New Delhi, November 23: The 15th Finance Commission was setup under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Under Article 280 (1) of the Constitution, it is a Constitutional obligation to form the Finance Commission after every five years and will be notified in due course of time. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the press conference after the cabinet meet. The cabinet took various decisions regarding the salary of judges, Indo-Philippines relations, Indo-Russia on combating terrorism, etc.
The decisions are as follows:
India's Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development
India's Membership for European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) was approved by the Cabinet due to which the minimum initial outlay towards the membership of EBRD will be about 1 million Euros. Though, this supposition is based on India deciding to buy the minimum number of shares (100) required for obtaining the membership. If India were to buy a higher number of Bank shares, the financial implications could be higher.
With the India's remarkable economic growth over the years and improved international political profile, it was measured suitable that India should expand its existence on the global developmental landscape beyond its association with the Multi-lateral Development Banks (MDBs) such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank. It also important acquiring the membership of the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) had been under consideration of the Government.
India - Russia Agreement on cooperation in combating terrorism and organized crime
An Agreement on Cooperation between India and Russia will be signed in the field of combating all forms of terrorism and organized crime. The Agreement is planned to be signed during the upcoming visit of Indian Delegation, led by Home Minister, to Russia from 27-29 November, 2017.
The proposed Agreement, which will reinstate the Agreement of October, 1993, is a step towards combining the benefits accrued in the field of security and seeks to jointly fight the new and developing risks and threats. The Agreement would strengthen the relationship between India and Russia through exchange and sharing of information, proficiency, best practices and would help in reducing terrorism and enhancing security in the region.
Continuation of the scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs beyond the 12th Plan Period
The scheme on Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) for another three financial years (FYs 2017-18 to 2019-20) and providing Grants-in-aid of Rs.18 crore to the Institute will be continued. It will make the Institute self-sustainable by the end of FY 2019-20.
The National Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility (NFCSR) at IICA is accountable for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The Foundation has been designed around the new provisions of Companies Act, 2013. The NFCSR conducts various activities in partnership with Corporates in the field of CSR, oriented towards social addition.
Approves revised salaries, gratuity, allowances and pension for the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts
Salaries, gratuity, allowances, pension etc. of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts and retired Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts has been revised. It follows the execution of recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission in respect of Civil Servants.
The approval will cover the way for necessary amendments in the two laws viz. Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1958 and High Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Act, 1954, which govern the salaries of Chief Justice of India (CJI), Judges of Supreme Court of India, Chief Justices and all Judges of High Courts.
The increase in the salary and allowances etc. will benefit 31 Judges of Supreme Court of India (including the CJI) and 1079 Judges(including the Chief Justices) of High Courts. Besides, approximately 2500 retired Judges will also be benefited on account of revision of pension and gratuity etc. Arrears on account of revised salaries, gratuity, pension and family pension which was effective from 01.01.2016 will be paid as one time lump sum payment.
Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises
The Cabinet has approved the Wage Policy for the 8th Round of Wage Negotiations for workmen in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs). Due to which they are free to negotiate wage revision for workmen where the periodicity of wage settlement of five years or ten years has expired generally on 31.12.2016 keeping in view the affordability and financial sustainability of such wage revision for the CPSEs concerned.
There are about 12.34 lakh employees in 320 CPSEs in the country. Out of these, about 2.99 lakh employees are Board level and below Board level executives and non-unionized Supervisors. The remaining about 9.35 lakh employees belong to the unionized workmen category. Wage revision in respect of unionized workmen is decided by trade unions and managements of CPSEs in terms of guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) for wage negotiations.
Expansion of umbrella scheme "Mission For Protection And Empowerment For Women" and introducing a new scheme ' Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra'
An approval for expansion of the schemes of Ministry of Women and Child Development under Umbrella Scheme Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women for a period 2017-18 to 2019-20. CCEA has also given approval to the new scheme called ‘Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra', which will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential. Expansion under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao has also been approved based on the successful implementation in 161 districts. The financial outlay during 2017-18 to 2019-20 will be Rs.3, 636.85 crore with a Central Share of approximately Rs.3, 084.96 crore.
Agreement between India and Philippines on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters
An Agreement between India and Philippines has been signed and ratified on co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters. The Agreement will help in the accessibility of relevant information for the avoidance and investigation of Customs offences. The Agreement is also predictable to assist the trade and ensure efficient clearance of goods traded between the countries. This Agreement shall enter into force after the necessary national legal requirements for entry into force of this Agreement have been fulfilled by both the countries.