New Delhi, November 27: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today made hosts of important decisions, ranging from finance, trade, security, environment.
India’s stand at CoP25:
The cabinet approved the negotiating stand of India at the 25th Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled to be held in Madrid, Spain (under the Presidency of Chile) from December 2 to 3.
The Indian delegation will be led by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar. COP 25 is an important conference as countries prepare to move from pre-2020 period under Kyoto Protocol to post-2020 period under Paris Agreement. India's approach will be guided by principles and provisions of UNFCCC and Paris Agreement particularly the principles of Equity and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBDR-RC).
Agreement between India and Saudi Arabia:
The Cabinet approved Post Facto the Agreement signed by the Prime Minister on October 29 for establishment of Strategic Partnership Council between India and Saudi Arabia. The Agreement will enable the leadership at the highest-level in both countries to meet regularly and monitor progress in the ongoing initiatives or projects under the strategic partnership. It will help identify new areas for forging strategic engagement and will define the goals to be achieved and benefits to be derived.
MoU between India and Myanmar:
The Cabinet has given approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons; Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Re-integration of victims of Trafficking.
The MoU aims to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and to increase bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking and to strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking and to protect and assist the victims of trafficking. It also ensures speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.
MoUs between India and Saudi Arabia:
The Cabinet has given ex-post facto approval for the MoUs between India and Saudi Arabia in the field of combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Chemical Precursors.
The MoU shall facilitate and enhance the cooperation between the two countries in combating illicit trafficking and smuggling of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and chemical precursors, as defined by the United Nations International Drug Control Conventions.
Under the MoU, there is a provision for the exchange of relevant information as well as methods, identities and suspicious activities of producers, smugglers and traffickers of narcotic drugs, details of trafficking of NDPS and Precursors Chemicals on requisitions and financial details of the traffickers arrested on drug related charges.
Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA):
The Cabinet approved the signing of the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) and Protocol between the Republic of India and the Republic of Chile for the elimination of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion and avoidance with respect to taxes on income.
The DTAA will facilitate elimination of double taxation. Clear allocation of taxing rights between Contracting States through the Agreement will provide tax certainty to investors & businesses of both countries while augmenting the flow of investment through fixing of tax rates in source State on interest, royalties and fees for technical services.
Ceremonial Lounge at Tirupati Airport:
The Cabinet has approved the allotment of 1800 sqm of Airports Authority of India's (AAI's) land to Andhra Pradesh Education and Welfare Infrastructure Development Corporation (APEWIDC) for a period of 15 years at a nominal rate of license fee of Re. 1 per annum, for the construction of Ceremonial Lounge at Tirupati Airport.
Tirupati being abode of Lord Venkateswara is frequently visited by VVIPs and VIPs. Construction of a Ceremonial Lounge will offer better amenities to the visitors. The Ceremonial Lounge will be maintained by APEWIDC.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs accorded its approval for mandatory packaging of foodgrains and sugar in jute material for the Jute Year 2019-20. The Government has retained the scope of mandatory packaging norms under the Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act, 1987 as per last year. The decision of the Cabinet mandates that 100% of the food grains and 20% of the sugar shall be mandatorily packed in diversified jute bags.
The decision to pack sugar in diversified jute bags will give an impetus to the diversification of the jute industry. Further, the decision also mandates that initially 10% of the indents of jute bags for packing foodgrains would be placed through reverse auction on the GeM portal. This will gradually usher in a regime of price discovery.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has accorded its approval for waiver of repayment of loan of Rs.54 lakh and interest thereon, amounting to Rs.370.40 lakh, totalling Rs. 424.40 lakh plus the amount of interest that will accrue on total amount, from April 1, 2019 till this approval outstanding against the Sikkim Mining Corporation. Further accumulation of interest on principal loan will get extinguished and the liquidation process of the Corporation will get completed.
Increase authorized capital of FCI:
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved to increase the authorized capital of Food Corporation of India (FCI) from existing Rs.3,500 crore to Rs.10,000 crore.
With the increase of authorized capital, additional equity capital can be infused in FCI through Union Budget, to fund the foodgrains stock, perpetually held by FCI. This will reduce the borrowings of FCI, save interest cost of FCI and reduce food subsidy in consequence.