22nd Law Commission, Rs 4,558 cr for dairy farming: Key Cabinet decisions

The government on Wednesday approved a Rs 4,558-crore scheme to promote the dairy sector which will benefit about 9.5 million farmers, said Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar. Briefing reporters about the decisions taken by the Cabinet, he added that this scheme will take the "White revolution" to the next level.He further said that the Cabinet has also decided to raise the benefit under the interest subvention scheme from 2 per cent to 2.5 per cent.

The increased interest subsidy under Dairy processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF) will be given to Nabard from 2019-20 (with effect from July 30, 2019) to 2030-31 and in case there is any further increase in the cost of funds, it would be borne by the end borrowers themselves, according to the official statement. 

"The funding period (2017-18 to 2019-20) of the scheme is revised to 2018-19 to 2022-23 and the repayment period to be extended up to 2030-31 with spillover to first quarter of the FY 2031-32," said the statement. 

The move would benefit 9.5 million milk producers spread over 50,000 villages.

The Union Cabinet has also decided to constitute 22nd Law Commission which advises the government on complex legal issues. The term of the previous law panel had ended on August 31 last year.

With the cabinet approval, the law ministry will now notify the new panel, which will have a term of three years.

"It will also have not more than five part-time members," an official statement said.

The panel will have a full-time chairperson, four full-time members (including a member secretary), and law and legislative secretaries in the law ministry as ex-officio members. Usually, a retired Supreme Court judge or chief justice of a high court heads the Commission.

The Commission was originally constituted in 1955 and is re-constituted every three years. The various law commissions have so far submitted 277 reports.

The 21st Law Commission, under Justice B S Chauhan (retd), had submitted reports and working papers on key issues such as simultaneous polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies and a uniform civil code. While this Commission had supported simultaneous polls, it had said time was not ripe for a common code.

Javadekar also announced the approval for setting up of a 12-member empowered "Technology Group" for issuing timely policy advice to the government.

The panel, which will be headed by Principal Scientific Adviser to the government K Vijay Raghvan, will also offer recommendations on latest technologies and products.

"It will look into commercialisation of dual use technologies developed in national laboratories and government research and development organisations and develop a road map for selected key technologies," an official statement said.

The cabinet has also approved the second phase of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural), Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project focussed on sustainability of open defecation free (ODF) and management of solid and liquid waste. The second phase will be implemented on a mission mode between 2020-21 and 2024-25 with an estimated central and state budget of Rs 52,497 crore, the Jal Shakti Ministry said in a statement.

The fund sharing pattern between the Centre and States will be 90:10 for North-Eastern States and Himalayan States and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; 60:40 for other States; and 100:0 for other Union Territories, for all the components. 

The government decided to elevate Gujarat-based space agency Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG) to a national institute under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The elevation of BISAG has been done to maintain efficiency and innovation of services, facilitate implementation of expanded scope of activities, accorfing to the official statement

BISAG is a state agency of the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat, and its governing body is chaired by the chief secretary of the state.

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