India: Final push to woo voters: Cabinet OKs new houses for rural poor, more jobs

  • The Union Cabinet approved a slew of decisions on 20 Feb 19, including a new electronics policy that aims to create 10 million jobs, the promulgation of four ordinances, a scheme to build 19.5 million houses for the rural poor, a INR300bn rapid transport system for the National Capital Region and policy changes to make oil exploration more attractive.
  • Separately, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs allowed captive coal mines to sell up to 25% of their output in the open market, 40,000 MW of rooftop solar projects, a new solar power scheme for farmers and the extension of key schemes for three more years.
  • The National Policy on Electronics 2019 seeks to make India a hub for electronic manufacturing for exports, with emphasis on a special package of incentives for mega high-tech projects including semiconductor facilities.
  • The policy proposes to boost mobile manufacturing in the country to 1 billion units worth USD190bn of which 600 million units worth USD110bn will be exported from the country.
  • There will be a thrust on fabless chip design, medical, automotive, power electronics and strategic electronics industry, the government said.
  • The decision to allow 25% of production from captive mines to be sold in the open market with an additional premium on such sales seeks to make mining more attractive. Presently, captive coal miners are not permitted to sell coal in the open market. Any coal extracted in excess of requirements has to be supplied to Coal India at a notified price.
  • Cabinet also approved an additional dearness allowance (DA) of 3% over the existing rate of 9% for government employees and pensioners, effective from 1 Jan 19. This will cost the government around INR92bn per year.
  • The hike will benefit about 4.841 million central government employees and 6.203 million pensioners. This increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission.
  • The cabinet approved the promulgation of four ordinances to implement bills that were passed by the Lok Sabha but could not be cleared by the Rajya Sabha. Among other key decisions, the cabinet also approved the ordinance on the Triple Talaq bill and The Company Law Amendment Bill.
  • The triple talaq ordinance was re-promulgated in Jan 19 as the revised triple talaq bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in the last session but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha where the government lacks numbers.
  • In all, the cabinet and the CCEA cleared 27 decisions. No major policy announcements can be made once the general elections are announced.

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/final-push-to-woo-voters-cabinet-oks-new-houses-for-rural-poor-more-jobs/articleshow/68072536.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-approves-new-national-electronics-policy-eyeing-1-crore-jobs/articleshow/68068490.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/bonanza-for-government-employees-centre-increases-dearness-allowance/articleshow/68067607.cms

20-Feb-2019


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