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Bina-Katni 3rd line project, West Central Railway approved
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for taking up Bina-Katni 3rd line project at an estimated cost of Rs.2,478.23 crore and expected completion cost of Rs.2,917.06 crore.

The 278.7 km long railway line is expected to be completed in five years.

Besides facilitating the travel, the thermal Power Plants in the area will get 3rd line for transportation of their products. It will also greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between Bina-Katni section thereby increasing the revenue of Railways. Sagar, Damoh and Katni districts of Madhya Pradesh would also be benefitted through this project.

Bina-Katni is critical and busy section of West Central Railway serving Coal rakes for Thermal Power Plants at Chhabra Gugur and Jhalawar in Rajasthan and POL traffic for Mahadevkhedi in Madhya Pradesh. Present capacity utilization of the section is 136%. In view of the growing traffic and detention of crossing traffic, Bina/Mahadev Khedi - Katni/New Katni 3rd line is required to augment traffic flow in both directions.

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Doubling of Roza-Sitapur Cantt.-Burhwal Broad Gauge single line approved
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for doubling of Roza -Sitapur Cantt.- Burhwal Broad Gauge single line project at an estimated cost of Rs.1,295.42 crore with expected completion cost of Rs.1,486.46 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The length of the railway line will be 180.77 km. The completion period of the project will be five years.

Doubling of this line between Burhwal junction and Roza junction will fulfil the demand of the increasing traffic leading to socio economic development of area. Besides, there will be continuous double line track available from Gorakhpur to Delhi via Sitapur Cantt. and Moradabad. Barabanki and Sitapur districts of Uttar Pradesh would also be benefitted through this project.

Background:

Roza -Sitapur Cantt.- Burhwal is a single line section. On one side Gorakhpur-Lucknow is already double line section and on the other side that is Delhi-Lucknow via Moradabad route is also a double line section. Burhwal-Sitapur falls in the jurisdiction of North-Eastern Railway and Sitapur-Roza falls in the jursidiction of Northern Railway. The project route is starting from Burhwal junction (on Gorakhpur-Lucknow double line section) and passing through Sitapur Cantt. connects to Roza junction (on Delhi-Lucknow via Moradabad on double line section). The area through which the project line traverses is having big Military installation at Sitapur Cantt. After completion of this double line, there will be continuous double line track available from Gorakhpur to Delhi via Sitapur Cantt.

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Vizianagaram and Titlagarh 3rd line project, East Coast Railway approved
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for taking up Vizianagaram and Titlagarh 3rd line project at an estimated cost of Rs.2,335.68 crore.

The length of the railway line will be 264.6 km. The completion period of the project will be five years.

The 3rd line is an alternative route to over-burdened existing line. This link also opens an alternative route to oversaturated Kharagpur - Jharsuguda section Howrah-Mumbai Grand Trunk Route and Howrah-Chennai section main line. Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha and Vizianagaram and Babbili districts of Andhra Pradesh would be benefitted through this project.

Background:

Vizianagaram and Titlagarh is a double line non electrified section of Jharsuguda-Vizianagaram line. The section is oversaturated with present capacity utilization of 106% and there is a huge detention to rolling stock. Average number of trains handled per day is 47 trains each way which includes 27 pairs of passenger trains and 20 pairs of Goods train. After industrialization between Jharsuguda-Rengali, and Talcher-Angul-Dhenkanal, 3rd line between Vizianagaram and Titlagarh is necessary to overcome the goods traffic in near future.

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Doubling of Surendranagar-Rajkot railway line approved
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for doubling of Surendranagar-Rajkot project at an estimated cost of Rs.1,002.39 crore with expected completion cost of Rs.1,137.17 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The length of the railway line will be 116.17 km. The completion period of the project will be four years.

Doubling of this line will greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between Okha-Rajkot, Porbandar-Kanalus, Veraval-Rajkot and Maliya Maiyana / Navalakhi-Dahinsara-Wankaner section.

Background:

Surendranagar-Wankaner-Rajkot Broad Gauge Section is an important and saturated single line section carrying traffic originating and terminating at various destinations in Saurashtra region of Gujarat State. This single line has to carry the passenger as well as freight traffic originating /terminating between Okha-Rajkot section, Porbandar-Kanlus section, Veraval-Rajkot section and Maliya Maiyana / Navalakhi-Dahinsara-Wankaner section. In addition to this, freight traffic from two branch lines namely Sikka-Kanalus junction and Windmill-Jamnagar sections are also converged on to the project route. This makes the project route very busy single line section with very high potential to further growth due to the high industrial development envisaged in Saurashtra region in the coming years.

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Doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa railway line
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has given its approval for doubling of Pune-Miraj-Londa railway line project at an estimated cost of Rs.3,627.47 crore and expected completion cost of Rs.4,246.84 crore with 5% escalation per annum.

The length of the railway line will be 467 km. The completion period of the project will be five years.

Besides travelling people, industries in and around Miraj-Londa section will have additional transport capacity to meet their requirements. Doubling of this line will greatly ease the ever increasing freight traffic between Pune-Miraj-Londa section thereby increasing the revenue of Railways.

Background:

Miraj is a junction station on Londa to Mumbai double line route via Sangli, Karad, Satara. The Pune-Miraj section is non-electrified single line on diesel traction and it is oversaturated. The additional traffic running over and above 100% of utilization is proposed to be diverted on the proposed doubling. The doubling of the section would come as an advantage as it would strengthen the rail network necessary to operate more passenger trains with increased speed and better efficiency. Doubling between Bangalore-Hubli and Hospet-Vasco-da-gama is already in progress. Once these works are completed, there will be tremendous increase in traffic over the Miraj-Londa section. Therefore, doubling between Pune-Miraj-Londa is required.

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National Capital Goods Policy approved
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for National Capital Goods Policy. This is first ever policy for Capital Goods sector with a clear objective of increasing production of capital goods from Rs.2,30,000 crore in 2014-15 to Rs.7,50,000 crore in 2025 and raising direct and indirect employment from the current 8.4 million to 30 million.

The policy envisages increasing exports from the current 27 percent to 40 percent of production. It will increase the share of domestic production in Indias demand from 60 percent to 80 percent thus making India a net exporter of capital goods. The policy also aims to facilitate improvement in technology depth across sub-sectors, increase skill availability, ensure mandatory standards and promote growth and capacity building of MSMEs.

The Policy will help in realising the vision of Building India as the World class hub for Capital Goods. It will also play a pivotal role in overall manufacturing as the pillar of strength to the vision of Make in India.

The objectives of the policy will be met by the Department of Heavy Industry in a time bound manner through obtaining approval for schemes as per the roadmap of policy interventions.

Background:

The idea of a National Capital Goods Policy was first presented by the Deptt. of Heavy Industry to the Prime Minister in the Make in India workshop held in December, 2014. The policy has been finalized after extensive stakeholder consultations with industry, academia, different ministries etc. The key recommendations and elements of the policy have been formulated to support and boost development of this crucial sector. The aim of the policy is create game changing strategies for the capital goods sector. Some of the key issues addressed include availability of finance, raw material, innovation and technology, productivity, quality and environment friendly manufacturing practices, promoting exports and creating domestic demand.

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Financial restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction and its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for financial restructuring of Hindustan Steel Works Construction (HSCL). It has also approved its takeover by National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC), a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Urban Development.

The existing paid up equity capital of the HSCL is Rs.117.1 crore. Under the proposal, the Government of India Non Plan Loan and Plan Loan along with accumulated interest thereon and outstanding guarantee fee worth Rs.1502.2 crore will be converted into equity and equity capital of the company will be raised to that extent. The paid up equity capital of the company will become 1619.3 crore. Against this, the accumulated losses of Rs.1585 crore, as on 31 March 2015, will set off. After writing off of the accumulated losses, the equity and paid up capital of HSCL will become Rs. 34.3 crore. NBCC will infuse funds of Rs. 35.7 crore as equity into HSCL. HSCL will become subsidiary of NBCC with NBCC holding 51% equity holding. The shareholding of Government of India in HSCL will be reduced to 49%. The equity and paid up capital of HSCL will become Rs.70 crore.

NBCC and HSCL are Government of India enterprises with similar lines of business activities. The decision will benefit in economies of scale for NBCC and would assist in better manpower utilization. NBCC and HSCL will benefit from each others resources and expertise. HSCL will be able to fulfill its commitments of execution of projects and the orders.

Government of India will provide one-time support of Rs.200 crore for settling term loans availed from commercial banks. It will also bear the contingent liability of Rs.110 crore (approximately) as decided by the Supreme Court in compensation for VRS liabilities. In addition, Government of India will also pay the outstanding interest on the bank loans for the financial year 2015-16 amounting to Rs. 44 crore approximately (till 31 March 2016) and the amount of interest up to the date of takeover of HSCL by NBCC.

Background:

HSCL was established in the year 1964 for construction of modern integrated steel plants. Over the years the company has diversified into other civil infrastructure construction projects. HSCL started incurring losses since 1978-79 mainly due to absorption of large workforce of several PSUs and private companies increasing the workforce from 4,100 in 1970 to 26,537 in 1979. The revival package for HSCL approved by Government of India in 1999 and further attempts for financial restructuring the company were not successful.

The Committee of Secretaries recommended in July, 2015 that Ministry of Steel may explore the possibility of merger/takeover of HSCL by another CPSE in a related sector. A Group of Secretaries (GoS) was constituted to prepare a Paper on way forward for HSCL. On the recommendations of the GoS, and the subsequent consensus, a Cabinet Note was prepared for financial restructuring of HSCL and its takeover by NBCC.

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to the proposal of M/s Yes Bank for increase in the foreign investment limit from 41.87% to 74%
May 25,2016

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the proposal of M/s Yes Bank for increase in the foreign investment limit to 74% from the existing foreign equity of 41.87% without any sub-limits, for investment by way of issue of non-equity shares and/or other permissible instruments to eligible non-resident investors.

The mode of instruments include Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP) of equity shares and/or issue of ADRs/GDRs and/or QFIs/FPIs under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) by acquisition of permissible securities on stock exchange (except NRIs). The approval may be accorded subject to the conditions referred to para 8.2 of the Note.

This will result in a Foreign Direct Investment of US $ 1 billion (Rs. 6885 crores approx.) in the country.

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to the MOU between India and Maldives for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Maldives for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.

The Memorandum of Understanding with Maldives will be instrumental in increasing arrival from this important source market. In recent years, Maldives has emerged as an important tourism generating market for India.

Objectives:

The main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding, are:

a) To expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector

b) To exchange information and data related to tourism

c) To encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders, including hotels and tour operators

d) To establish exchange programme for cooperation in Human Resources Development

e) To invest in the Tourism and Hospitality sectors

f) To exchange visits of Tour Operators/Media/Opinion Makers for promotion of two-way tourism

g) To exchange experiences in the areas of promotion, marketing, destination development and management

h) To participate in travel fairs/exhibitions in each others country and

i) To promote safe honourable and sustainable tourism

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval for establishment of the National Institute of Technology, Andhra Pradesh
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh which has been registered as a Society under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 with effect from 20th August 2015.

The Cabinet also approved introduction of a Bill namely the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for inclusion of the NIT, Andhra Pradesh in its First Schedule.

The post- facto approval of the Cabinet for establishment of NIT, Andhra Pradesh as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 2001 would give a legal entity to NIT, Andhra Pradesh. The proposed amendments to the NITSER Act, 2007 will ensure a high levels of public accountability and increased participation of the. stakeholders in the administration and academic activities of the Institute.

This Institute is being funded by the Government of India. It is being run and managed by their respective Society registered under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 till such time this Institute is brought under the National Institutes of Technology Science Education and Research Act (NITSER) 2007. The accounts will be audited by the C & AG of India and will be laid in both the Houses of the Parliament.

Background:

NIT, Andhra Pradesh has been set up to cater to the needs of State of Andhra Pradesh which did not have NITs. NIT, Andhra Pradesh will specifically be benefitted the State of Andhra Pradesh and the whole country in general. NIT, Andhra Pradesh will be covered under the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Act, 2007 to declare it an Institution of National Importance, which will ultimately help in addressing the aspirations of people in the main stream of technical education.

NIT, Andhra Pradesh was established at temporary campus of West Godavari District: of Andhra Pradesh. The State Government of Andhra Pradesh has also provided a land for NIT-Andhra Pradesh at West Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. As per policy of Government, 50% of the seats in NITs are earmarked for the eligible domicile students of States / tits where the NITs are situated. NIT, Andhra Pradesh will ensure that the students of State of Andhra Pradesh will get adequate opportunities to pursue research at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels, in an inter-disciplinary knowledge regime and research environment.

As per Schedule 13 (Education) of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 according to which the Government of India shall take steps to establish Institutions of National Importance in the 12th and 13th Plan periods in the successor State of Andhra Pradesh. Accordingly, the Ministry of HRD decided for setting up of National Institute of Technology (NIT), Andhra Pradesh through a temporary campus as an Institution registered under the Andhra Pradesh Societies Registration Act, 2001 with a view to bring the NIT, Andhra Pradesh under the ambit of the National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research (NITSER), Act, 2007 through an amendment in the existing Act and declaring NIT, Warangal as its mentor Institute for the first 2-3 years or till such time NIT, Andhra Pradesh is well established at its permanent site. The permanent site of NIT, Andhra Pradesh has already been finalized at Air-Field lands of Tadepalligudem Mandal in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh.

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Financial restructuring of Hindustan Fertilizer Corporation Limited for faster revival of Barauni Unit
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for financial restructuring of Hindustan Fertilizers Corporation (HFCL). The Cabinet, amongst other things, approved waiver of GoI loan of Rs. 1916.14 crores (as on 31 March 2015) and the outstanding interest on GoI loan as on date (the interest amount was Rs. 7163.35 crores as on 31 March 2015). The Cabinet also approved transfer of 56 acres of Ash Dyke land of Barauni unit to Bihar State Power Generation Company Limited (BSPGCL) to settle dues of HFCL for faster revival of Barauni Unit.

This Cabinet approval will facilitate de-registration of HFCL from BIFR by making its net worth positive. It will clear the way for faster revival of Barauni unit of HFCL. This unit is lying defunct and was not in operation since January 1999. Therefore, the unit and other associated facilities were lying unutilized. It is important to mention here that there is no functional urea unit in the Eastern part of the country except two small units at Namrup (Assam).

The annual consumption of urea in the country is approx. 320 LMT, out of which 245 LMT is produced indigenously and rest is imported. The setting up of a new unit at Barauni will meet the growing demand of urea of Bihar, West Bengal and Jharkhand. It will also ease the pressure on railway and road infrastructure due to long distance transportation of urea from Western and Central Regions and thereby saving in govt. subsidy on freight. This unit will create opportunities for 400 direct and 1200 indirect employments.

Barauni unit will also serve as anchor unit to Jagdishpur- Haldia gas pipeline being laid by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), which is critical for development and growth of economy and infrastructure in eastern India.

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to the cadre review of Indian Postal Service (IPoS)
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the proposal for undertaking cadre review of the Indian Postal Service.

The cadre review will enable the Department of Posts to meet the functional requirements and strengthening the cadre structure both in the headquarters and in the field on the basis of functional requirement, which will provide more avenues to earn review and respond effectively to the customer needs, reduce the existing stagnation and improve the career prospects of Indian Postal Service officers.

The proposal will be implemented through measures that include creation of a post of DG(Postal Operations) in the Apex scale, creation of post of Additional DG(Coordination) in the HAG+ scale, one post in HAG level, 5 posts in SAG level and 4 posts at the JAG level, and also increase of 84 posts at JTS level by down-grading from STS and overall decreasing STS posts by 96 for adjustment of new posts proposed to be created, without any overall change in the total number of posts in the cadre.

For undertaking the above exercise, necessary consultations on the CRC recommendations with Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions have been duly completed. The Department of Expenditure have conveyed their no objection to the proposal.

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to MOU between India & Japan for promoting sustainable, stable & low-carbon thermal power development in India
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the MOU between India and Japan for promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development in India.

The signing of the MOU will help India to address issues and barriers in promoting sustainable, stable and low-carbon thermal power development that have been identified through the preceding Pre-Primary Study and the on-going cooperation towards Energy Efficient Renovation & Modernization as well as new power development, by means of diagnostic activities to support Renovation and Modernization (R&M) materialization and implementation, knowledge and technology exchange activities to support Clean Coal Technology (CCT) for thermal power plants such as Ultra Super Critical (USC) and other environmental technologies, all of which will be conducive to overall power development for India as well as to facilitate relevant policy implementation.

The proposal includes undertaking of activities like:

a. Update on the current and future policy trend in Indian power sector with wide coverage from R&M and Life Extension(LE) to new power development in India and consideration of the identified barriers to find out those which could be addressed through mutual collaboration by the Central Electricity Authority(CEA) and Japan Coal Energy Centre(JCOAL).

b. Identification of issues to be addressed regarding both existing and upcoming facilities, and also operation and maintenance at either of them.

c. Implementation of full-fledged diagnosis and/or other available and effective measures including Residual Life Assessment (RLA) and Conditional Assessment (CA) study with priorities on, but not limited to the target power stations under the Pre-Primary Study and the Cooperation. The number of target power station(s)/unit(s) will be decided through mutual consultation by CEA and JCOAL.

d. Consideration of justifiability and feasibility of individual cases of power development based on thermal power generation technologies in terms of funding from the existing financial instruments and/or other available bilateral financial schemes.

e. Consideration of possibilities for acquisition of carbon credits with bilateral/multilateral offset schemes that are anticipated to be materialized in the future upon consideration of financial side of individual cases of power development.

f. Implementation of an annual workshop in India and CCT Transfer Programme in Japan for bilateral knowledge and technology exchanges.

g. Hold an annual joint meeting attended by representatives of the Parties to discuss issues that have arisen or may arise in the course of implementation of the Project, in order to enhance the effect of the Project. Any relevant party/stakeholder may also attend the meeting as special invitees as agreed on by the Parties.

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Cabinet gives ex-post facto approval to the Amendment to The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 for incorporation of six new IITs
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today granted ex-post facto approval to the Amendment to The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 for incorporation of six new IITs at Tirupati (AP), Palakkad (Kerala), Dharwar (Karnataka), Bhilai (Chhattisgarh), Goa, Jammu (J&K) and conversion of ISM, Dhanbad to an IIT under the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961

The approval will bring six new Indian Institutes of Technology within the ambit of The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and declaring them as the institutions of national importance. The above Amendment is also for conversion of ISM, Dhanbad into an IIT by bringing it into the ambit of the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 and also declaring it as an institute of national importance.

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MoU between Indian Space Research Organisation and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency
May 25,2016

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAESA) for cooperation in the exploration and user of outer space for peaceful purposes.

The MoU would result in setting up a Joint Working Group with members from ISRO and UAESA, which will further work out the plan of action including the time-frame and the means of implementing this MoU.

Background:

Promoting space cooperation between India and UAE was highlighted during the visit of Prime Minister of India to UAE in August 2015 and also at the 11th meeting of India-UAE Joint Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation held at New Delhi in September 2015. Subsequently, a delegation from UAESA visited ISRO technical facilities on September 16, 2015 and discussed on the avenues of building space cooperation including signing of a MoU. Accordingly, ISRO and UAESA, considering their mutual interest in expanding the applications of space technology for peaceful purposes signed a MoU in New Delhi on February 11, 2016.

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