Union Cabinet approves MoU between India, Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Lebanon for cooperation in the field of agriculture and allied sectors.
• The bilateral cooperation in the field of agriculture will be mutually beneficial to both the countries, as the agreement will promote understanding of best agricultural practices in the two countries and will help in better productivity at farmer fields as well as an improved global market.
• It will also help increase agricultural production and productivity by opening access to best practices and market worldwide.
Cabinet approves productivity linked bonus for railway employees
• The Union Cabinet has approved the payment of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for the financial year 2017-18 for all eligible non-gazetted Railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel).
• The financial implication of payment of 78 days’ PLB to railway employees has been estimated to be Rs 2044.31 crore.
• The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs.7000 per month. The maximum amount payable per eligible railway employee is Rs 17,951 for 78 days.
• About 11.91 lakh non-gazetted Railway employees are likely to benefit from the decision.
Cabinet approves closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd
• The Union Cabinet has approved the closure of National Jute Manufactures Corporation Ltd. (NJMC) and its subsidiary Birds Jute & Exports Ltd. (BJEL).
• The disposal of fixed assets, as well as current assets, will be in accordance with the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and the proceeds from the sale of assets, after meeting the liabilities, will be deposited in Consolidated Fund of India.
• The decision will benefit the Government exchequer in reducing recurring expenditure incurred in operating both the sick CPSEs in running their activities.
• It will also help in closing loss-making companies and ensuring the release of valuable assets for productive use, or for generating financial resources for developmental progress.
• The available land with both the CPSEs will be put up for public use, other government use for the overall development of society.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Romania in the field of tourism
• The Union Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between India and Romania in the field of tourism. The MoU was signed in September 2018 during the visit of the Vice-President of India to Romania.
• The main objectives of the agreement include expanding bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, exchanging information and data related to tourism and encouraging cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators.
• It also aims to expand investment in the tourism and hospitality sectors and enable the exchange of experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management.
• It further aims to foster bilateral cooperation through film tourism for promoting the two countries as attractive tourism destinations and promote safe, honourable and sustainable tourism.
• Romania is a potential tourism market for India, as approximately 11844 tourists arrived in India from Romania in 2017.
Cabinet approves MoC between India, Finland on environmental cooperation
• The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Cooperation between India and Finland on Environmental Cooperation.
• The agreement will enable establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between the two countries in the field of environment protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.
• It is also expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environmental protection, better conservation, and better management of climate change and wildlife protection and conservation.
• The key areas of cooperation under the MoC shall include air and water pollution prevention and purification, remediation of contaminated soils, waste management including hazardous wastes and waste-to-energy technologies.
• It will also include promotion of circular economy, climate change, low-carbon solutions, sustainable management of natural resources including forests and conservation of marine and coastal resources.
Cabinet approves establishment of permanent campuses of IISERs at Tirupati and Berhampur
• The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment and operationalistion of permanent campuses of the two new Indian Institutes of Science Education & Research (IISERs) at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh and Berhampur in Odisha.
• The total cost likely to be incurred is Rs 3074.12 crore, which comprises non-recurring cost of Rs 2366.48 crore and recurring cost of Rs 707.64 crore.
• Both the IISERs will be constructed on an area of 1, 17,000 sqm, which will have complete infrastructural facilities for 1855 students.
• The construction of permanent campuses of these institutes shall be completed by December 2021.
Cabinet approves closure of Biecco Lawrie Limited
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for closure of the Biecco Lawrie Limited (BLL) including giving Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS)/ Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) to the employees of the Company.
• The idling assets of BLL will be subsequently put into productive use after meeting all the liabilities in accordance with the extant guidelines of the government.
• The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken various steps for the revival of the company from time to time. However, there appeared no further possibility of revival of the company considering the competitive business environment as well as huge capital requirement.
• The continued losses had made further operations of the company not only unviable but also resulted in substantial distress to officials and staff due to an uncertain future.
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