Cabinet Approvals on 19th February 2019

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 19th February, 2019, took a stock of decisions on various proposals. The details of the cabinet approvals are as follows:

Cabinet Approvals on 19th February 2019Cabinet approved setting up a new company under Department of Space
The Union Cabinet approved the setting up of a new company under Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)Centers and constituent units of DOS.
This company with explore following areas for commercial exploitation of ISRO Programmes:

  • Small satellite technology transfer to industry, wherein the new company shall take license from DoS/ISRO and sub-license to industries;
  • Manufacture of small Satellite Launch Vehicle(SLV) in collaboration with the Private Sector.
  • Productionisation of Polar SLV through industry.
  • Productionisation and marketing of Space-based products and services, including launch and applications.
  • Transfer of technology developed by ISRO Centers and constituent units of DoS.
  • Marketing of some spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad.
  • Any other subject which Government of India deems fit.

Cabinet approved continuation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin beyond March, 2019 (PMAY-G Phase-II)
The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G) beyond March, 2019(PMAY-G) Phase-II as follows:

  • Total target for construction of 1.95 crore houses under PMAY-G Phase-II upto 2022.
  • Continuation of rural housing scheme Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana.
  • Gramin (PMAY-G) in Phase-ll till 2019-20 as per the existing norms of PMAY-G Phase-l, with a target of 60 lakh houses involving financial implication of Rs.76,500 crore. (Central share of Rs. 48,195 crore and State share of Rs.28,305 crore)
  • Continuation of the scheme beyond 2019-20 upto 2021-22 in the next finance commission cycle, after due appraisal and approval based on third party evaluation of scheme/programme as per the extant procedure.
  • Inclusion of additional eligible households from the final Awaas+ list into the Permanent Wait List (PWL) of PMAY-G, with a ceiling of 1.95 Crore.
  • Continuation of Program Management Unit (PMU) and National Technical Support Agency (NTSA) till 2019-20.
  • Borrowing for additional financial requirement through existing mechanism of EBR till the validity of the scheme.
  • Reduction in administrative expenses from 4% to 2% of programme funds.

Benefits
The left out rural households who are houseless or living in dilapidated houses subject to a ceiling of 1.95 crore would be provided pucca houses by 2022.

Cabinet approved implementation of National Rural Economic Transformation Project
The Union Cabinet approved the implementation of an Externally Aided Project named National Rural Economic Transformation Project (NRETP) under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) through loan assistance from World Bank.
Highlights

  • NRETP’s technical assistance and higher-level interventions facilitated by the project will enhance the livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihood interventions.
  • DAY-NRLM aims on targeting the poorest and the most vulnerable communities and their financial inclusion.
  • Innovative projects will be undertaken under NRETP to pilot alternate channels of financial inclusion, creating value chains around rural products, introduce innovative models in livelihoods promotion and access to finance and scale-up initiatives on digital finance and livelihoods interventions.
  • DAY-NRLM provides for mutually beneficial working relationship and formal platforms for consultations between Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs).
  • It has developed activity map to facilitate convergence in different areas of interventions where NRLM institutions and PRIs could work together which has been disseminated to all state Rural Livelihood Missions.

Cabinet approved continuation of Khadi Gramodyog Vikas Yojana from 2017-18 to 2019-20
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the approval to the following:

  • To continue the existing schemes of Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA), Khadi Grant, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) and Village Industry Grant, all subsumed under ‘Khadi and Gramodyog Vikas Yojana’ at the total cost of Rs. 2800 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • To bring in a new component of ‘Rozgar Yukta Gaon’ to introduce enterprise-based operation in the Khadi sector and to create employment opportunities for thousands of new artisans in the current and next financial year (2018-19 and 2019-20).

Highlights

  • Rozgar Yukta Gaon (RYG) aims at introducing an ‘Enterprise-led Business Model’ in place of ‘Subsidy-led model’ through partnership among 3 stakeholders- Khadi and Village Industries Commission(KRDP)-assisted Khadi Institution, Artisans and Business Partner.
  • It will be rolled out in 50 Villages by providing 10,000 Charkhas, 2000 looms&100 warping units to Khadi artisans, and would create direct employment for 250 Artisans per village.
  • The Total Capital Investment per village shall be Rs.72 Lakh as subsidy, and Rs.1.64 Crore in terms of Working Capital from the Business Partner.
  • Under the Village Industry verticals, special focus shall be on Agro-based and food processing, Handmade Paper and Leather, Pottery and Wellness and Cosmetics sectors through Product Innovation, Design Development &Product Diversification.
  • For this initiative, advanced skill development programmes shall be conducted through existing Centres of Excellence.
  • 4 Design Houses to be set up across the country to capture regional variations, to provide access to Khadi Institutions, to evolve modern designs, ethnic wear etc. with an investment of Rs.5 crore each.
  • The ‘Production Assistance’ will be made competitive and incentive based. The incentive structure focuses on improving productivity, turnover and quality assurances, and would be extended on the basis of an objective scorecard.

Cabinet approved revisions/modifications in National Programme for Mid-Day Meal in Schools
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the revision of norms under Mid-Day Meal Scheme with an outlay of Rs.12,054 Crore for 2019-20 in addition to the subsidy of about Rs. 8,000 Crore borne by Department of Food & Public Distribution.
Highlights

  • The cooking cost is enhanced to Rs 4.35 and Rs 6.51 per child as per school day and thus, cooking cost is enhanced by Rs 361 crore.
  • The assistance of kitchen devices is enhanced from flat rate of Rs 5,000 per school to Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 based on enrolment, enabling the schools for procuring/replacing adequate kitchen devices.
  • A new component of Rs 10,000 per kitchen for repair of kitchens more than 10 years old is introduced to help for maintenance and upkeep.
  • Rs 50 crore is allocated for fortification of food items in a systematic manner addressing the issues of anaemia and other deficiencies.
  • With approval of the HRD Ministry, States and UTs are given flexibility to utilize 5% of their Annual Work Plan and Budget for new interventions to enable them to undertake innovative activities.
  • They may procure pulses as per their local taste for the Mid-Day Meal from the Central Buffer Stock created by the Government.

About MDMS
Mid-Day Meal Scheme (MDMS), is a Centrally-Sponsored Scheme which covers all school children studying in Classes I-VIII of Government and Government-Aided Schools and covers more than 12 crore children studying in 11.4 lakh schools across the country.

Cabinet approved “Reforms in Exploration and Licensing Policy for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas”
The Union Cabinet approved the Policy framework on reforms in exploration and licensing sector for enhancing domestic exploration and production of oil and gas.
i. The aim is to attract new investment in Exploration and Production (E&P) Sector, intensification of exploration activities in unexplored areas and liberalizing the policy in producing basins.
ii. The policy reforms focus on four major areas:

  • to increasing exploration activities in unexpected areas.
  • to incentivize enhanced gas production.
  • to enhance production from existing nomination fields of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Oil India Limited (OIL).
  • to promote ease of doing business through setting up coordination mechanism and simplification of approval of Directorate General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), alternate dispute resolution mechanism etc.

Cabinet approved methodology for coal mine allocation
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the methodology for auction of coal mines/blocks for sale of coal under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The opening up of commercial coal mining for private sector is the most ambitious coal sector reform since the nationalisation of this sector in 1973.
Highlights

  • The methodology gives highest priority to transparency, ease of doing business and ensures that natural resources are used for national development.
  • The auction will be an ascending forward auction whereby the bid parameter will be the price offer in “Rupees per tonne” which will be paid to the State Government on the actual production of coal.
  • There will be no restriction on the sale and/or utilization of coal from the coal mine.
  • This reform is expected to bring efficiency into the coal sector and increase competitiveness, allowing the use of best possible technology into the sector.
  • The higher investment will create direct and indirect employment in coal bearing areas especially in mining sector and will have an impact on economic development of these regions.
  • It will lead to energy security (as 70% of India’s electricity is generated from thermal power plants) and ensure assured coal supply, accountable allocation of coal and affordable coal leading to affordable power prices for consumers.

Cabinet approved proposal for Constitution of Development and Welfare Board for De-notified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities
The Union Cabinet has given its approval for constitution of Development and Welfare Board for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-nomadic Communities (DNCs).

  • DNCs most deprived citizens of this country and most of them are spread across the Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC) categories and some DNCs are not covered in any of the SC. ST or OBC categories.
  • Hence, the setting up of a Committee under the Chairpersonship of Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog,Dr. Rajiv Kumar was approved, which will complete the process of identification of the DNCs that have not yet been formally classified.

Cabinet approved launch Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.
i. The proposed scheme consists of three components:

  • Component-A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
  • Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
  • Component-C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.

ii. All 3 components combined, the scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
iii. The total central financial support provided under the scheme would be Rs. 34,422 crore.

Cabinet approved the proposal of National Policy on Electronics 2019
The Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).
i. The Policy aims on positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing(ESDM) by encouraging and driving capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chip sets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.
Features of NPE 2019

  • Create eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector
  • Provide incentives and support for manufacturing of core electronic components.
  • Provide special package of incentives for mega projects which are extremely high-tech and entail huge investments
  • Formulate suitable schemes and incentive mechanisms to encourage new units and expansion of existing units.
  • Promote Industry-led R&D and innovation in all sub-sectors of electronics
  • Provide incentives and support for significantly enhancing availability of skilled manpower,including re-skilling.
  • Special thrust on Fabless Chip Design Industry, Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry and Power Electronics for Mobility and Strategic Electronics Industry.
  • Create Sovereign Patent Fund (SPF) to promote the development and acquisition of IPs in ESDM sector.
  • Promote trusted electronics value chain initiatives to improve national cyber security profile.

Cabinet approved Promulgation of the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the Promulgation of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Ordinance, 2019.
i. It will immediately tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country launched by rapacious operators, by altogether banning unregulated deposit taking schemes, and having adequate provisions for punishment and disgorgement/repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits illegally.

Cabinet approved release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019
The Union Cabinet gave approval to the release of an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees, and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners with effect from 1st January 2019, representing an increase of 3% over the existing rate of 9% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise.

  • This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC).
  • The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both DA and DR would be Rs. 9168.12 crore per annum and Rs. 10696.14 crore in the FY 2019-20 (for a period of 14 months from January 2019 to February, 2020).
  • This will benefit about 48.41 lakh Central Government employees and 62.03 lakh pensioners.

Cabinet approved “Swadesh Darshan Scheme: Integrated Development of Theme-based Tourist Circuits in the country”
The Union Cabinet has approved the following proposals:

  • Continuation of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme during 14th Finance Commission period and beyond;
  • 2055.96 crores for 60 on-going projects completing in December 2019; and
  • 324.09 crores for 6 projects for which substantial funds have been released and projects to be completed in September 2020.

Objectives of Swadesh Darshan Scheme

  • Position tourism as a major engine of economic growth and job creation;
  • Develop circuits having tourist potential in a planned and prioritized
  • manner;
  • Promote cultural and heritage value of the country to generate livelihoods in the identified regions.
  • Enhance the tourist attractiveness in a sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the circuit/destinations.
  • Follow community-based development and pro-poor tourism approach;
  • Create awareness among the local communities about the importance of tourism for them in terms of increased sources of income, improved living standards and overall development of the area.
  • Create employment through active involvement of local communities;
  • Harness tourism potential for its effects in employment generation and economic development.
  • Make full use of the potential and advantages in terms of available infrastructure, national culture and characteristic strong points of each and every region throughout the country by development of theme-based circuits.

Cabinet approved Proposal for Promulgation of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage), Second Ordinance, 2019
Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval to the following proposals:

  • Promulgation of the Ordinance, namely the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Second Ordinance, 2019, as per Appendix-III (pages 9 to 12) under clause (1) of article 123 of the Constitution; and
  • Move necessary official amendments in the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 pending in Rajya Sabha to replace the aforesaid Ordinance with modifications of drafting and consequential nature as considered necessary.

Highlights

  • The proposed Ordinance will protect the rights of married Muslim women and prevent divorce by the practice of instantaneous and irrevocable ‘talaq-e-biddat’ (Triple Talaq) by their husbands.
  • It will discourage the practice of Triple Talaq.
  • It will provide the rights of subsistence allowance, custody of minor children to victims of Triple Talaq.

Cabinet approved proposal for promulgation of the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019
The Union Cabinet approved the following proposals:

  • Promulgation of the Ordinance, “the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Second Ordinance, 2019”; and
  • To bring in necessary official amendments in the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill, 2018 pending in Parliament for replacing the said Ordinance.

Highlights

  • The proposal will enable the Board of Governors(BOG), appointed in supersession of Medical Council of India (MCI), to continue to exercise the powers of MCI and that of Central Government, to ensure transparency, accountability and quality in the governance of medical education in the country.
  • It will ensure that the work already done by the BOG as per provisions of earlier Ordinance is validated and may continue.

Cabinet approved Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut Corridor of RRTS
The Union Cabinet has approved the following proposal:

  • Construction of Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) covering a distance of 15 kms. (68.03 km elevated and 14.12 km underground) at a total completion cost of Rs. 30,274 crores.
  • Central financial assistance of 5,634 crores in the form of grant and sub-ordinate debt.
  • Institutional arrangement and legal framework for the project.
  • Conditions of sanction of the project.

Highlights

  • The RRTS is a first-of-its-kind, rail-based, high-speed regional transit system to be implemented in India.
  • It will be the fastest, most comfortable and safest mode of commuter transport in the National Capital Region (NCR).
  • The project involves integration with other urban transport systems in an efficient and effective manner which is possible only by adopting innovative methods of designing, technology and institutional management.
  • Implementation of the RRTS would provide much-needed additional public transport infrastructure to National Capital Region to address issues of congestion, air-pollution and catalyse balanced and sustainable regional development.

Cabinet approves creation of one post of Secretary and one post of Joint Secretary in the newly created Department of Fisheries
The Union Cabinet approved one post of Secretary in the level 17(Rs.2,25,000/- fixed) and one post of Joint Secretary in the level 14 of the Pay Matrix (Rs.144200-218200) in the Department of Fisheries on permanent basis to ensure smooth functioning and fulfil the mandate of the newly created department.
i. Newly created posts would enable the Department of Fisheries to undertake/monitor number of projects/schemes for the development of the sector, the welfare and protection of the interest of the large number of fishermen.

Cabinet approves Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar Projects by the year 2022
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme for achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022.  The programme will be implemented with total central financial support of Rs.11,814 crore.

Highlights

  • In the Phase-II Programme Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the residential sector has been restructured with availability of 40%CFA for RTS systems up to 3 kW capacity and 20% for RTS system capacity beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW.
  • For Group Housing Societies/Residential Welfare Associations (GHS/RAW), CFA will be limited to 20% for RTS plants for supply of power to common facilities, however, the capacity eligible for CFA for GHS/RAW will be limited to 10 kW per house with maximum total capacity upto 500 kWp, inclusive of RTS put in individual houses in the GHS/RWA.
  • CFA under residential category will be provided for 4000 MW capacity and the same will be provided on the basis of benchmark cost or tender cost, which is lower.
  • Central financial support will not be available for other category i.e., institutional, educational, social, government, commercial, industrial, etc.

Cabinet approved Cadre Review of 8 organized Group ‘A’ Services in Railways
The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for Cadre Review of 8 organized Group ‘A’ Services in Railways, which are:

  • Indian Railway Accounts Service (IRAS)
  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
  • Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS)
  • Indian Railway Service of Engineers (IRSE)
  • Indian Railway Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE)
  • Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers(IRSME)
  • Indian Railway Stores Service (IRSS)
  • Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE)

i. Cabinet has also approved framing of the post of Member(staff) a cadre post for IRPS and re-designation of the posts of Director General (Signal & Telecom), Director General (Stores) and Director General (Safety) as Member(S&T), Member (Materials Management) as Director General (Safety) respectively.
ii. This Cadre Review was pending since 2012 and will benefit 900 officers of these services.