· Cabinet approves Opening of Missions in Africa to implement commitments of India-Africa Forum Summit (IAFS-III)
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the opening of 18 new Indian Missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021. The 18 new Indian Missions in Africa will be opened in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mauritania, Rwanda, Sao Tome& Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland and Togo over a four year period from 2018-2021 thereby increasing the number of Resident Indian Missions in Africa from 29 to 47.
The decision will enhance India’s diplomatic outreach in the African continent and allow India to engage with Indian diaspora in African countries. Opening of new Missions is also a step towards implementing the vision of enhanced co-operation and engagement with Africa.
· Cabinet approves North-East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017 with financial outlay of Rs.3000 crores upto March, 2020. Government will provide necessary allocations for remaining period of scheme after assessment before March 2020. NEIDS is a combination of the incentives covered under the earlier two schemes with a much larger outlay.
In order to promote employment in the North East States, Government is incentivizing primarily the MSME Sector through this scheme. Government is also providing specific incentive through the scheme to generate employment. All eligible industrial units, which are getting benefits of one or more components of other schemes of the Government of India, will also be considered for benefits of other components of this scheme. Under the Scheme, the following incentives shall be provided to new industrial units set up in the North Eastern States including Sikkim:
The overall cap for benefits under all components of incentives will be of Rs. 200 crores per unit. The newly introduced scheme shall promote industrialization in the States of the North Eastern Region and will boost employment and income generation.
· Cabinet approves continuation of National Health Mission (NHM) from01-04-2017 to 31-03-2020
In a major boost to health infrastructure the Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the continuation of the National Health Mission – with effect from 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2020 with a budgetary support of Rs. 85,217 crore as Central Share over this period.
1. NHM will be the principle vehicle for the UHC (Universal Health Coverage)
2. The goals/targets aligned with National Health Policy, 2017 and SDG-3.
3. NHM has helped the country achieve the MDGs and will be the principal vehicle to achieve the SDG 3 targets including the target for UHC.
4. NHM will continue to strengthen the public health systems, particularly in high priority districts that include aspirational districts.
5. Shift from selective to comprehensive primary health care that includes care for common non-communicable diseases, geriatric health care, palliative care and rehabilitative care services etc. through strengthening of the SHCs/PHCs as Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs).
6. The HWCs would provide preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitative services, including NCD screening and management and are expected to be linked to CHCs and the DHs through a two-way referral and follow up system to reduce fragmentation and improve continuity of care. Package of twelve services including free universal screening for common NCDs.
7. Posting of a Mid-Level health provider at the level of the sub-center who is trained in primary health care and public health related competencies.
8. Emphasis on wellness by integration of AYUSH, and a focus on health promotion and prevention particularly for chronic diseases.
9. Ambitious targets have been set that includes key health indicators and others to spur performance.
10. Outcome oriented with increased funds earmarked for incentivizing better performance on key outcomes and health sector reforms.
11. Horizontal integration of all vertical disease programmes to ensure integrated approach to health and wellness.
12. Specially crafted and differentia! strategies and interventions to achieve set goals.
13. Special focus on reducing Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) with intensification of Initiatives such as NHM Free Drugs and Diagnostics Services Initiatives, Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme – Reduction on OOPE incorporated as a separate target.
14. Effective harnessing of available platforms for inter sectoral convergent action on health.
15. Team based incentives to foster spirit of cooperation and encouragement between frontline workers.
16. Sharpened focus on quality through Quality certification of public health facilities, Kayakalp, LaQshya. Utilisation of public health facilities is a specific target.
17. Proposed to expand basket of vaccines to all the states.
18. Will integrate with the proposed National Health Protection Mission under Ayushman Bharat.
Impact: It will result in / facilitate the:
i. Achievement of targets set for the NHM in the continuation period.
ii. Improvement in key health indicators like Neo-natal Mortality Rate (NMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Total Fertility Rate (TFR).
iii. Reduction in incidence of communicable diseases.
iv. Reduction in Out Of Pocket Expenditure (OOPE) on health care.
v. Improvement in coverage and utilization of Routine Immunization services and also those for non-communicable diseases.
· Cabinet approves Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved the launch of a new Centrally Sponsored Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM) having central sector component under Ayushman Bharat Mission anchored in the MoHFW. The scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year. The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database. AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes -RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS).
1. AB-NHPM will have a defined benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
This cover will take care of almost all secondary care and most of tertiary care procedures. To ensure that nobody is left out (especially women, children and elderly) there will be no cap on family size and age in the scheme. The benefit cover will also include pre and post-hospitalisation expenses. All pre-existing conditions will be covered from day one of the policy. A defined transport allowance per hospitalization will also be paid to the beneficiary.
2. Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country and a beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public/private empanelled hospitals across the country.
3. AB-NHPM will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the SECC database, The different categories in rural area include families having only one room with kucha walls and kucharoof; families having no adult member between age 16 to 59; female headed households with no adult male member between age 16 to 59; disabled member and no able bodied adult member in the family; SC/ST households; and landless households deriving major part of their income from manual casual labour, Also, automatically included families in rural areas having any one of the following: households without shelter, destitute, living on alms, manual scavenger families, primitive tribal groups, legally released bonded labour. For urban areas, 11 defined occupational categories are entitled under the scheme.
4. The beneficiaries can avail benefits in both public and empanelled private facilities. All public hospitals in the States implementing AB-NHPM, will be deemed empanelled for the Scheme. Hospitals belonging to Employee State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) may also be empanelled based on the bed occupancy ratio parameter. As for private hospitals, they will be empanelled online based on defined criteria.
5. To control costs, the payments for treatment will be done on package rate (to be defined by the Government in advance) basis. The package rates will include all the costs associated with treatment. For beneficiaries, it will be a cashless, paper less transaction. Keeping in view the State specific requirements, States/ UTs will have the flexibility to modify these rates within a limited bandwidth.
6. One of the core principles of AB-NHPM is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states. There is provision to partner the States through co-alliance. This will ensure appropriate integration with the existing health insurance/ protection schemes of various Central Ministries/Departments and State Governments (at their own cost), State Governments will be allowed to expand AB-NHPM both horizontally and vertically. States will be free to choose the modalities for implementation. They can implement through insurance company or directly through Trust/ Society or a mixed model.
7. For giving policy directions and fostering coordination between Centre and States, it is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister. It is proposed to have an Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Governing Board (AB-NHPMGB) which will be jointly chaired by Secretary (HFW) and Member (Health), NITI Aayog with Financial Advisor, MoHFW, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission, MoHFW (AB-NHPM) and Joint Secretary (AB-NHPM), MoHFW as members. CEO, Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission will be the Member Secretary, State Secretaries of Health Department may also be members as per the requirement. It is proposed to establish an Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA) to manage the AB-NHPM at the operational level in the form of a Society. AB-NHPMA will be headed by a full time CEO of the level of Secretary/ Additional Secretary to the Government of India.
8. States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme States will have the option to use an existing Trust / Society / Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency or set up a new Trust / Society / Not for Profit Company/ State Health Agency to implement the scheme and act as SHA. At the district level also, a structure for implementation of the scheme will need to be set up.
9. To ensure that the funds reach SHA on time, the transfer of funds from Central Government through AB-NHPMA to State Health Agencies may be done through an escrow account directly. The State has to contribute its matching share of grants within defined time frame.
10. In partnership with NITI Aayog, a robust, modular, scalable and interoperable IT platform will be made operational which will entail a paperless, cashless transaction. This will also help in prevention / detection of any potential misuse / fraud / abuse cases. This will be backed by a well-defined Grievance Redressal Mechanism. In addition, pre-Authorisation of treatments with moral hazards (Potential of misuse) will be made mandatory.
11. In order to ensure that the scheme reaches the intended beneficiaries and other stakeholders, a comprehensive media and outreach strategy will be developed, which will, inter alia, include print media, electronic media, social media platforms, traditional media, IEC materials and outdoor activities.
At the national level to manage, an Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Agency (AB-NHPMA) would be put in place. States/ UTs would be advised to implement the scheme by a dedicated entity called State Health Agency (SHA). They can either use an existing Trust/ Society/ Not for Profit Company/ State Nodal Agency (SNA) or set up a new entity to implement the scheme. States/ UTs can decide to implement the scheme through an insurance company or directly through the Trust/ Society or use an integrated model.
In-patient hospitalization expenditure in India has increased nearly 300% during last ten years. (NSSO 2015). More than 80% of the expenditure are met by out of pocket (OOP). Rural households primarily depended on their ‘household income / savings’ (68%) and on ‘borrowings’ (25%), the urban households relied much more on their ‘income / saving’ (75%) for financing expenditure on hospitalizations, and on ‘(18%) borrowings. (NSSO 2015). Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure in India is over 60% which leads to nearly 6 million families getting into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures. AB-NHPM will have major impact on reduction of Out Of Pocket (OOP) expenditure on ground of:
i) Increased benefit cover to nearly 40% of the population, (the poorest&the vulnerable)
ii) Covering almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations. (except a negative list)
iii) Coverage of 5 lakh for each family, (no restriction of family size)
This will lead to increased access to quality health and medication. In addition, the unmet needs of the population which remained hidden due to lack of financial resources will be catered to. This will lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, job creation thus leading to improvement in quality of life.
The expenditure incurred in premium payment will be shared between Central and State Governments in specified ratio as per Ministry of Finance guidelines in vogue. The total expenditure will depend on actual market determined premium paid in States/ UTs where AB-NHPM will be implemented through insurance companies. In States/ UTs where the scheme will be implemented in Trust/ Society mode, the central share of funds will be provided based on actual expenditure or premium ceiling (whichever is lower) in the pre-determined ratio.
Number of Beneficiaries:
AB-NHPM will target about 10.74 crore poor, deprived rural families and identified occupational category of urban workers’ families as per the latest Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) data covering both rural and urban. The scheme is designed to be dynamic and aspirational and it would take into account any future changes in the exclusion/ inclusion/ deprivation/ occupational criteria in the SECC data.
AB-NHPM will be rolled out across all States/UTs in all districts with an objective to cover all the targeted beneficiaries.
· Cabinet approves Inclusion of the communities ‘Parivara and Talawara’ as synonym of “Nayaka’ in the list of STs in Karnataka
The Union Cabinet, chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has, in principle, approved the inclusion of the communities, namely, ‘Parivara and Talawara’ as synonym of “Nayaka’ at SI. No. 38 in the list of STs of Karnataka.
This will fulfil the long term demand of ‘Parivara’ and Talawara’ communities for granting Scheduled Tribes status in the State of Karnataka. The persons belonging to “Parivara’ and Talawara’ communities will be eligible to get the Scheduled Tribe certificate from the State of Karnataka and will also be eligible for all benefits meant for the Scheduled Tribes in the State.
· Cabinet apprised of an MoU between India and Guyana on cooperation in Renewable Energy
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in Renewable Energy between India and Guyana. The MoU was signed on 30th January, 2018 in New Delhi by Shri R. K. Singh, Minister of State (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy (NRE) and H.E. Mr. Carl B. Greenidge, 2ndVice President and the Foreign Minister of the Co-operative, Guyana.
Both sides aim to establish the basis for a cooperative institutional relationship to encourage and promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable energy issues on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity. The MoU envisages establishing a Joint Working Committee to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation. The MoU aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information. The Memorandum of Understanding will help in strengthening bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
· Cabinet approves revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for revision of the Agreement between India and Qatar for the avoidance of double taxation and for the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income. The existing Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with Qatar was signed on 7thApril, 1999 and came into force on 15thJanuary, 2000.The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to latest standard, includes Limitation of Benefits provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India’s recent treaties. The revised DTAA meets the minimum standards on treaty abuse under Action 6 and Mutual Agreement Procedure under Action 14 of G-20 OECD Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project, in which India participated on an equal footing.
· Cabinet approves closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for closure of India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI)to enhance synergies in channelizing Diaspora’s contributions to Government of India’s flagship programmes such as National Mission for clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat Mission.
· Cabinet approves the extension of the term of the Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in the Central List upto20th June, 2018
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the second and final extension of the term of the Commission constituted to examine the issue of Sub-categorization of Other Backward Classes in the Central List, beyond 27th March 2018 for a period of twelve weeks i.e. upto 20th June, 2018.
· Cabinet approves formation of 100% owned C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) in USA
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for formation of 100% owned C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd.(TCIL) in USA as per the details given below:
i. Formation of C Corporation of Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) in the state of Texas, USA with authorization for registering in other states of USA for doing business subsequently.
ii. TCIL’s Equity Investment of 100% in the C Corporation amounting to USD 5 Million (equivalent to INR 33.84 crores taking the exchange rate as Rs. 67.68)in a phased manner.
iii. TCIL’s submission of Counter Guarantees amounting to USD 5 Million to Lenders of Loans/ Facilities / Vendors and also client for Bid bonds / Advance/ Performance Guarantees etc. required in connection with the execution of Projects in USA.
C Corporation will be earning precious foreign exchange for the country and increasing profitability of TCIL which is a Government PSU.
C Corporation is formed in the state of Texas, USA in connection with the execution of Projects in USA.
The newly formed C Corporation shall earn an estimated profit of around 10% in the initial years with turnover of USD 10 Million, which may get increased subsequently depending upon the volume of work.
Formation of C Corporation in USA shall help TCIL to expand its business/ turnover/profits and ultimately result in increased dividend to the Government being a State PSU.
Total investment of USD 5 Million will be made by TCIL in the form of Equity from its internal resources. TCIL may also be required to provide Counter Guarantees of around USD 5 Million for getting finances in US for expansion of business and also Bid Bonds/ Advance Payment Guarantees/ Performance Bank Guarantees to Govt. authorities/ Final client on behalf of C Corporation. As such there will be no financial implication on the part of the Government.
· Cabinet approves moving official amendments in the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for moving official amendments in the “Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016”. The Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 proposes to regulate surrogacy in India by establishing National Surrogacy Board at the central level and, State Surrogacy Boards and Appropriate Authorities in the States and Union Territories.
The proposed legislation ensures effective regulation of surrogacy, prohibit commercial surrogacy and allow altruistic surrogacy to the needy Indian infertile couples. Once the Bill is enacted by the Parliament, the National Surrogacy Board will be constituted. The States and Union Territories shall constitute the State Surrogacy Board and State Appropriate Authorities within three months of the notification by the Central Government.
Once in effect, the Act will regulate the surrogacy services in the country and will control the unethical practices in surrogacy, prevent commercialization of surrogacy and will prohibit potential exploitation of surrogate mothers and children born through surrogacy. While commercial surrogacy will be prohibited including sale and purchase of human embryo and gametes, ethical surrogacy to the needy infertile couples will be allowed on fulfillment of certain conditions and for specific purposes. All Infertile Indian married couple who want to avail ethical surrogacy will be benefitted. Further, the rights of surrogate mother and children born out of surrogacy will be protected. The Bill shall apply to whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
· Cabinet allows M/s ITI Limited to bring a Further Public Offer for fresh equity shares to achieve 25% Minimum Public Shareholding requirement of Securities and Exchange Board of India, raise working capital for new projects and to reduce its debt obligations
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the following proposal of Department of Telecommunication to allow M/s ITI Limited to:
i. Offer 18 crore fresh equity shares to General Public through a prospectus based Further Public Offer (FPO) in the domestic market as per SEBI Rules and Regulations to raise working capital for new projects, reduce its debt obligations and to meet SEBI’s requirement of minimum 25 % public shareholding.
ii. Keep a reservation of up to 5% of the offer over and above the fresh shares being offered in FPO for allotment to employees of ITI in accordance with DPE guidelines and ICDR Regulation 42.
iii. Offer discount of up to five per cent to retail investors as well as employees in accordance with ICDR Regulation 29.
iv. Select and appoint Advisor(s) to advise the Company and assist in the proposed transactions
v. Appoint Merchant Bankers for Book building process and follow the procedures as per SEBI rules and Regulations in consultation with Merchant Bankers.
Number of Beneficiaries: The Further Public offer will provide the much needed working capital to the Company and help it to timely execute the orders that it has in hand and improve its margins. This, in turn, will help in protecting the current employment and generating more job opportunities in the company particularly in the field of new telecom technologies.
Implementation Strategy and Targets :M/s ITI Limited shall offer requisite number of fresh equity shares to General public through Further Public Offer in the domestic market as per SEBI Rules and Regulations to meet for SEBI’s minimum public shareholding requirement.
Major Impact: M/s ITI Limited will be able to fulfil SEBI’s Minimum Public Shareholding requirement and improve its working capital.
· Cabinet approves continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) – National Higher Education Mission
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for continuation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA) from 1.04.2017 to 31.03.2020.
Major impact and Targets:
a. RUSA seeks to increase the Gross Enrolment Ratio of the country to 30% by 2020,
b. It also seeks to increase the spending on higher education by the State Governments,
c. The scheme, in its 2nd phase, aims at creation of 70 new model degree colleges and 8 newprofessional colleges; Enhancing quality and Excellence in 10 select State universities and 70autonomous colleges, providing infrastructural support to 50 universities and 750 colleges etc.
d. Improving access, equity and accessibility of higher education in Slates through reforms such as academic reforms, governance reforms, affiliation reforms etc.
e. Improve equity in higher education by providing adequate opportunities of higher education to socially deprived communities; promote inclusion of women, minorities, SC/ST/OBCs and differently abled persons,
f. To identity and fill up the existing gaps in higher education, by augmenting and supporting the State Governments’ efforts,
g. Promote a spirit of healthy competition amongst states and institutions to excel in quality higher education, research and innovation.
a. During the period 2017-18 to 2019-20, the following is the financial outlay of the scheme:
b. Funding ratio: The project cost in the public funded institutions for all sub-components is shared between the Central Government and State Governments in the ratio of 90:10 for North-Eastern States, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, 60:40 for other States and UTs with Legislature and 100:0 for UTs without Legislature.
b. The details of the components of the scheme are as follows:
a. Two schemes of the UGC i.e. ‘Universities with Potential for Excellence’ (UPE) and ‘Colleges with Potential for Excellence’ (CPE) subsumed as the components of ‘Enhancing Quality and Excellence in select State Universities’ and ‘Enhancing Quality and Excellence in Autonomous Colleges’. These targeted interventions in well performing State Public Universities and Autonomous Colleges are meant to bring about significant quality enhancement and improvement in teaching and research.
b. Component on Research and Innovation will focus on fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and employability by creation of 20 Research Clusters in the States. These will be on competitive and challenge mode and will largely emerge from Universities in collaboration with the National Laboratories under D/o Science & Technology/D/o Bio-Technology and industry,
c. The scheme will give priority to the Aspirational Districts, identified by the NITI Aayog. The purpose of such an intervention is to improve access and equity through improved enrolment and retention
d. Creation of National Higher Education Resource Centre (NHERC) to be a resource centre for Research, Policy Advocacy, Capacity Building and providing well-informed policy and evidence based research inputs
e. Components of Institutional Reforms and Restructuring, Capacity Building and Management Information Systems have been merged into one single component ‘Institutional Restructuring, Capacity Building and Reforms’.
f. With a view to ensure greater resource flow to the State Higher Education sector, RUSA 2.0 will encourage States and Institutions to undertake projects in a public-private partnership mode based on viability gap funding. These States would be encouraged to create facilitating mechanisms to ease restrictions for enhancing private investment in the sector.
g. An online virtual platform of infrastructure and equipment (inventory) will be created so that institutions can share these resources.
h. RUSA will enhance ongoing mechanisms for Monitoring and Evaluation and look, at innovative ways of scaling up Monitoring and Evaluation, such as Fund Tracker, Reform Tracker, Bhuvan-RUSA and PFMS, so that projects can be completed by their scheduled lime.
· Cabinet approves Revision of Energy Norms under New Urea Policy
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has accorded the following approval to the proposal of Department of Fertilizers:
(a) The Target Energy Norms under New Urea Policy-2015(NUP-2015) for 11 urea units to be implemented w.e.f. 1st April, 2018.
(b) The extension of present energy norms with token penalties, under the New Urea Policy-2015 for a further period of two years for 14 urea manufacturing units which failed to achieve the Target Energy Norms.
(c) Three Naphtha based urea units are also allowed the existing energy norms for another two years/till gas pipeline connectivity.
(d) The target energy norms as per NUP-2015 will be continued for 5 years w.e.f. 1st April, 2020.
The extension of present energy norms for further period of 2 years will ensure easy availability of urea to farmers throughout the country. It will also help to maximize the indigenous urea production and will lessen the import of urea.The approval will also help to recover some part of the CAPEX invested by urea manufacturing units for making their units more energy efficient. Energy efficient urea manufacturing units shall reduce the carbon footprint and it will be more environment friendly.
Chemical Fertilizers have played an important role in making the country self-reliant in food grain production and provide a very vital input for the growth of Indian agriculture. The energy efficiency norms notified by the Department for the year 2018-19 are capital intensive. The cost economics of the companies does not support the implementation of energy saving schemes as the simple pay back on investment is very long.
· Cabinet approves Central Sector “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry” for sericulture sector
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for Central Sector Scheme “Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry” for the next three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
The Scheme has four components –
i. Research & Development (R&D), Training, Transfer of Technology and IT Initiatives
ii. Seed Organizations and farmers extension centres
iii. Coordination and Market Development for seed, yarn and silk products and
iv. Quality Certification System (QCS) by creating amongst others a chain of Silk Testing facilities, Farm based & post-cocoon Technology Up-gradation, and Export Brand Promotion.
A total allocation of Rs.2161.68 Crore has been approved for the implementation of the Scheme for three years from 2017-18 to 2019-20. The scheme will be implemented by the Ministry through Central Silk Board (CSB).
The scheme is expected to increase the silk production from the level of 30348 MTs during 2016-17 to 38500 MTs by end of 2019-20 with the following interventions:
o Production of import substitute bivoltine silk to the tune of 8500 MTs per annum by 2020.
o Research & Development to improve productivity from the present level of 100 Kgs to 111 kgs of silk per ha. of plantation by the end of 2019-20.
o Large scale propagation of improved reeling machines (Automatic Reeling Machine for mulberry; improved reeling/spinning machineries and Buniyad reeling machines for Vanya silk) under Make in India programme to produce quality silk to cater to the market demand.
The scheme will promote Women Empowerment and livelihood opportunities to SC/ST and other weaker sections of the society. The scheme will help to increase productive employment from 85 lakhs to 1 crore persons by 2020.
Improvement over the earlier scheme:
The scheme has following improvement over the earlier scheme:
i. The scheme aims to achieve self-sufficiency in silk production by 2022. To achieve this, production of high grade silk in India will reach 20,650 MTs by 2022 from the current level of 11,326 MTs thereby reducing imports to Zero.
ii. For the first time, there is clear focus on improving production of highest grade quality of silk. It is proposed to increase 4A grade silk from the current level of 15% to 25 % of mulberry production by 2020.
iii. The implementation strategy is clearly based on convergence at the State level with the schemes of other Ministers like MGNREGS of Rural Development, RKVY & PMKSY of Ministry of Agriculture, for maximizing benefits to the sericulturists.
iv. The R&D projects pertaining to disease resistant silkworm, host plant improvements, productivity enhancing tools and implements for reeling and waving etc. will be done in cooperation with Ministries i.e. Science and Technology, Agriculture and Human Resource Development (HRD).