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Boost to agriculture & infrastructure: 8 important decisions taken today by Narendra Modi government

Posted by sonimanish Published on Thu, 2015-06-11 18:23

News article

Thu, 2015-06-11 (All day)
Tamil Nadu, India

From steps to check the rising price of pulses to ensuring smooth supply of urea in southern states, the government on Wednesday approved a slew of measures to boost agriculture, international highways and a beleaguered sugar industry. Here's what it approved: 

1)  The Cabinet approved import of lentils in large quantities to boost supply and also asked states to take action against hoarders. Pulses prices have risen by up to 64 per cent in the last one year as the domestic production fell by nearly two million tonnes in 2014-15 crop year due to unfavourable weather conditions.

Expressing concern over rising pulse prices, the Cabinet decided to import pulses in whatever quantity is required, directing state government to take strict action against hoarders.

2)  To ensure smooth supply of urea in southern states, the Centre approved continuation of its production from three plants that use naphtha as feedstock till availability of gas through pipelines or any other means. The decision is meant to ensure smooth supply of fertiliser in the southern states. The total requirement of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala is 23 lakh tonne (LT), and the annual production of these three units is 15 LT per annum. 

3) The Cabinet has approved signing of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement for the Regulation of Passenger, Personal and Cargo Vehicular Traffic among BBIN. The agreement will be signed on June 15 at the BBIN transport minister's meeting in Thimpu, Bhutan. 

Signing of the BBIN agreement will promote safe, economical efficient and environmentally sound road transport in the sub-region and will further help each country in creating aninstitutional mechanism for regional integration. 

4) The Cabinet also approved the Ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on the Seafarers Identity Document. A biometric based seafarer's identity document will be developed, mainly, to ensure a foolproof security system to ward off the potential risk of breach of security and possible terrorist attacks. 

India's ratification of this Convention will benefit Indian seafarers, who may otherwise find a threat to their job opportunities, in the near future, in the global maritime sector if India doesn't ratify the Convention, said the government release. 

5)  To help the industry clear its cane dues arrears, the Cabinet approved the proposal to provide soft loans to the extent of Rs 6,000 crore to the sugar industry. CCEA has provided a one year moratorium on this loan, and will bear the interest subvention cost to the extent of Rs 600 crore for the said period. To ensure that farmers are paid their dues expeditiously, the Centre has mandated that banks will obtain from the sugar mill, the list of farmers with bank account details to the extent cane dues are to be paid, so that the same are directly paid into the account of the farmers on behalf of the sugar mills. Subsequent balance if any, will then be credited into the mill account. 

6) The Cabinet has approved the development of the four laning of the Guna-Biaora and Biaora-Dewas section of National Highway- 3 in Madhya Pradesh with an estimate cost of Rs 2815.69 crore. This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV. The approval is in Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) basis in BOT (Toll) mode. 

The cost is estimated to be Rs 1,081.9 crore for Guna-Biaora including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities. The total length of the road will be approximately 93.5 kms. 

7)  The Cabinet also approved the shipping ministry's proposal for India's accession to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001 (Bunker Convention) of the International Maritime Organization [IMO] as well as to amend the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 to give effect to the Bunker Convention, Nairobi Convention and Salvage Convention. 

"The Bunker Convention ensures adequate, prompt, and effective compensation for damage caused by spills of oil, when carried as fuel in ships' bunkers. The territorial jurisdiction for damage compensation extends to territorial sea and exclusive economic zones. It applies to an Indian vessel, wherever it is situated, and to a foreign flag vessel while it is within Indian jurisdiction," the government release said. 

8)  The Cabinet has given its approval for development of the four laning of the Yadgiri-Warangal section of National Highway- 163 in Telangana. This work will be under the National Highways Development Project (NHDP) Phase-IV. The approval is in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis. The cost is estimated to be Rs.1905.23 crore.