Union Cabinet approves proposal for amendment to MSME Development Act, 2006
The Union Cabinet on February 7, 2018 approved the proposal for amendment to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006
One of the key amendments changes the basis of classifying Micro, Small and Medium enterprises to ‘annual turnover’ from ‘investment in plant & machinery/equipment’. This will encourage ease of doing business and align the enterprises to the new tax regime revolving around GST (Goods & Services Tax).
A micro enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover does not exceed Rs 5 crore. A small enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than Rs 5 crore but does not exceed Rs 75 crore. A medium enterprise will be defined as a unit where the annual turnover is more than Rs 75 crore but does not exceed Rs 250 crore.
CCEA approves enhancement of target under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on February 7, 2018 approved enhancement of the target of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) from 5 crore to 8 crore with an additional allocation of Rs 4800 crore.
The decision came after witnessing huge response to Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) from women particularly in rural areas and to cover households not having LPG connection. The revised target of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) will be achieved by 2020.
While increasing the target, the Government also addressed the difficulties faced in the implementation of the scheme such as the left behind genuinely poor households which were not addressed in the Socio Economic Caste Survey (SECC) list.
Union Cabinet approves implementation of Prime Minister Research Fellows Scheme
The Union Cabinet on February 7, 2018 approved implementation of the 'Prime Minister's Research Fellows (PMRF) Scheme' with a total outlay of Rs 1650 crore for a period of seven years beginning from Financial Year 2018-19.
Under this scheme, the best students who have completed or are in the final year of B. Tech or Integrated M.Tech or M.Sc. in Science and Technology streams from IISc, IITs, NITs, IISERs and IIITs, will be offered direct admission in PhD programme in the IITs/IISc.
Students, who fulfil the eligibility criteria and get shortlisted through a selection process laid down in the PMRF Guidelines, will be offered a fellowship of Rs 70000 per month for the first two years, Rs 75000 per month for the 3rd year, and Rs 80000 per month in the 4th and 5th years.
Union Cabinet approves ratification of Minamata Convention on Mercury
The Union Cabinet on February 7, 2018 approved the proposal for ratification of Minamata Convention on Mercury and depositing the instrument of ratification, enabling India to become a Party of the Convention.
The approval will bring about ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury along with flexibility for continued use of mercury-based products and processes involving mercury compound up till 2025.
Once ratified, the Convention will urge enterprises to move to mercury-free alternatives in products and non-mercury technologies in manufacturing processes.
India signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury on September 30, 2014. The Convention gives 5 years time to India to control and reduce emissions from new power plants and 10 years time for the already existing power plants.
Nancy Pelosi made history of delivering longest eight hour speech in American Senate
Nancy Pelosi, Democrate Minority Leader, delivered her speech for more than eight hours in American Senate on 07 February 2018. The House Historian’s Office confirmed the lawmaker’s record of longest speech to the media.
The previous record of longest speech dates back to 1909 when a Missouri representative, Champ Clark, spoke for 5 hours and 15 minutes against a tariff overhaul. Nancy Pelosi's speech was ended in 8 hours and 5 minutes.
In her marathon speech Pelosi called on lawmakers to pass the DREAM Act. She informed that it is a bill that would grant legal status to undocumented young people who came to the US as children often called Dreamers. In support of DREAM Act she said,''The young people are our future and these dreamers are part of that. They've been enriched by the greatness of our country.'