Cabinet approves creation of National Urban Housing Fund
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given approval for creation of National Urban Housing Fund (NUHF) for Rs.60,000 crores.
• This fund will be situated in Building Materials and Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
• The Ministry has so far sanctioned 39.4 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban).
• More than 17 lakh houses have been grounded and about 5 lakh houses have been completed.
• The NUHF will facilitate raising requisite funds in next four years so that flow of Central Assistance under different verticals is sustained and construction of houses to address the gap in Urban Sector progresses smoothly.
Cabinet approves India-Morocco agreement for cooperation in Rail sector
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, 2018 approved the Cooperation Agreement between India and the Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF) to develop long-term cooperation and partnership in different areas of railway sector.
• The Cooperation Agreement was signed December 14, 2017.
• It will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:-
- Training and staff development;
- Expert missions, exchange of experience and personnel; and
- Mutual technical assistance, including exchanging of experts.
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Cabinet approves agreement between India, Israel on Film Co-production
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, 2018 approved an agreement on film co-production between India and Israel.
• The agreement was signed during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India, in the presence of both the Prime Ministers in Hyderabad House in New Delhi on January 15, 2018.
• The agreement on co-production of films with an international party would enable Indian producers to gain access to international funds and collaborate on the script, talent and distribution at international level.
• The co-production of a film under this treaty will qualify it to be national production of both India and Israel. Such films will also be eligible to participate as domestic productions in film festivals of both the countries.
• The agreement is expected to facilitate mutual exchange of art and culture, create goodwill and better understanding among the people of both the countries as well as various aspects of film making.
Cabinet approves proposal for constitution of tribunal to resolve Mahanadi Water Disputes
• The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20, 2018 approved the proposal for constitution of a tribunal for adjudication of dispute on Mahanadi River Waters.
• The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development.
• As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the tribunal woul comprise a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court.
• The tribunal would be required to submit its report and decision within a period of 3 years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.
• The adjudication of dispute by the tribunal is expected to finally bring an end to the long-pending dispute between states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi River water.
Cabinet approves new bill to ban Unregulated Deposit Schemes and Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to introduce the banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 and Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the Parliament.
• The Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes Bill, 2018 is aimed at tackling the menace of illicit deposit taking activities in the country.
• The Chit Funds (Amendment) Bill, 2018 aims to facilitate orderly growth of the Chit Funds sector and remove bottlenecks being faced by the Chit Funds industry.