Cabinet approves extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS)
• The Union Cabinet approved the first extension of Concessional Financing Scheme (CFS) to support Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad.
• Under the CFS, the government has been supporting Indian Entities bidding for strategically important infrastructure projects abroad since 2015-16.
• As the objectives of the Scheme continue to be relevant, thereby, the government proposed to extend the Scheme for another five years from 2018 to 2023.
• Prior to the introduction of CFS, Indian entities were not able to bid for large projects abroad since the cost of financing was very high for them.
Cabinet approves re-structuring of Agricultural Scientists' Recruitment Board
• The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for restructuring of Agricultural Scientists 'Recruitment Board (ASRB).
• The ASRB will now be a 4 member body instead of 3 members. It will have a Chairperson and 3 Members.
• ASRB’s Chairperson would serve for a period of three years or till attainment of 65 years of age, whichever is earlier.
• For the purpose of autonomy, secrecy, accountability and efficient functioning, ASRB shall be delinked from ICAR and will be attached with Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE).
Cabinet approves increase in Extra Budgetary Resources for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)
• The Union Cabinet approved raising funds up to Rs 15000 crore as Extra Budgetary Resources (EBR) for Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin) (SBM (G)) during the financial year 2018-19 through NABARD.
• The cabinet also approved expansion of the scope of work of International Centre for Drinking Water Quality to authorise it for receiving EBR funds for SBM(G).
• The cabinet also approved renaming of International Centre for Drinking Water Quality to "National Centre for Drinking Water, Sanitation and Quality".
• This decision will benefit around 1.5 crore rural households eligible for incentive under Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin).
Cabinet approves Policy Framework for exploration of Unconventional Hydrocarbons
• The Union Cabinet approved the policy to permit exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons such as Shale oil/gas, Coal Bed Methane (CBM) etc.
• It will be carried out under the existing Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs), CBM contracts and Nomination fields to encourage the existing contractors to unlock the potential of unconventional hydrocarbons.
• With this policy dispensation, new investment in Exploration and Production (E&P) activities and chances of finding new hydrocarbon discoveries is expected.
• Exploration and exploitation of additional hydrocarbon resources is expected to spur new investment, give impetus to economic activities and additional employment generation.
CCEA approves opening of 13 new Kendriya Vidyalayas in seven States
• CCEA approved the proposal for opening of 13 new Kendriya Vidyalayas (KVs) in seven States.
• These 13 schools are in Banda (Uttar Pradesh), Washim (Maharashtra), Chakpikarong (Manipur), Parbhani (Maharashtra), Nawada (Bihar), Mirjapur (Uttar Pradesh), Bhadohi (UP), Palamau (Jharkhand), Siddipet (Telangana), Kudamalakunte, (Karnataka), CISF Surajpur (UP), Devkund (Bihar) and Baoli (UP).
• The CCEA also approved the establishment of an additional Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) at Alot, Ratlam District, Madhya Pradesh.
• Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh has a high percentage of SC and ST population and there is huge demand for establishing an additional JNV in that district.
CCEA approves issue of fresh equity to the extent of 15% of the paid up equity capital by HCL
• CCEA approved issue of fresh 13,87,82,700 equity shares to the extent of 15 percent of paid up equity capital efface value of Rs 5 each by Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) through the Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP) route, as per SEBI guidelines.
• As a result, Government of India’s shareholding in HCL will come down from 76.05 percent to 66.13 percent.
• The paid-up share capital of HCL will increase from the present Rs 462.61 crore to Rs 532crore.
• The raising of fund is essential for HCL's expansion plans to achieve production level of around 1.90 lakh tonnes of metal in copper concentrate and thus meet around 30 percent of the refined copper demand of the country.
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