2090.96 crore. Payment of PLB would result in motivating a large number of railway employees to improve the performance of the Railways and enhance the productivity levels further besides maintaining industrial peace.

4)  Cabinet approved India’s position on International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Draft Global Market-based Measures Scheme. The Cabinet approval will enable finalization of the negotiation strategy in the 39th Assembly of the ICAO. This will help India to bargain for the possible flexibility out of the proposed Global Market Based Measures Scheme of ICAO.

5) Closure of Hindustan Cables Limited, Kolkata: Cabinet also gave its approval for closure of Hindustan Cables Limited (HCL), Kolkata as per the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956/2013, Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 and other relevant Acts. The employees will be offered attractive VRS/ VSS Package at notional 2007 pay scales and other employees’ related liabilities including payment of salary and wages from April 2015 till they are separated from the Company on VRS/VSS will be settled as well. The disposal of assets of the company will be in terms of the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises on time bound closure of sick/loss making Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and disposal of movable and immovable assets.

6) Ex-post facto approval to Varistha Pension Bima Yojana, 2003 and Varistha Pension Bima Yojana: Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval for the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2003 launched on 14th July, 2003 and Varistha Pension Bima Yojana (VPBY) 2014 launched on 14th August 2014. The Cabinet also granted approval for expenditure incurred on subsidy amount released to LIC during the period of 2003-04 to 2014-15 for VPBY, 2003 and approval to incur expenditure on VPBY, 2003 and 2014 from the financial year 2015-16 onwards.

7) Cabinet also gave the go-ahead for the acquisition of stakes in two Russian oil fields by Indian PSU Consortium. Consortium comprising OIL, IOCL, and BPRL to acquire 23.9% stake in JSC Vankorneft and 29.9% stake in LLC Taas-Yuryakh

8) Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates for Seafarers:  Cabinet approved the signing of an Undertaking between India and Korea on Mutual Recognition of Certificates. It is in pursuance of the Regulation 1/10 of International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, 1978, as amended.

9) India – Singapore MoU: Cabinet approved MoU in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation with Singapore. The Priority initiatives under the MoU would be:

  • Exchange of best practices, experiences, and knowledge on Intellectual Property awareness among the public, businesses and educational institutions of both countries
  • Exchange of experts specialized in the field of intellectual property
  • Exchange and dissemination of best practices, experiences and knowledge on IP with the industry, universities, R & D organizations and Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Cooperation in the development of automation and implementation of modernization projects
  • Partnership in IP-related training for local IP and business communities

10) Financial assistance to retired employees of Bharat Pumps and Compressors Limited:  CCEA also approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for providing financial assistance amounting to Rs 111.59 crore as Non-Plan loan to Bharat Pumps and Compressors Limited, Allahabad.  The CCEA also accorded “in principle” approval for strategic disinvestment of the company.

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