Top Cabinet Approvals: 12 April 2018
The Union Cabinet approved the revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories with an aim to bring the pay and allowances of LGs at par with that of the Secretaries to the Union Government.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, UK and Northern Ireland on return of Illegal Migrants
• The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland on the return of Illegal Migrants.
• The MoU will facilitate 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 after conclusion of the MoU.
• It will make sure that the people, who have no lawful basis to be in the territory of the other country, return to their respective countries after verification of nationality to its satisfaction.
Cabinet approves revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories
• The Union Cabinet approved the revision of pay and allowances of Lieutenant Governors of Union Territories with an aim to bring the pay and allowances of LGs at par with that of the Secretaries to the Union Government.
• The pay and allowances of the LGs will be increased to Rs 225000 plus dearness allowance alongwith the sumptuary allowance of Rs 4000 per month and local allowances at the same rate as applicable to the Secretary to the Union Government with effect from January 1, 2016.
• However, it will be subject to the condition that the total pay (excluding sumptuary allowance and local allowances) shall not exceed the total pay drawn by the Governor of a State.
Cabinet approves Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance
• The Union Cabinet approved the Headquarters (Host country) Agreement between India and the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The agreement was signed on March 26, 2018.
• This Host Country Agreement makes ISA a juridical personality and gives it power to acquire and dispose the movable and immovable properties in the host country.
• Under this agreement, ISA will be authorised to institute and defend legal proceedings, will enjoy tax concessions and immunities as necessary to discharge its function and programmes.
• ISA will be the first international intergovernmental treaty based organization to be headquartered in India.
• ISA, a joint initiative of India and France, aims to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and technology and mobilize more than USD 1000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for massive deployment of solar energy.
ISA and India sign Headquarters Agreement
Cabinet approves delegation of powers to Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Ministries to boost to ease of doing business
• The Union Cabinet approved the delegation of powers to Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Union Finance Minister to award the Contract Areas to successful bidders under Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy (HELP) after International Competitive Bidding (ICB).
• The decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations of Empowered Committee of Secretaries (ECS).
• The delegation of powers will expedite the decision making process on awarding blocks and give a boost to the initiative of ease of doing business.
• Under HELP, blocks are to be awarded twice in a year.
CCEA approves exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane from areas allotted to CIL
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved granting rights to the Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries for exploration and exploitation of Coal Bed Methane (CBM) from all coal bearing areas for which they possess mining lease for coal.
• This amendment grants relaxation under the Petroleum & Natural Gas Rules 1959 (PNG Rules, 1959) to CIL and its subsidiaries for not applying for grant of license or lease for extraction of Coal Bed Methane.
• The decision is in line with the Government’s initiatives of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and will reduce the gap in demand and supply of natural gas.