Top Cabinet Approvals: 3 January 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of Rastriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-2020 with a budget outlay of Rs 1160 crore as recommended by EFC.
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India, Morocco on cooperation in area of cyber security
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Morocco on cooperation in the area of cybersecurity. The MoU was signed on September 25, 2018.
• The agreement intends to promote closer cooperation for the exchange of knowledge and experience in detection, resolution and prevention of security-related incidents between India and Morocco.
• The implementation of the MoU will result in significant mutual benefits in the Cyber Security sector, through institutional and capacity building with Morocco in the field of Cyber Security.
Cabinet apprised of progress under National Health Mission
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of the progress and new initiatives under the National Health Mission (NHM) and the decisions of the empowered programme committee and mission steering group of NHM.
• The outcomes achieved under the NHM during the last five years and during the year 2017-18 include a 2.7 per cent decline in the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) to 130 during 2014-16 from 178 during 2010-12.
• The decline in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) was 34 in 2016 as compared to 44 in 2011 and the annual rate of decline of IMR between 2015 and 2018 was 8.1 per cent.
• Further, the decline in the under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) was 39 in 2016 in comparison to 55 in 2011 and the annual rate of decline of U5MR during 2015-16 was 9.3 per cent.
• The decline in the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) was 2.3 per cent in 2016, as compared to 2.3 per cent in 2011 and the percentage annual compound rate of decline in TFR during 2011-16 was observed as 1.7 per cent.
Cabinet approves proposal to allot land to Chandigarh Housing Board for construction of apartments
• The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to allot land to Chandigarh Housing Board for construction of apartments for 3930 allottees under Self-Financing Housing Scheme for the employees of Chandigarh Administration.
• A total land area of 73.3 acre was earmarked for construction of 3930 dwelling units for the Union Territory’s employees out of which 11.8 acre was already in possession of Chandigarh Housing Board. In the instant proposal, 61.5 acre of government land is to be allotted to Chandigarh Housing Board.
• The project will directly or indirectly provide employment opportunity to labour and some blue collared workers such as engineers at the local level also for the duration of the project, without putting pressure on the exchequer.
• The "Self-Financing Housing Scheme — 2008" was floated by the Chandigarh Housing Board in the year 2008 to take care of the housing needs of eligible union territory employees of all categories.
Cabinet approves amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926
• The Union Cabinet has approved amendment to the Trade Unions Act, 1926 to make provisions regarding recognition of trade unions.
• The approval will facilitate recognition of the trade unions at the central and state level, ensure true representation of workers in the tripartite bodies, check on the arbitrary nomination of workers’ representatives by the Government and reduce litigations and industrial unrest.
• The proposed bill will ensure that the nomination of workers’ representatives in tripartite bodies by the government will become more transparent.
• The trade unions so recognised would be accountable in maintaining industrial harmony. The recognition of the trade unions at the central and state level would help reduce duplicacy of such exercise by different departments.
Cabinet gives ex post facto approval to India's approach for COP 24
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to the negotiating stand of India at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Katowice, Poland from December 2-15, 2018. This is in continuation of the earlier approval dated November 28, 2018.
• The key focus of COP24 was to finalise guidelines for implementation of the Paris Agreement in post-2020 period. India's approach was guided by principles and provisions of UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capability.
• India reiterated its commitment to Paris Agreement and highlighted its leadership during the COP-24 by reuniting its promise to implement the Paris Agreement fully in a collective manner.
Cabinet approves continuation of Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram Scheme
• The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of Rashtriya Yuva Sashaktikaran Karyakram scheme for the period 2017-18 to 2019-2020 with a budget outlay of Rs 1160 crore as recommended by EFC.
• The scheme is an ongoing central sector scheme of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports and has been continuing since the 12th Five Year Plan.
• It aims to develop the personality and leadership qualities of the youth and to engage them in nation building activities.
• The scheme beneficiaries are the youth in the age group of 15-29 years, in line with the definition of 'youth' in the National Youth Policy, 2014. In the case of programme components specifically meant for the adolescents, the age group is 10-19 years.
Cabinet approves ‘Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2018’
• The Union Cabinet has approved the introduction of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the Parliament for certain amendments in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 so as to modify the list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh.
• After the Bill becomes an Act, member of the communities newly listed in the revised list of Scheduled Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh will also be able to derive benefits meant for STs under the existing schemes of the Government.
• Some of the major schemes of this kind include post metric scholarship, national overseas scholarship, national fellowship, top class education, concessional loans from National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation and hostels for ST boys and girls.
• In addition to above, they will also be entitled to benefits of reservation in services and admission to educational institutions as per government policy.
Cabinet approves Continuation of Umbrella scheme for ‘Family Welfare and Other Health Interventions’
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for continuation of five schemes under the "Umbrella Scheme for Family Welfare and Other Health Interventions" during the Fourteenth Finance Commission period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
• The five central sector schemes with 100 per cent funding from the central government include Swastha Nagrik Abhiyan, Free Supply of Contraceptives, Health Surveys and Health Research, Social Marketing of Contraceptives and Population Research Centres.
• An overall outlay of Rs 2381.84 crore for the scheme will be spent during the Fourteenth Finance Commission period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
• The five schemes are crucial to attaining the goals and objectives laid out in National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 and international commitments in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
CCEA allows inclusion of merchant exporters under Interest Equalisation Scheme (1ES)
• The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to the proposal of the Department of Commerce for including merchant exporters under the Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES) for pre and post shipment rupee export credit by allowing them interest equalisation rate of 3 per cent on such credit for export of products covered under 416 tariff lines identified under the scheme.
• These products are largely in MSME and labour intensive sectors such as Agriculture, Textiles, Leather, Handicraft and machinery.
• The proposal will entail benefits of around Rs 600 crore to exporters on interest equalisation, for the remaining period of the scheme.
• The inclusion of merchant exporters in the scheme is expected to make them more competitive, encouraging them to exports more products manufactured by MSMEs adding to country's exports.