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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved a proposal to build new terminals at the airports of Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow, at a total cost of Rs 50.82 billion.
The government, on the Wednesday, also approved continuation of the agri-umbrella programme, ‘Green Revolution — Krishonnati Yojana’, with a central outlay of Rs 332.7 bn till March 2020. It was launched last year after clubbing 11 schemes for the sector.
Also, the Cabinet doubled the investment limit to Rs 1.5 million under the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandan Yojana pension scheme and extended the subscription period, which was to end on Thursday, by two years. The scheme is for citizens aged 60 years and above. It was originally opened for subscription from May 4, 2017 to May 3, 2018.
The scheme provides an assured pension based on a guaranteed rate of return of eight per cent per annum for 10 years, with an option to opt for a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annual basis.
Seeking to improve India’s ranking in the ease of doing business index, the government also approved an ordinance to amend a law for speedy disposal of commercial disputes. While law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad refused to give details, saying the ordinance was yet to get the
President's nod, the Bill before Parliament in this regard says the specified value of a commercial dispute will be brought down to Rs 0.3 million from the present Rs 10 million. Prasad said the proposed ordinance would replace the pending Bill. It would bring down the time taken from the present 1,445 days in resolution of commercial disputes of lesser value.
The Cabinet also approved continuation of the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana to 2019-20. A central sector scheme, it aims to correct imbalances in the availability of affordable tertiary health care facilities. The financial outlay is Rs 148.3 billion.
Under the scheme, new All India Institute of Medical Sciences are to be established and government medical colleges are upgraded, went an official statement. Approval has also been given for acceding to a protocol under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on tobacco control, to eliminate illicit trade in these products.
The protocol is applicable to both smoking and chewing tobacco products or smokeless tobacco forms.
The Cabinet has also approved a proposal for renaming and restructuring the Multi-sectoral Development Programme as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram. It is to provide better socio-economic infra facilities to minority communities, with wider coverage.
Also approved was formation of a Group ‘A’ service of the technical cadre of the Petroleum and Safety Organisation (Peso), to be known as Indian Petroleum and Explosives Safety Service. Peso, under the department of industrial policy and promotion, is a nodal agency for regulating safety of substances such as explosives, compressed gases and petroleum.
The government also approved restructuring of the Indian Bureau of Mines, for better mineral sector regulation. The restructuring would enable the adoption of information technology and space technology.
Also approved was a mutual recognition agreement between The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. This would ease job opportunities for Indian CAs there.