Cabinet apprised of MoU between India and Hellenic on Renewable Energy Cooperation
• The Union Cabinet was apprised of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between India and Hellenic.
• The MoU was signed by the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and HE Nikos Kotzias, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic in November 2017.
• The MoU aims to promote technical bilateral cooperation on new and renewable issues on the basis of mutual benefit equality and reciprocity.
• It calls for establishing a Joint Working Group to review, monitor and discuss matters relation to areas of cooperation.
Cabinet approves increase in Dearness allowance for government employees to 7%
• The Union Cabinet approved the increment in the Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners to 7 per cent with effect from 1 January 2018.
• The increment represents an increase of 2 per cent over the existing rate of 5 per cent of the Basic Pay pr Pension to compensate for price rise.
• This will benefit about 48.41 lakh Central Government employees and 61.17 lakh pensioners.
• This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula and is based on the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission.
Cabinet approves recommendations of Inter-Ministerial Group in Telecom Sector
• The Union Cabinet approved two key measures in telecom sector to facilitate investments, consolidation in the sector and enhance ease of doing business.
• These include restructuring the deferred payment liabilities of spectrum auction of telecom service providers and revising the limit of the cap for spectrum holding for telecom service providers.
• With the restructuring of the deferred payment liability, the cash flow for the telecom service providers will increase in the immediate timeframe providing them some relief.
• While, the revision in the limit for the spectrum cap holding will facilitate consolidation of telecom licensees and wll encourage the participation in the future auction.
Cabinet approves Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018
• The Union Cabinet approved the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament.
• The Bill brings down the specified value of a commercial dispute to 3 Lakhs from the present Rs 1 Crore.
• It provides for establishment of Commercial Courts at district Judge level for the territories over which respective High Courts have ordinary original civil jurisdiction in the cities of Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and in Himachal Pradesh.
• It calls for introduction of Pre-Institution Mediation process in cases where no urgent, interim relief is contemplated under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987.
• It inserts new section of 21A to enable the Central Government to make rules and procedures for Pre-Institution Mediation.
Cabinet approves continuation of Swatantra Sainik Samman Yojana during 2017-2020
• The Union Cabinet approved the continuation of Swatantra Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY) during 2017-2020 beyond the 12th Five Year Plan. The scheme was planned till 31 March 2017.
• The approval provides for a monthly Samman Pension to freedom fighters, as a token of respect for their contribution in the national freedom struggle.
• On the demise of freedom fighters, the pension will be given to their eligible dependents such as spouses and thereafter, unmarried and unemployed daughters and dependent parents.
Cabinet approves MoU between UPSC and Public Service Commission of Mauritius
• The Union Cabinet approved the signing of MoU between Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and Public Service Commission of Mauritius.
• It will facilitate sharing of experience and expertise of both the parties in the area of recruitment.
• It also seeks to develop institutionalized linkage between both the Public Service Commission and defines the scope of cooperation between them.
Cabinet approves the proposals for promulgation of ordinances of 3 Union Territories
• The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for promulgation of Daman and Diu Municipalities (Amendment) Regulation, 2018; Dadra and Nagar Haveli Municipal Council (Amendment) Regulation, 2018; and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Municipal) Amendment Regulation 2018.
• The promulgation of these ordinances will help ensure better provisions for the administration and powers of the Municipalities in the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
• These ordinances haves provisions related to anti-defection, constructive no confidence motion, establishment of ombudsman etc.