- The Union Cabinet led by PM Narendra Modi today took a number of decisions including big bang FDI reforms ahead of the Budget 2018.
- The government has not permitted foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent in debt-ridden Air India, and also eased norms for investment in single brand retail, construction and power exchanges.
- The government has also relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for medical devices and audit firms associated with companies receiving overseas funds.
- The decisions today will give a boost to foreign retailers like Ikea as the government approved 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route for single brand retail trading. Earlier also 100 per cent FDI was allowed in the segment, but it required government approval.
Here are all the decisions taken by the Union Cabinet today:
Cabinet liberalizes FDI policy in key sectors
- The Union Cabinet has approved a number of amendments in FDI Policy. These policies are intended to liberalise and simplify the FDI policy so as to provide ease of doing business in the country. In turn, it will lead to larger FDI inflows contributing to growth of investment, income and employment. Decisions taken by the Cabinet includes,
- 100% FDI under automatic route for Single Brand Retail Trading. Now, no government approval will be required for FDI in Single Brand Retail Trading (SBRT)
- 100% FDI under automatic route in Construction Development has been approved.
- Foreign airlines have been allowed to invest up to 49% under approval route in Air India
- FIIs/FPIs have been allowed to invest in Power Exchanges through primary market.
- Definition of ‘medical devices’ have amended in the FDI Policy
MoU between India and Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology
- The Union Cabinet has approved Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada for cooperation in the field of Science & Technology. The MoU will provide a mechanism and help to foster scientific cooperation between R&D and academic institutions of India and Canada.
As per the MoU:
- An innovative model of R&D cooperation between India and Canada will be implemented under a MoU concluded by the Department of Science and Technology with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada.
- Under this MoU, the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnership to Accelerate Community Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) programme will be supported to promote India-Canada multidisciplinary research partnerships.
- The R&D projects will be aimed at accelerating social transformation by providing solutions through application of science and technology.
- The participants will include researchers from scientific organizations, academia and R&D laboratories from India and Canada.
- Identified areas of mutual cooperation include safe and sustainable infrastructure and integrated water management.
- This will help to develop institutional networking and support the establishment of connections between scientific organizations, scientists and specialists of India and Canada.
Cadre review of Group ‘A’ Executive Cadre of Central Industrial Security Force
The Union Cabinet has approved the Cadre review of Group ‘A’ Executive Cadre of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). It provides for the creation of 25 posts of various ranks from Assistant Commandant to Additional Director General ranks to enhance the supervisory staff in Senior Duty posts of CISF.
Implementation of CCEA decision on closure of Tungabhadra Steel Products Limited
- Union Cabinet has approved the implementation of the CCEA decision on closure of Tungabhadra Steel Products Limited (TSPL) regarding disposal of its immovable assets. It also provides for getting the name of the company struck off from the Registrar of Companies after setting balance liabilities of TSPL.
Fixed term for Chairperson and Members of National Trust
- The Union Cabinet has approved the proposal to amend Section 4(1) and Section 5(1) of the National Trust for the Welfare of Person with Autism, Cerebral Plasy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999 to fix the term of the Chairperson and Members of the Board of National Trust for three years.
Continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme beyond 12th Plan
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval to continuation of Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) till the term of the 14th Finance Commission i.e. 31.03.2020.
- The Scheme would entail an annual allocation of Rs. 3,950 crore and a total outlay of Rs. 11,850 crores over the next three years with an additional annual allocation of Rs. 5 crore per year for monitoring through independent agency(ies) and for capacity building/training to State/District officials to be imparted by the Ministry.
- The MPLADS funds are released to the nodal District Authorities on receipt of requisite documents and as per provisions of Guidelines on MPLADS.