Special Package for Irrigation Projects

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the implementation of Centrally Sponsored-Scheme for completion of 83 Minor Irrigation projects and 8 major/medium irrigation projects of Marathawada, Vidharbha and drought prone areas of the rest of Maharashtra. Completion of these projects will ensure assured source of water to the farmers in the command area of these projects.

Odisha Govt constitutes Heritage Cabinet

The Odisha Government constituted Heritage Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to preserve the history and culture of Odisha. The Cabinet comprises eight members, including the Chief Minister. While the Chief Secretary will be Secretary of Heritage Cabinet, Secretary in the Department of Odia Language, Literature and Culture will be the convenor.

UK’s Brexit minister resigns

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis has resigned from the Cabinet stating policy differences over PM Theresa May’s exit plan from the European Union. It is a blow to May as she seeks to win over Eurosceptic MPs to her proposed Brexit vision, which would form the basis of UK’s position in ongoing talks with EU. Junior minister for housing Dominic Raab will be Britain’s new Brexit minister.

Centre approves MoU between ICAI, SOCPA

Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU signed in 2014 & approval for renewal of MoU between Institute of Chartered Accountants of India & Saudi Organisation for Certified Public Accountant. The MoU promotes mutual co-operation framework in quality assurance, forensic accounting & Islamic finance among others. ICAI is a statutory body to regulate profession of CA in India.

Extension of RRBs’ recapitalisation scheme

The Cabinet has approved the extension of the scheme of recapitalization of Regional Rural Banks, RRBs for the next three years upto 2019-20. This will enable the RRBs to maintain the minimum prescribed Capital to Risk Weighted Assets Ratio, CRAR of 9%. There are 56 RRBs functioning in the country. As on 31st March, 2017(Prov.), the total credit given by RRBs is Rs.2,28,599 crore.

Boost to Higher Education

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the proposal for expanding the scope of Higher Education Financing Agency (HEFA). HEFA’s scope expanded to meet the rising financial requirements of educational infrastructure in the country. HEFA is a Non ­Profit, Non Banking Financing Company for mobilising extra-budgetary resources.

Govt funds ECGC, NEIA to boost exports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the capital infusion of Rs 2000 crore in Export Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECGC) and Rs 1040 cr to National Export Insurance Account Trust (NEIA). The capital infusion of ` 2000 crore in ECGC would to boost exports and benefit MSMEs in the country. The grant to NEIA would promote infrastructure for export projects.

India signed JDI with Germany in Aviation

28 : The Cabinet signed a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDI) between India and Germany on Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation. The Declaration will lead to the promotion of the effective and efficient development of air transport between India and Germany. It would cover Aviation Safety and Air Traffic Management, Helicopter Emergency Medical Services and Training and Skills Development.

Caninet approves MoU with Denmark

The Cabinet gave approval for the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Denmark in the field of animal husbandry and dairy. Under this, a joint working group consisting of representatives from both the countries will be created to formulate joint programmes. This will facilitate the exchange of knowledge & expertise in the areas of animal breeding, animal health.

Arjit Basu: New MD of State Bank of India

23 : The appointments committee of the cabinet has appointed Arijit Basu as the new Managing Director of State Bank of India till October 31, 2020. Prior to this, Basu was heading the corporate accounts group as the Deputy MD. SBI’s Managing Director B. Sriram will take charge as the MD and CEO of IDBI Bank after existing Chief MK Jain got recently appointed as the RBI Deputy Governor.

Cabinet approved agreement b/w India & Peru

Cabinet has approved an agreement between India and Peru which was signed in May 2018 at Lima, Peru. The agreement aims 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 help in strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Issue of postage stamp between India & Russia

Cabinet has approved the agreement signed in connection with release of Joint Stamps between Department of Posts, India and Russia Post (MARKA) to establish postal cooperation. Bilateral relations between India and Russia are marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest. India and Russia enjoy enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.

Amendments to bankruptcy code cleared

Cabinet has cleared amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, incorporating changes suggested by a government appointed panel.The panel had suggested that home buyers should be treated as financial creditors, which will allow them to equitably participate in an insolvency resolution process. The panel has also suggested relaxations for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises under the IBC.

Cabinet approves MoU between India and France

Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to MoU signed between India and France infield of Renewable Energy. Both sides aim to identify research pilot project between National Institute of Solar Energy, India and Commissariat aI’EnergieAtomique et aux Energies Alternatives, France in the mutually identified areas. The MoU also aims for exchange of expertise and networking of information.

Malaysia gets its first Sikh minister

Gobind Singh Deo, an Indian-origin Sikh politician in Malaysia, has become a cabinet minister. He is the first member of the minority community in Malaysia’s history to be appointed as a minister. He has been given the communications and multimedia portfolio. He is among the two politicians of Indian descent that have been included in the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s Cabinet.

100% business ownership to foreign investors

22 : United Arab Emirates Cabinet has approved a plan to allow foreign investors to own 100% of UAE-based businesses by end of 2018. At present, foreigners generally cannot own more than 49 percent of any UAE firm unless it is incorporated in a special “free zone”. The decision is part of a wider change to the system that would grant residency visas of up to 10 years to investors and specialists.

Uttarakhand Cabinet held meeting in a boat

The Uttarakhand Cabinet organised a meeting in a boat named Marina on the Tehri Reservoir. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was present for the cabinet meeting. Notably, a cabinet meeting was held outside the capital of the state for the first time ever. Famous Tehri Dam is located on the river Bhagirathi.

Development of ‘Freight Village’ in Haryana

Cabinet approved the development of trunk infrastructure components for the integrated multi-modal logistics hub known as ‘Freight Village’. They will be built at Nangal Chaudhary in Haryana under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project. Freight villages are logistics centers, where the cargoes from different transport modes can be reloaded, compiled and prepared for transportation.

Cabinet okays defence spectrum budget hike

The Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure approved increasing the budget for laying of ‘alternative communication network’ for defence services. The alternative communications network is being set up in lieu of airwaves vacated by the Defence Ministry for civilian use. The project is being implemented by state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

Cabinet approves National Biofuel Policy

Cabinet has approved National Policy on Biofuels which allows doping of ethanol produced from damaged foodgrains, rotten potatoes, corn & sugar beet with petrol. The Policy categorizes biofuels as 1st Generation, which produces bio-ethanol from molasses & bio-diesel from non-edible oilseeds. 2nd Generation ethanol can be produced from municipal solid waste & 3rd Generation fuels like bio-CNG

New method to solve PSU disputes

Cabinet has approved a mechanism within the government for speedy resolution of commercial disputes of central public sector enterprises without cases going to courts. A new two-tier mechanism will be put in place of the existing Permanent Machinery of Arbitration mechanism to resolve such commercial disputes.Cabinet decision is based on the recommendations of the Committee of Secretaries.

Pradeep Kumar Sinha got one year extension

Cabinet secretary Pradeep Kumar Sinha has got another one-year extension as the country’s top bureaucrat. Cabinet Secretary is the administrative head of the cabinet secretariat & is also the ex-officio chairman of the civil services board. The cabinet secretariat is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister. The cabinet secretariat assists in decision-making in the government.

Krishonnati Yojana to be continued

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved continuation of Umbrella Scheme Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana in the Agriculture Sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan to 2019-20. Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes. The schemes aim to develop the agriculture & allied sector in a holistic & scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production & productivity.

Cabinet renames minority development programme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has renamed the Multi-sectoral Development Programme as Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram. The restructured programme aims to provide better socioeconomic infrastructure facilities to minority communities, particularly in the field of education, health & skill development. The scheme would extend to 308 districts compared to 196 districts at present.

Cabinet approve accession to the WHO Protocol

Cabinet has given approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization Framework Convention on tobacco control (WHO FCTC) to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products. It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco forms as negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of the WHO FCTC. The 7th Session of the COP7 to the FCTC was held in Greater Noida in 2016

Government aid to reduce sugarcane dues

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to provide financial assistance of Rs. 5.50 per quintal of cane crushed in sugar season 2017-18 to sugar mills. This will help sugar mills to clear cane dues of farmers. The assistance shall be paid directly to the farmers on behalf of the mills.

Govt approves pacts for supply of iron

The Cabinet approved a long-term agreement for export of iron to Japan and South Korea through state-owned trading firm MMTC.The range of quantity of iron ore to be exported would be 3.8 million tonnes per annum to 5.5 million tonnes per annum. MMTC will be supplying iron ore of grade 64 Fe, or high-grade content, to Japanese and Korean steel mills from Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh.

National Bamboo Mission restructured

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved Centrally Sponsored Scheme of National Bamboo Mission under National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture.The mission is to ensure holistic development of the bamboo sector. The Mission will focus on the development of bamboo in limited states where it has social, commercial and economical advantage, particularly in the North Eastern region.

Cabinet approves Schedules Areas in Rajasthan

Cabinet approved inclusion of some areas in Rajasthan under the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution so that the tribals living there can avail benefit of protective measures under its provisions.The Cabinet revoked the Constitution order (CO) dated February 12, 1981 and promulgated a new CO. No additional funds are required as to be expended on account of the declaration of Scheduled Areas.

Cabinet approves MSP for Raw Jute

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval for the increase in the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Raw Jute.The increased MSP is based on recommendations of Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices. The Jute Corporation of India will be the Central Nodal Agency to undertake price support operations at MSP in the Jute growing states.

Government Approved Death Penalty For Rapists

22 : Centre has approved an ordinance to amend the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act to provide for death penalty for rape of children below the age of 12.The move comes in the wake of public outrage over the Kathua rape & murder case where the victim was a minor. Cabinet also decided to raise the minimum jail term for rapists to 10 years if the victims are over 16 yrs old.

Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018

Cabinet has approved promulgation of an ordinance that will empower govt to attach properties both within the country & overseas of fugitive economic offenders.It seeks to confiscate properties of economic offenders like Nirav Modi who have left the country to avoid facing criminal prosecution. Only those cases where amount involved is more than Rs.100cr will be covered under this ordinance.

Cabinet approved restructured scheme

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved a restructured Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan aimed at building infrastructure & stepping up initiatives for e-governance.The scheme will extend to all states & UTs & will include institutions of rural local govt in non-Part IX areas, where panchayats do not exist. PM Modi will launch the scheme on National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24.

Kyrgyzstan’s parliament names new PM

Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament has named Mukhammedkaliy Abylgaziyev as the new Prime Minister.Abylgaziyev, previously chief of staff in President Sooronbai Jeenbekov’s office, replaced Sapar Isakov whose cabinet lost a no-confidence vote. The govt reshuffle completes a series of moves taken by Jeenbekov since he came to power to remove the appointees of his predecessor, Almazbek Atambayev.

Oil, finance ministers can award oil blocks

The Cabinet allowed Ministers of Finance and Petroleum to award oil and gas blocks to winners in the ongoing auction.Till now, only the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister had the powers to approve the award of a block or area for the exploration and production of oil and gas.The two Ministers will approve the award based on the recommendations of the Empowered Committee of Secretaries.

UAE approves issuance of Law on Equal Wages

In an effort to narrow the gender gap in the United Arab Emirates, the Cabinet has approved the issuance of the Law on Equal Wages and Salaries for Men and Women.The new law will provide women with equal opportunities as partners in the UAE’s development. In 2015, the UAE Council for Gender Balance was established and in September, the UAE launched the world’s first Gender Balance Guide.

MoU between India & the UK and North Ireland

The Cabinet approved the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants.The MoU will facilitate the visa-free agreement for holders of diplomatic passports as well as liberalisation of UK visa regime for those who are travelling to the UK legally. It will ensure the return of persons who have no lawful basis to be in the territory.

Balram Bhargava to be new ICMR chief

11 : Balram Bhargava has been appointed the new Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research and Secretary of the Department of Health Research notification by the appointments committee of the cabinet.Balram Bhargava is currently a senior consultant cardiologist at the AIIMS and will carry out this role until 2021. He will succeed former ICMR DG Soumya Swaminathan.

Cabinet approves rightsizing the CCI

The Cabinet approved rightsizing of Competition Commission of India (CCI) by halving the number of its members to three.CCI currently has one chairperson and six members. It will now have one chairperson and three members. This would lead to “faster turnaround in hearings” that is expected to result in speedier approvals.

Agreement between India and Afghanistan

Cabinet approved the agreement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety. FSSAI and MAIL would establish a mechanism of information exchange and communication. Areas of cooperation also include facilitating technical exchange on identified topics of interest.

Himanta Sarma elected as President of BAI

Himanta Biswa Sarma has been elected as the President of the Badminton Association of India (BAI) for the next 4 years.He is a Cabinet ranked Minister and convener of the North East Democratic Alliance. He had taken over as the interim President of BAI last year after the demise of former president Akhilesh Das Gupta.

Cabinet approved Nutrient Based Subsidy

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the continuation of Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) and City Compost Scheme beyond 12th Five Year plan till 2019-20. Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme.

Cabinet enhanced the coverage of PMRPY

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for enhancing the scope of Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). The informal sector workers would get social safety net and there would be more job creation. In this scheme, Government is paying the 8.33% contribution of Employers to the Employees‘ Pension Scheme (EPS) in respect of new employees.

Cabinet approved scheme for School Education

The Cabinet has approved an Integrated Scheme on School Education by combining Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Teacher Education from 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2020. The aim is to support the States in universalizing access to school education from pre-nursery to XII across India. The main emphasis of the scheme is to improve the quality of school education.

MoU between India and SACEP approved

29 : The Cabinet has approved the MoU between India and South Asian Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) for cooperation on Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region. It will promote cooperation between India and other maritime nation for protection of the marine environ-ment. Indian coast guard will be the competent authority for implementation of ‘Oil spill contingency plan’

Integrated Scheme for silk industry approved

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry. The core objective of the scheme is to improve the productivity and quality of silk through R&D intervention. The approved proposal includes provision for the brand promotion of Indian silk through quality certification by ?Silk Mark?.

Wang Yi promoted as State Councillor

China‘s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been elevated to the post of State Councillor. The State Councillor, attached to the State Council, China‘s cabinet, is of a higher rank than Foreign Minister. Mr Wang will continue to retain the post of Foreign Minister.

Cabinet approved India-Iran MoU on health

16 : Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval for the MoU b/w India & Iran on cooperation in the field of Health & Medicine. The MoU also covers the exchange experience in training of medical doctors and other health professionals. It also includes regulation of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and cooperation in the field of medical research, new technologies and knowledge-based initiatives.

Urea subsidy to continue till 2020

The Cabinet has approved the continuation of the urea subsidy till 2020. The government also approved implementation of direct benefit transfer (DBT) for disbursement of fertiliser subsidy. The Centre subsidises the difference between the cost of delivered fertilisers at the retail store and the MRP paid by farmers. The subsidy scheme will ensure that urea is available to the farmers.

Saudi Arabia cabinet approves atomic policy

Saudi Arabia‘s cabinet approved the national policy of its atomic energy programme as the kingdom prepares to award contracts for its first nuclear power plants. The policy insists on limiting nuclear activities to peaceful purposes and for enhanced safety measures and safe disposal of nuclear waste. Saudi Arabia has signed cooperation agreements with countries to boost nuclear cooperation,

Association of Metro Trains launched

‘I-METROS’, an association of all Indian Metro Rail companies was launched by Cabinet Secretary. The platform will be a forum for exchange of ideas, pooling of knowledge and sharing of experience, best practices, innovations etc. among the Indian Metro Rail companies to nurture excellence in performance. This association will also undertake and promote techno-economic studies and research.

DA hiked to 7% for central govt employees

The Cabinet approved a hike in Dearness Allowance to central government employees and Dearness Relief to pensioners from 5% to 7%, with effect from January 1, 2018. It represents an increase of 2%. The hike is expected to benefit 48.41 lakh central government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners. The impact on the exchequer over the DA hike will be Rs.6,077 crore per annum.

MoU between India and Israel

Cabinet has approved the signing of MoU between India and Israel on co-operation in the Oil and Gas Sector.The co-operation will facilitate promotion of investments in each other’s countries, technology transfer, R&D, ETC.The MoU is expected to provide an impetus to India – Israel ties in the energy sector.

MoU between India and Belgium

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Belgium on Cooperation in the field of ICT&E.This MoU was signed on November 7, 2017 during the State Visit of King Philippe of the Belgium to India.The MoU envisages cooperation between India and Belgium in sharing of best practices in the areas of Information Communication Technology, e-Governance, e-Public Service Delivery etc.

Govt to continue National Ayush Mission

Cabinet has approved the continuation of National Ayush Mission till March 31, 2020, with an outlay of Rs 2,400 cr.The Mission was launched in 2014 with objectives of providing cost-effective traditional Indian medicine services like Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha& Homeopathy. It also aims at improved availability of quality AYUSH drugs by increased number of quality pharmacies

Cabinet approves membership for EBRD

Union Cabinet has approved India’s Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development. Membership of EBRD would enhance India’s international profile & promote its economic interests and contribute to an improved investment climate in the country. It would increase the scope of cooperation b/w India & EBRD through co-financing opportunities in manufacturing, services, IT & Energy.

Lebanese PM Saad al-Hariri resigns

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned unexpectedly. Saad al-Hariri has said after his resignation that, he sensed a plot to target his life and feared the same fate as his assassinated father if he remained as leader. Saad al-Hariri became Lebanon’s Prime Minister in 2016 and headed a 30-member national unity cabinet.

Cabinet approves SBA for subsidy

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given ex-post facto approval for implementation of Special Banking Arrangement (SBA). Rs. 10,000 crore SBA is for payment of outstanding claims on account of fertilizer subsidy in the year 2016-17. This SBA has been implemented to overcome the liquidity problems of fertilizer companies.

Continuation of “Krishi Vikas Yojana”

Cabinet has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana as Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana- Remunerative Approaches for Agriculture and Allied sector Rejuvenation for 3 years i.e. 2017-18 to 2019-20. Scheme promotes agri¬business entrepreneurship, adopting risk mitigation measures & strengthens farmers’ efforts with an objective to make farming as a remunerative economic activity

Agreement between India and Armenia

Cabinet has given its approval for signing and ratifying an agreement between India and Armenia on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters. The agreement would provide a legal framework for sharing of information and intelligence between the Customs authorities of India and Armenia. It will help in the proper application of Customs laws.

Rajnikant Mishra appointed new SSB chief

Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has appointed senior IPS officer Rajni Kant Mishra as the new chief of Sashastra Seema Bal. Mishra is a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh Cadre IPS officer, will succeed Archana Ramasundaram who is set to retire on September 30. He was appointed as Additional Director General of the BSF in 2014 & was recently elevated to Special Director General rank in the BSF.

Uttar Pradesh cabinet approves Metro Rail for Allahabad

The Uttar Pradesh government has approved a Metro Rail project for Allahabad. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The state cabinet also approved a scheme to provide free school bags and books to students till class VIII in government schools.

Gujarat govt to implement 7th Pay Commission recommendations from 1st Jan

Gujarat government has approved the implementation of the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission, raising salaries of over 8.5 lakh state employees and pensioners, from 1st Jan. The Cabinet gave its approval to a proposal to implement the recommendations at a meeting in Gandhinagar chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Cabinet Approval

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the terms and conditions for transfer of 12 acres of National Textile Corporation Ltd. (NTCL), Indu-6 Mill land to Government of Maharashtra for the construction of a memorial of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The Union Cabinet has also approved the rates for Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for various bands of spectrum for which auction are going to be conducted shortly. With this decision the path is clear for an issuance of the Notice Inviting Application for spectrum auction by the Department of Telecommunications. The 3rd approval by the Union Cabinet has given for Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill 2016 to improve road safety in the country. As every year 5, lakh road accidents are reported in the country in which 1.5 lakh people lose their lives. The Government has committed to reducing the accidents and fatalities by 50% in five years. The 4th approval is for the signing of new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The 5th approval by the Union Cabinet has given for making suitable amendments in the Central List of OBCs by way of inclusion/correction/deletion of castes/communities applicable to the State of Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed State of Telangana as per the advice received from the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC). The next approval is for the acceptance of the major recommendations of the Sub-Group of Chief Minsters on Rationalization of Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSSs). The Sub-Group had examined 66 CSSs and recommended that the number of CSSs should not normally exceed 30. A consensus was reached on many contentious issues not only between the States represented on the Sub- Group but other States/UTs also through regional consultations and meetings with Union Ministries/Departments.

Somalia cabinet agrees on Election Model outlined

Somalia Cabinet agrees on Election Model outlined by Mogadishu Declaration, calling for electoral process in Somalia to establish a new, bicameral Federal Parliament in 2016, based on inclusivity and representation.