More funds for patent offices; relief for RITES, IRCON

March 14th, 2008 - 12:57 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Thursday gave its approval for modernization and strengthening of intellectual property offices at an estimated cost of Rs.3 billion in the 11th Five-Year Plan. The modernization of these offices would provide infrastructure necessary for a vibrant intellectual property regime, the government’s Principal Information Officer Deepak Sandhu told reporters.

“This would address the concerns of reliability, effectiveness, transparency and user-friendliness of the procedures, and be capable of handling increased workload,” she pointed out.

This would also help patent offices to operate as an International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority under the Patent Cooperation Treaty and enable the trade marks registry, the CCEA said.

The CCEA also gave its approval for providing relief against the outstanding dues to RITES Ltd and IRCON International Ltd for projects executed in Iraq in the 1980s on deferred payment basis.

RITES and IRCON will be paid the balance amounts of Rs.1.17 billion and Rs.160.6 million respectively in cash through additional budget allocation provided by the finance ministry to the railways ministry for this purpose.

The RITES and IRCON will be paid the balance amounts as per the approved exchange rate of Rs.47.86 per dollar at which private exporters were paid, to maintain the parity in treatment of all the exporters, Sandhu said.

Both institutions will be paid interest in cash at the rate of 8.75 percent per annum effective from Oct 1, 2001 on their dues, the CCEA decided.

The CCEA also considered for implementation the scheme of Development Support for coffee by the Coffee Board during the 11th Plan with an outlay of Rs.3 billion.

It gave its approval for the Export Development and Promotion of Spices Scheme with an outlay of Rs.1.92 billion for implementation during 11th Plan period by the Spices Board.

It also sanctioned Rs.2.3 billion for implementation of the Tea Quality Upgradation and Product Diversification Scheme. The fund sanctioned would go to the Tea Board for the 11th Plan period.

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