Key decisions by Cabinet: From NPS to farm export policy, check top announcements by the Modi govt

By: | Updated: December 7, 2018 2:14 PM

Government employees have also been allowed to commute 60% of the fund accumulated at the time of retirement which was 40% earlier.

Union cabinet also approved more than a dozen MoUs with foreign countries in the field of health, science, space and other sectors to increase bilateral cooperation.

A late evening meeting of union cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi cleared several important decisions on Thursday, paving the way for sale of majority stake of REC to PFC. It also approved a liberal agricultural export policy with the aim to double farmer’s income and setting up of 25 centres for cutting edge cyber-physical infrastructure and a new dam on river Ravi in Punjab among other things.

Union cabinet also approved more than a dozen MoUs with foreign countries in the field of health, science, space and other sectors to increase bilateral cooperation.

Here are some of the key decisions by union cabinet:

Govt contribution to NPS of employees hiked to 14% of basic salary

In a major decision, union cabinet raised the government contribution to the national pension scheme (NPS) to 14% of basic salary. Under the NPS, both the government and the employee were required to contribute equivalent of 10% of employee salary. Minimum employee contribution has been retained at 10%. The government also approved tax incentives under section 80C of the Income Tax Act for employees’ contribution to the extent of 10%.

Government employees have also been allowed to commute 60% of the fund accumulated at the time of retirement which was 40% earlier.

Agricultural export policy to increase farm export by 100%

A meeting of union cabinet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening approved the agriculture export policy 2018 with the aim to double the agricultural export and to integrate Indian farmers with global supply chain.

The cabinet also approved a proposal for establishment of a monitoring framework which will have members from different ministries, agencies and state governments to oversee the implementation of the agriculture export policy 2018. Commerce Ministry has been designated as nodal body for the monitoring activity.

The government said that the aim of the policy was to double the agricultural export from present $30 billion to $60 billion by 2022 and then to $100 billion in next few years.

Cabinet paves the way for consolidation of PSUs

Cabinet committee of economic affairs (CCEA) Thursday evening approved strategic sale of Government of India’s existing 52.63% of total paid up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) to Power Finance Corporation (PFC). Management control of REC will also be transferred to Power Finance Corporation. Both REC and PFC are public sector companies under the administrative control of ministry of power.

3,600 crore for setting up 25 technological innovation and research centres

The cabinet meeting also approved the proposal to set up 15 technology innovation hubs, six application innovation hubs and four Technology translation research hubs at an expenditure of Rs. 3,600 crore under National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS).

The project will be implemented by department of science and technology over the period of next five years.

These centres will work in the field of cutting edge technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DP), Big Data Analytics, Robotics,Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum encryption (Quantum Key Distribution), Data Science & Predictive analytics, Cyber Security for physical infrastructure and other infrastructure.

New dam to be built on Ravi river in Punjab

Cabinet also approved the implementation of Shahpurkandi Dam on river Ravi in Punjab. A central assistance of of Rs. 485.38 crore, for irrigation component, would be provided over five years from 2018-19 to 2022-23.

This project would help in reducing the wastage of Ravi water that drains into Pakistan through Madhopur Headworks.

The project would also provide water for irrigation of 5,000 ha area in Punjab and over 32,000 ha area in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

The funding of central assistance for the project would be made available through NABARD.

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