Cabinet approves leasing out six airports through PPP
• The Union Cabinet has given its "in-principle" approval for leasing out six airports of AAI - Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru for operation, management and development under Public Private Partnership (PPP) through Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC).
• It has also given its approval for the constitution of an Empowered Group of Secretaries headed by CEO, NITI Aayog with Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs and Secretary, Department of Expenditure to decide on any issue falling beyond the scope of PPPAC.
• Public-Private Partnership in infrastructure projects will bring efficiency in service delivery, expertise, enterprise and professionalism apart from harnessing the needed investments in the public sector.
• The PPP in airport infrastructure projects has brought world-class infrastructure at airports, delivery of efficient and timely services to the airport passengers, augmenting revenue stream to the Airports Authority of India without making any investment.
• The examples of these are the Greenfield Airports at Hyderabad and Bengaluru. Presently, the airports being managed under the PPP model include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Cochin.
• The PPP airports in India have been ranked among the top 5 in their respective categories by the Airports Council International (ACI) in terms of Airport Service Quality (ASQ).
Cabinet apprised of India joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme under IEA
• The Union Cabinet has been apprised of India joining as Member of Advanced Motor Fuels Technology Collaboration Programme (AMF TCP) under International Energy Agency (IEA) on May 9, 2018.
• The AMF TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has "Association" status since March 30, 2017.
• The primary goal of joining the programme is to facilitate the market introduction of advanced motor fuels and alternate fuels with an aim to bring down emissions and achieve higher fuel efficiency in the transport sector.
• The programme also provides an opportunity for fuel analysis, identifying new/ alternate fuels for deployment in the transport sector and allied research and development activities for reduction in emissions in fuel-intensive sectors.
• The R&D work in AMF TCP is carried out within individual projects called "Annex". Over the years, more than 50 Annexes have been initiated in the programme and a number of fuels have been covered in previous Annexes such as reformulated fuels (gasoline & diesel), biofuels (ethanol, biodiesel), synthetic fuels (methanol, Fischer- Tropsch, DME) and gaseous fuels.
• The R&D Institutions of Public sector Oil Marketing companies and Automobile Testing Agencies such as ARAI, CIRT, ICAT have state-of-the-art facilities and resources will also be a contributor to the Annexes participated by the Union Petroleum Ministry.
Cabinet approves laying down procedure and mechanism for sale of enemy shares
• The Union Cabinet has given its ‘in principle’ approval for the sale of enemy shares under the Custody of Home Ministry/ Custodian of Enemy Property of India (CEPI), as per sub-section 1 of section 8A of the Enemy Property Act, 1968.
• The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management has been authorised under the provisions of sub-section 7 of section 8A of the Enemy Property Act, 1968, to sell the same.
• The sale proceeds are to be deposited as disinvestment proceeds in the government account maintained by the Ministry of Finance.
• Currently, a total number of 6,50,75,877 shares in 996 companies of 20,323 shareholders are under the custody of CEPI. Of these 996 companies, 588 are functional/ active companies, 139 of these are listed with remaining being unlisted.
• The process for selling these shares is to be approved by the Alternative Mechanism (AM) under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister and comprising Minister of Road Transport and Highway and Home Minister.
• The decision will lead to monetisation of enemy shares that had been lying dormant for decades since coming into force and the Enemy Property Act in 1968.
Cabinet approves filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves
• The Union Cabinet has approved the filling of Padur Strategic Petroleum Reserves(SPR) at Padur, Karnataka by overseas National Oil Companies (NOCs).
• The SPR facility at Padur is an underground rock cavern with a total capacity of 2.5 million metric tonnes (MMT) having four compartments of 0.625 MMT each.
• The filling of the SPR under PPP model is being undertaken to reduce budgetary support of the Government of India.
• The Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd. (ISPRL) has constructed and commissioned underground rock caverns for storage of total 5.33 MMT of crude oil at three locations namely Vishakhapatnam (1.33 MMT), Mangalore (1.5 MMT) and Padur (2.5 MMT).
• The total 5.33 MMT capacity under Phase-I of the SPR programme is currently estimated to supply approximately 95 days of India’s crude requirement according to the consumption data for FY 2017-18.
Cabinet approves setting up of Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh
• The Union Cabinet has approved setting up of a Central Tribal University in Andhra Pradesh.
• The "Central Tribal University of Andhra Pradesh" will be set up in Relli village of Vizianagaram District as provided under the Thirteenth Schedule to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
• The cabinet has also approved the provision of funds worth Rs 420 crore for the first phase expenditure towards the establishment of the Central Tribal University.
Cabinet approves agreement between India, Morocco on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters
• The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8, 2018 approved the agreement between India and Morocco on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters.
• The agreement covers service of summons and other judicial documents or processes, taking of evidence in civil matters and production, identification or examination of documents, recordings.
• It also covers the execution of a Letter of Request for taking of evidence in civil matters and the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.
• The agreement will be beneficial for the citizens of both the countries and it will also fulfil the desire of both the countries to strengthen the bonds of friendship and fruitful cooperation in the Civil and Commercial matters, which is the spirit, essence and language of the agreement.
Cabinet approves signing and ratifying the Extradition Agreement between India and Morocco
• The Union Cabinet has approved signing and ratifying the Extradition Agreement between India and Morocco.
• The agreement will be signed during the proposed VIP visit from Morocco from November 11-18, 2018.
• The agreement will provide a strong legal base for the extradition of fugitive offenders who are accused of economic offences, terrorism and other serious offences in one contracting state and found in another contracting state.
• It will also strengthen bilateral relations to deal with criminal elements acting against the national interest of both India and Morocco.
Cabinet approves MoU between India, Italy for continuing training and education in fields of Labour and Employment
• The Union Cabinet has approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Italy for training and education in the fields of Labour and Employment.
• The agreement will facilitate expansion of the training and education activities to promote decent work in the world of work.
• It would be made possible by conducting joint training programmes on training methodologies and techniques, developing new training modules for different social partners, organising customised training programmers in different themes on labour and employment and undertaking evaluation of training methodologies.
• Other activities to be undertaken under the agreement include exchanging of good practices in training programmes, particularly in the context of labour administration, assisting each other in the delivery and facilitation of the training modules and organizing study visits and exchanging of trainers for sharing of knowledge and information.
• The major impact of the MoU would be up-gradation of technical capacities of both the institutions in responding to the challenges emanating from transformations in the world of work.
CCEA approves strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent of Government’s equity in the Dredging Corporation of India Ltd
• The Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given ‘in principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 100 per cent Government of India's shares in DCIL to consortium of four ports namely, Vishakhapatnam Port Trust, Paradeep Port Trust, Jawahar Lal Nehru Port Trust and Kandla Port Trust.
• Currently, the Union Government holds 73.44 per cent shares in Dredging Corporation of India Limited.
• The approval will further facilitate the linkage of dredging activities with the ports, keeping in view the role of the DCIL in expansion of dredging activity in the country as well as potential scope for diversification of ports into third-party dredging.
• The co-sharing of facilities between the company as well as ports shall lead to savings for ports. This would further provide opportunities for larger investment in DCIL as integration with ports shall help ineffective vertical linkage in the value chain.
• The strategic disinvestment of DCIL shall be undertaken after conducting due diligence exercise by both the entities with the help of advisors, appointed for the transaction.