Header Ads

Cabinet approves setting up of India Post Payments Bank

Cabinet approves setting up of India Post Payments Bank
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for setting up the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) as a Public Limited Company under the Department of Posts, with 100% Government of India (GOI) equity. 


The total expenditure involved in this project is Rs 800 Crore. All citizens, especially 40% of the country's population that is outside the ambit of formal banking in the country will benefit from this project. The project will be rolled out in the entire country in a phased manner.

The IPPB will obtain banking licence from RBI by March 2017 and by September 2017, its services will be available across the country through 650 payments bank branches, linked post offices and alternative channels riding on modern technology including mobiles, ATMs, PoS/ m-PoS devices etc and simple digital payments.

The proposal will further the cause of financial inclusion by providing basic banking, payments and remittance services and facilitate financial services like insurance, mutual funds, pensions and access to credit in tie-up with third party financial providers with special focus on rural areas and the unbanked and under-banked segments. It will generate new employment opportunities for skilled banking professionals and will generate opportunities for propagating financial literacy across the country. It will create the largest bank in the world in terms of accessibility and in time, will encourage the move towards a less cash economy.

Background

Setting-up of the IPPB to further financial inclusion was one of the budgetary announcements during 2015-16. The Department of Posts had obtained the "in-principle approval" of the RBI in September 2015 to set up the India Post Payments Bank. The India Post Payments Bank will leverage the Department’s network, reach, and resources to make simple, low-cost, quality financial services easily accessible to customers all over the country. 

*******
Cabinet approves MoU between India and Qatar for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Qatar for strengthening cooperation in the field of Tourism.

The main objectives of the MoU are:

a) To create favourable conditions for long-term co-operation in the field of tourism for the mutual benefits.

b) To exchange expertise, publications, information/data and statistics related to tourism.

c) To encourage cooperation through the exchange of programmes, propaganda and advertising materials, publications, films, promotion and marketing of their tourism products via media etc.

d) To exchange visits of Tour Operators / Media /Opinion Makers for promotion of two way tourism.

e) To encourage co-operation between tourism sectors, tour operators, travel agents and other tourism private sector's firms and bureaus in the two countries.

f) To encourage public and the private sectors to invest in tourism.

Qatar is an emerging tourism source markets for India (India received approximately 6313 tourists from Qatar in 2015). Qatar is a potential market for India in terms of Medical tourism and provides vast opportunity for India in this field. The signing of MoU with Qatar will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this emerging source market. 

*****
Cabinet approves signing and ratification of Agreement between India and Qatar on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing and ratifying of an Agreement between India and Qatar on Co-operation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.

The Agreement aims to entering into a bilateral Agreement on co-operation Customs matters between India and Qatar.

The Agreement will help in the availability of relevant information for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also expected to facilitate trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries.

Background:

Qatar is an important trading partner of India. Trade between the two countries has been expanding over the years. In view of the steady growth in bilateral trade, it was felt imperative to provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of the two countries to help in proper application of Customs laws, prevention and investigation of Customs offences and to facilitate legitimate trade. A draft text of the Agreement has been finalized after mutual discussions. It takes care of Indian Customs' concerns and requirements, particularly in the area of exchange of information on correctness of the Customs value declared, the authenticity of certificates of origin of goods and the description of the goods traded between the two countries. 

*******
Cabinet approves MoU between USA and India to enhance cooperation in wildlife conservation
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between United States of America and India to enhance cooperation in the field of wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking. With the approval, India will benefit from the expertise of the US Institutions in the field of wildlife conservation and management of wildlife areas and in combating illegal trade of wildlife and their derivatives.

Background: 

India and the United States of America are endowed with rich biodiversity and natural heritage and have established a network of Protected Areas in their respective territories. As there is scope for both the countries to share professional expertise to address priority wildlife conservation concerns, the MoU would provide a convenient platform for collaboration. The MoU seeks cooperation between the two countries in the following areas:

a. Wildlife Forensics and Conservation Genetics: Useful in species conservation efforts and better scientific evidence collection in wild life crimes leading to better enforcement.

b. Natural World Heritage Conservation: Facilitating the institutional capacity of the existing UNESCO Category -2 - centre at Wildlife Institute of India.

Nature Interpretation and Conservation Awareness: Use of information technology in strengthening interface of forest managers with the people for sensitising people, especially the youth and children in understanding complex issues of conservation of biological diversity. 

****
Cabinet apprised of the signing of MOU between India and Brunei Darussalam in the field of Youth and Sports Affairs
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between India and Brunei Darussalam in the field of Youth and Sports Affairs. The MoU between the two countries was signed on 2-02-2016 at Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Areas of cooperation between the two countries include exchange programmes in the fields of youth and sports, exchange programmes for the training of officers and trainers, promotion of sports between the participants with respect to sports facilities, sports equipment, sports training and physical preparation, sports fitness and physical education. In addition, it includes areas like coaching, sports talent identification, sports management and administration, information system relating to youth and sports, science and technology development in sports, development and enhancement of information in sports etc. 

****
Cabinet approves MOU between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) and the French Civil Aviation Authority
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) and the French Civil Aviation Authority – Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC) of France to implement Technical Cooperation Programme for promotion and implementation of Standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The MoU has been signed on behalf of the two countries after its approval by the two Governments and would be for a term of four years.

The Technical Cooperation programme will be beneficial for enhancement of skills and expertise of DGCA’s officers. This MoU is also beneficial for implementation of the cooperation between the two parties for imparting training of engineers, technicians, managers etc.

It will also include any other subject that is relevant to the common DGAC and DGCA areas of interest.

For this purpose, the Parties undertake to cooperate through the following actions:

a) By exchanging information concerning the various techniques used to reach the objectives;

b) By sending French experts or instructors to India for training missions; and

c) By receiving experts, or instructors of India, in France for training missions.

The specific activities to be performed by DGCA of India and the DGCA of France under this MOU will be carried out by mutual consent. 

*****
Cabinet approves the Proposal for Amendment to the Resolutions dated 03rd March 1987 of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB)
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Amendment to the Resolutions dated 3rd March 1987 of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB). The proposed amendments are as under:

(a) selection of candidates from State Public Enterprises and Private Sector as non-internal candidates for a period of five years for appointment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs);

(b) holding of office by the Chairperson and Members of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) for a period of 3 years from assumption of charge or until attaining the age of 65 years or until further orders whichever is earlier;

Background 

To broadbase the catchment for senior positions in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), the policy of allowing candidates from State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs) and Private Sector has been in place. This is proposed to be further extended for another five years with other requisite changes for effective discharge of Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) functions.

The amendment will continue to provide a wider pool of professionals for selection by impact allowing the candidates from State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs) and private Sector to be considered for senior positions in the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) would also benefit by the skill-sets and domain expertise of those coming from the State Public Sector Enterprises (SPSEs) as well the private sector. It would also ensure that the Central PSE senior management gets the benefit of the perspective gained both within and outside. 

*****
Cabinet approves the Proposal for Extension of Corridor-1 of Chennai Metro Rail Project Phase-I
The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the proposal for Chennai Metro Rail Phase-I Project from Washermanpet to Wimconagar. It covers a length of 9.051 km. at a total cost of Rs. 3770 crore.

The project will be executed by the existing SPV of Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu having 50:50 equity of each i.e. Chennai Metro Rail Ltd. The project is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.

This extension will provide improved access to public transport for dense population comprising predominantly industrial workers to move towards the central business district of the city for work.

In the total project cost, Government of India's (Gol) share will be Rs. 713 crore and Government of Tamilnadu's (GoTN) share will be Rs. 916 crore. The share of GoTN included cost of Land and R&R of Rs. 203 crore. The balance amount of Rs. 2141 crore will be met from loan from multilateral/bilateral/domestic funding agency.

The estimated ridership will be 1.6 lakh passengers per day in first year of operation. 

******
Cabinet approves Mau-Tarighat New Railway line project
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for a new broad gauge line between Mau Station of North Eastern Railway and Tarighat Terminal station of East Central Railway. The total length of this new broad gauge line will be 51 kilometers.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs.1765.92 crore and expected completion cost is Rs.2109.07 crore with 5 percent escalation per annum. The project is likely to be completed in the next six years during 12th and 13th Plan period.

This project will provide alternative, shorter convenient and better transport infrastructure to the area separated by river Ganga so as to remove the transport difficulties in the area and to boost the socio economic development. The catchment area of project line will serve passenger requirement and will facilitate the people of the area for travelling to different parts of the country. In addition, this new line will provide an alternative route connecting Northern and East Central railway via NE Railway. This project line has huge potential in enhancing railway traffic and also gives opportunity to develop this area by providing more efficient transportation system.

The new line crosses the river Ganges at the downstream of existing road bridge for NH 97 and is located almost parallel to it and joins the existing BG line from Tarighat to Dildar Nagar. This line will be alternative route for train passing from Howrah to New Delhi and back. Construction of this line will provide a link to Allahabad-Patna double line electrified section. It will also decongest the Allahabad-Mugalsarai-Patna route particularly around Mugalsarai yard. 

*****
Cabinet approves Additional allocations for the BPL and APL families in non NFSA State
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for additional monthly allocation of 41,800 tonnes of foodgrains for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families at BPL rates and 20,507 tonnes of foodgrains for Above Poverty Line (APL) families at 2/3rd of Minimum Support Price (MSP) rates to three non-National Food Security Act (NFSA) States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nagaland, from April to June, 2016 or till implementation of NFSA by the respective State, whichever is earlier.

Background: 

NFSA has come into force from 05.07.2013 and it provides for coverage of two-third population of the country, based on the population estimates of 2011 for receiving wheat at Rs.2 per kg and rice at Rs.3 per kg. It was expected that the Act would be implemented in all the States/UTs by March, 2016 and beneficiaries under Targeted Public Distribution Systems (TDPS) would get highly subsidized foodgrains. Accordingly, during 2015-16 non-NFSA States/UTs were allocated additional foodgrains for BPL and APL families upto March, 2016. 33 States/UTs have implemented NFSA so far and three States, namely, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Nagaland are still getting allocation of foodgrains under the erstwhile TPDS. These States are in the process of implementation of NFSA in the coming months. 

******
Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for Kharif Crops of 2016-17 season

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all Kharif Crops of 2016-17 Season. Further, to incentivise cultivation of pulses and oilseeds , in the country Government has announced a bonus on these crops, payable over and above the approved MSP.  
The decision to increase MSPs is based on the  recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP) which takes into account the cost of production, overall demand-supply, domestic and international prices, inter-crop price parity, terms of trade between agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, the likely effect of the Price Policy on the rest of economy, besides ensuring rational utilization of production resources like land and water, while recommending MSPs.
The CACP being the expert body, its recommendations are generally accepted as such.  However, to incentivise cultivation of pulses and oilseeds, the Cabinet has decided to give a bonus, over and above the recommendations of the CACP, of Rs.425/- per quintal for kharif pulses, namely Arhar (Tur), Urad and Moong, a bonus of Rs 200/- per quintal for Sesamum and a bonus of Rs 100/- per quintal for other kharif oilseeds namely, Groundnut-in-shell, Sunflowerseed, Soyabean, and Nigerseed. There is an increasing gap between  the demand and domestic supply of pulses and oilseeds  and reliance on import is increasing. Government has, therefore, announced this bonus on pulses and oilseeds to give a strong price signal to farmers to increase acreage and invest for increase in productivity of these crops. The increase in  cultivation of leguminous pulses and oilseeds will also have additional environmental benefits as these crops are less water consuming and help in nitrogen fixation in the soil.  

 The Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for all Kharif Crops of 2016-17 season have been increased and are given in table below: 




Commodity



Variety


MSP  for
2015-16 Season
MSP
Recom-mended for
2016-17  Season

Increase




Bonus

Absolute


% age


Rs/ Quintal
Rs/ Quintal
Rs/ Quintal
%
Rs/ Quintal
Paddy
Common
1410
1470
60
4.3
-
Grade A
1450
1510
60
4.1
-
Jowar
Hybrid
1570
1625
55
3.5
-
Maldandi
1590
1650
60
3.8
-
Bajra
-
1275
1330
55
4.3
-
Maize
-
1325
1365
40
3.0
-
Ragi
-
1650
1725
75
4.5
-
Tur (Arhar) 
-
4625
(includes
Rs.200/-
Bonus)

5050
(includes
Rs.425/-
    Bonus)
425
9.2
425
Moong         
-
4850
(includes
Rs.200/-
Bonus)

5225
(includes
Rs.425/-
Bonus)
375
7.7
425
Urad                          
-
4625
(includes
Rs.200/-
Bonus)

5000
(includes
Rs.425/-
Bonus)
375
8.1
425
Groundnut-in-shell
-
4030
4220
(includes
Rs.100/-
Bonus)
190
4.7
100
Soyabean*
Yellow
2600
2775
(includes
Rs.100/-Bonus)
175
6.7
100
Sunflower Seed
-
3800
3950
(includes
Rs.100/-Bonus)
150
3.9
100
Nigerseed
-
3650
3825
(includes
Rs.100/-Bonus)
175
4.8
100
Sesamum
-
4700
5000
(includes
Rs.200/-Bonus)
300
6.4
200
Cotton
Medium Staple
3800
3860
60
1.6
-
Long Staple
4100
4160
60
1.5
-
*MSP of soyabean will be applicable to both yellow and black varieties  

The prices would be effective from 1.10.2016.
Food Corporation of India (FCI) will be the designated central nodal agency for price support operations for cereals, pulses and oilseeds. Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) will be the central nodal agency for undertaking price support operations for Cotton.
 Besides increase in Minimum Support Prices (MSP) of Kharif crops, Government has taken several farmer friendly initiatives over the last one year.  These, inter-alia, include the following:

         The Government had declared a bonus, over and above the MSP, of Rs 200 per quintal for Kharif pulses of 2015-16 season and a bonus of Rs 75 per quintal for Rabi pulses of 2016-17 marketing season.

        A new crop insurance scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ has been launched by the Government. Under this scheme, the premium rates to be paid by farmers are very low - 2 % of sum insured for all Kharif crops, 1.5% for all Rabi crops and 5 % for commercial and horticulture crops. The new insurance scheme involves use of simple and smart technology through phones & remote sensing for quick estimation and early settlement of claims. The Government has also launched crop insurance portal and Mobile app “Crop Insurance” which will help farmers to find out complete details about insurance cover available in their area and to calculate the insurance premium for notified crops. During kharif 2016-17 season, 24 states have already intiated necessary action for implementation in their state. Out of which, 15 states have already completed the biding tendering process for selection of insurance companies.

·         The Government has also launched a scheme to develop a pan India electronic trading platform under ‘National Agriculture Market’ (NAM) scheme with the aim to integrate 585 regulated markets with the common e-market platform. Each State is being encouraged to undertake three major reforms - allow electronic trading, have a single license valid throughout the State and a single entry point market fee. It will also enable farmers to discover better prices for their produce. 21 markets in 8 states have already been brought on the e-NAM platform.

·         Soil Health Cards are being issued to farmers across the country. These will be renewed every two years. The card provides information on fertility status of soil and a soil test based advisory on use of fertilizers. As on May 31st 2016, 191,80 lakh Soil Health Cards have been distributed.

·         Under Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojna (PKVY), the Government is promoting organic farming and development of potential market for organic products.

·          The Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana is being implemented with the vision of extending the coverage of irrigation ‘Har Khet ko Pani’ and improving water use efficiency ‘Per Drop More Crop ' in a focused manner with end to end solution on source creation, distribution, management, field application and extension activities.

·         Government is focusing on improving production and productivity of crops such as rice, wheat, coarse grains and pulses under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM).  For 2016-17, out of the total Central Share of Rs 1700 crore under NFSM, Rs, 1100 crore  has been allocated to improve pulse production.

         A dedicated Kisan Channel has been started by the Doordarshan to provide 24 x 7 information in the hands of farmers regarding weather updates, agri-mandi data etc. 

        Government is also encouraging formation of Farmer Producer Organisations.

         To stabilize prices of pulses, Government is creating buffer stocks pulses through both domestic procurement and import.

·         A handbook for women farmers ‘Farm Women Friendly Hand Book’ containing special provisions and package of assistance which women farmers can claim under various on-going Missions/ Submissions/ Schemes of Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare has been brought out. Women farmers/beneficiaries could approach the nearest Project Director (ATMA) / Deputy Director (Agriculture) office at District or Block Technology Manager/Assistant Technology Managers at Block level for instant help and facilitation for availing the benefits.
 *******
Cabinet approves Procurement Quota to M/s. ITI Ltd. in procurements made by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the proposal of Department of Telecommunications regarding continuation of reservation quota for M/s. ITI Limited in procurements made by BSNL, MTNL and Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL). The approval consists of the following:

i. To continue the Reservation Quota policy for M/s. ITI Ltd. by reserving:

a. 30% of the procurement orders placed by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL for M/s. ITI Ltd. for the products manufactured by it and for those outsourced items in which there is a minimum 5% value addition by M/s. ITI during 2016-17 and 8% value addition in 2017-18 and

b. 20% of the orders for the turn key projects [like GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) network roll-out etc. of BSNL & MTNL and National Optical Fibres Network (NOFN) network roll-out, etc. of BBNL].

ii. ITI would accept orders under reservation quota only after the price is known and if the same is commercially viable.

iii. ITI shall exercise its option under Reservation Quota within 15 days of bid opening.

iv. The aforesaid policy measures shall remain in force for a period of two years with effect from the date of approval of CCEA and shall again be reviewed considering the financial health of ITI after the expiry of this period. However, it is mentioned that the Government has introduced Public Bill 2012 in Parliament, and under the provisions thereof, procuring entities, including CPSEs, would have to frame Rules for Public Procurement of Goods, Works and Services. Once such Public Procurement Rules for CPSEs are framed after the enactment of Public Procurement Act., the same would also be applicable to CPSEs under the administrative control of the Department of Telecommunications.

The extension of the benefit of:

i) 30% of the procurement orders placed by BSNL, MTNL and BBNL for M/s. ITI Ltd. for the products manufactured by it and for those outsourced items in which there is a minimum 5% value addition by M/s. during 2016-17 and 8% value addition in 2017-18 and

ii) 20% of the orders for the turn key projects (like GSM network roll-out, etc. of BSNL & MTNL and NOFN network roll-out, etc. of BBNL) will ensure enough orders for ITI for the production activities. In today’s highly competitive environment, it will be very difficult for ITI to survive on its own without the benefit of reservation quota which BSNL/MTNL has been extending for ITI for the last many years. Provision of reservation quota from BBNL will provide further boost to the order book of ITI and help in improving its financial health.

ITI will be beneficiary of the decision. It will also help in generating more employment opportunities in the Company particularly in the field of new telecom technologies.

Background: 

CCEA in its meeting held in January, 2014 had extended the benefit of 30% reservation quota for ITI for a period of one year which has expired on 20.09.2014. 

No comments

Powered by Blogger.