Cabinet Approval on Foreign Affairs on January 10, 2019

On 10th January 2019, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) and few other agreements with foreign countries. The details of those agreements are as following:

Cabinet Approval on Foreign Affairs on January 10, 2019Cabinet approves MoU on Maritime issues between India and Denmark
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Maritime issues between India and Denmark and it is proposed to be signed during the upcoming visit of the VVIP from Denmark to India in January, 2019.

Key Points:

  • The MoU will pave way for both countries to explore the areas for bilateral collaboration and facilitating cross-border cooperation and investments between the maritime sectors of India and Denmark.
  • It will allow for cooperation in the field of green maritime technology and shipbuilding, granting the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) the status of Recognized Organization (RO), cooperation in the fields of maritime training and education.
  • Besides it will also help in research and development for sustained cooperation in the field of merchant shipping and maritime transport related matters.

About Denmark:
♦ Capital: Copenhagen
♦ Currency: Danish Krone
♦ Prime Minister: Lars Løkke Rasmussen

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Japan on Development of Advanced Model Single Window
On 10th January 2019, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Japan on development of Advanced Model Single Window, aimed at facilitating investments and promote ease of doing business.

Key Points:

  • Besides development of ‘Advanced Model Single Window’, the agreement would also help in its operationalization in Central and State Governments in India.
  • The development will help in formulating administrative procedures necessary for business operations and developing a structure in which those procedures are completed in an expeditious manner.
  • The ‘Advanced Model Single Window’ is based on the best practices in and outside India, with measurable parameters and identify possible obstacles for establishment of the Single Window in India.
  • The development will accelerate India’s effort to promote Ease of Doing Business in India.

About Japan:
♦ Capital: Tokyo
♦ Currency: Japanese Yen
♦ Prime Minister: Shinzo Abe

Cabinet approves MoU between India and France on technical bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and France on technical bilateral cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy. The MoU in this regard had already been signed on 3rd October, 2018.

Key Points:

  • The MoU is aimed to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity.
  • The agreement will include joint research working groups, pilot projects, capacity building programs, study tour, case studies and the sharing of experience/expertise.

About France:
♦ Capital: Paris
♦ Currency: Euro, CFP franc
♦ President: Emmanuel Macron

Cabinet approves Signing of the TOR provide tax assistance to Swaziland
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi chaired Union Cabinet has approved the signing of Terms of Reference (TOR) that would govern the engagement of the designated Indian Expert to provide tax assistance to Swaziland (Eswatini) under the Tax Inspectors Without Borders Programme (TIWB) between India and Eswatini.
Key Points:
i. Under the TIWB programme, an Indian Expert has been mutually selected by the Government of India and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini.
ii. The conditions of the engagement of the designated Indian Expert to provide tax assistance to Eswatini under the TIWB Programme will be decided by the Terms of Reference (TOR).
iii. The agreement will give impetus to India’s support in capacity building in tax matters in developing countries.

About Tax Inspectors without Borders Programme (TIWB):
It is jointly launched by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to support developing countries to strengthen national tax administrations through building audit capacity and to share this knowledge with other countries.

About Swaziland (Eswatini):
♦ Capital: Mbabane (administrative capital), Lobamba (legislative and royal capital)
♦ Continent: Africa
♦ Currencies: South African Rand, Swazi lilangeni

About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP):
♦ Administrator: Achim Steiner
♦ Headquarters: New York, USA

About Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):
♦ Secretary-General: Angel Gurría
♦ Headquarters: Paris, France
♦ Membership: 36 countries

Cabinet approves Bilateral Swap Arrangement between India and Japan
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi gave its nod to the proposal for entering into an agreement for $75-billion Bilateral Swap Arrangement (BSA) between India and Japan.
Key Points:

  • The agreement authorizes the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to sign the Bilateral Swap Arrangement between the RBI and the Bank of Japan for a maximum amount of USD 75 billion.
  • It was concluded in October last year during summit level meeting at Yamanashi, Japan between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
  • The arrangement is expected to greatly enhance the RBI’s ability to manage exchange rate volatility and capital markets in India besides maintaining an appropriate level of balance of payments for meeting short-term deficiency in foreign exchange.
  • The facility will enable the agreed amount of Capital being available to India on tap for use thus improving prospects of Indian companies in tapping foreign capital as there would be greater confidence in stability of country’s exchange rate.

About Reserve Bank of India (RBI):
♦ Governor: Shaktikanta Das
♦ Headquarters: Mumbai

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