India’s cabinet clears 60 proposals in one go (Roundup)

February 24th, 2009 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Indian cabinet was on an overdrive Monday, clearing as many as 60 proposals in a matter of three hours, including three major projects for petroleum, chemicals and petrochemical investment regions (PCPIR) and permission to Japan’s NTT DoCoMo to acquire a stake in Tata Teleservices for a whopping $2.58 billion.
The cabinet also gave its nod to a proposal from the state-owned National Aviation Co of India Ltd (NACIL), which runs national carrier Air India, to set up a joint venture with the Singapore Air Terminal Services (SATS) for ground and cargo-handling activities in the country.

“The permission to DoCoMo will result in foreign direct investment of Rs.129.24 billion ($2.58 billion),” Home Minister P. Chidambaram told reporters after the cabinet meeting, presided over by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is recovering after a heart surgery.

The home minister said that while in telecom, the Japanese company DoCoMo has been given the nod to acquire 384.241 million shares in Tata Teleservices, in aviation NACIL and its Singapore-based partner will set up a 50:50 joint venture for their operations in India.

Acting as the spokesperson for the cabinet, Chidambaram also said the PCPIR projects, each of them spread over a minimum of 250 sqkm, would come up in West Bengal’s Haldia region, at Dahej in Gujarat and in the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Such projects, it is envisaged, require a minimum investment of $8 billion.

“Proposals, accepted from the state governments, have been approved. This is subject to the existing funding rules,” the home minister said, taking nearly a little under an hour to brief the media on the series of decisions taken Tuesday evening.

The other proposals approved by the cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs include:

- Rail coach factory at Rae Bareli at a cost of Rs.1,685 crore

- Interest subvention for exporters, as proposed in the interim budget, to the net extent of Rs.300 crore

- Tripartite nod for a pact to cooperate on tourism among India, Brazil and South Africa, which was formally entered on Oct 15, last year

- Imposition of stock limited on sugar, edible oils and rice for four months

- Permission for the repair, renovation and restoration of 100,000 water bodies with domestic support at an approximate cost of Rs.4,000 crore

- Approval for National Institute of Biomedical Genomics at Kalyani in Nadia District of West Bengal with the budgetary provision of Rs.210 crore

- Approval for the National Policy on Skill Development to create a workforce with better skills, knowledge and internationally recognised qualifications to ensure India’s competitiveness in the global labour market

- Permission for researchers to have an equity stake in scientific enterprises and spin-offs while in professional employment with their organisations

- Approval for recast version of Industrial Infrastructure Upgradation Scheme to create quality infrastructure in existing industrial clusters with high growth potential

- Nod for the expansion of the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative with a budget outlay of Rs.700 crore in the XI Five Year Plan to be managed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

_ The government narrowed the backlog of 63,642 posts reserved for the Scheduled castes and Tribes by filling 56,169 posts in the last five years - reflecting an overall success rate of 89 percent.

- Besides the Rae Bareli factory, the cabinet also gave approval to the Madhopura Electric Locomotive Factory in Bihar and the Mohowra Diesel Locomotive Works in West Bengal which will be executed departmentally.

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