Cabinet approves Cooperation Arrangement between India, Afghanistan in food safety sector
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 4, 2018 approved the signing of a Cooperation Arrangement between Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation & Livestock (MAIL), Afghanistan for cooperation in the field of food safety and related areas.
• The cooperation arrangement will include the establishment of a mechanism of information exchange and communication.
• It will facilitate technical exchange on identified topics of interest, especially about import procedures, quality control operations, sampling, testing, packaging and labeling.
• It will also facilitate information sharing training and capacity building measure and learning from each other’s best practice to improve food safety ecosystem.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Iran on the establishment of an expert group
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 4, 2018 gave its approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Iran on the establishment of an expert group on trade remedy measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
• The MoU was signed on February 17, 2018 during the visit of the President of Iran.
• The MoU will promote cooperation between the two countries in the area of trade remedies such as exchange of information, capacity building activities, cooperation in investigations related to anti-dumping and countervailing duty.
Cabinet approves closure of loss-making Burn Standard Company Limited
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 4, 2018 approved the closure of Burn Standard Company Ltd (BSCL), which is a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Railways.
• The decision was taken in view of the continuous poor physical and financial performance of the company for more than 10 years despite financial assistance and other support provided by the government, and low probability of its revival in the future.
• The measure will save public funds, which are currently being used for loss-making BSCL and can be used for other developmental work.
• To initiate the closure, the Union Government will provide a one-time grant of Rs. 417.10 crore towards severance package and for clearing the current liabilities of the company.
• In addition, outstanding loan of Rs 35 crore, which was given to the company by the Ministry of Railways, shall be written off.
• All the 508 employees of the company will benefit from Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India, Canada to foster cross-border partnerships
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on April 4, 2018 apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Canada.
• The MoU, signed on February 21, 2018 in New Delhi, aims at fostering cross-border partnerships focused on research excellence and industry-academic collaboration between India and Canada that brings robust innovation gains to both countries.
• The MoU will enable Indian and Canadian researchers to undertake graduate-level academic research mobility and cross-border industry-academic cooperation.
• The collaboration is expected to further strengthen India’s long-standing relationship in Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation with Canada.
Cabinet apprised of MoU between India, UAE on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on April 4, 2018 apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime of the United Arab Emirates on Technical Cooperation in Rail Sector.
• The MoU was signed on February 10, 2018.The agreement will enable technical cooperation in regulation, safety and technical investigation of accidents, station redevelopment, locomotives, coaches and wagons.
• The MoU aims to provide a platform to Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector.
• It will facilitate the exchange of information, expert meetings, seminars, technical visits and implementation of jointly agreed cooperation projects.
Cabinet approves rightsizing the Competition Commission of India
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 4, 2018 gave its approval for rightsizing the Competition Commission of India (CCI) from seven members to four.
• The commission would be reduced to one Chairperson and three members from earlier one Chairperson and six members.
• This would be done so by not filling the existing vacancies of two members and one more additional vacancy, which is expected in September 2018 when one of the present incumbents will complete his term.
• The proposal is expected to result in the reduction of three posts of members of the commission in pursuance of the government’s objective of "Minimum Government - Maximum Governance".