No separate guidelines needed by defence PSUs for JVs, decides Cabinet

New Delhi–The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved doing away with the existing guidelines for establishing joint venture companies by defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs).

These guidelines which were notified in February 2012 will not be required for separate joint ventures by the DPSUs, the guidelines issued by the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) from time to time, which are uniformly applicable to all central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) will be applicable for the DPSUs, an official statement said.

According to officials, the abolition of the guidelines will provide a level playing field between DPSUs and the private sector.

“It will allow DPSUs to forge partnerships in an innovative manner enhancing self-reliance in defence and provide for enhanced autonomy of DPSUs,” officials said.

All nine DPSUs, that is, Mazagon Dock Ltd, Goa Shipyard Ltd, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Bharat Electronics Ltd, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd, Bharat Earth Movers Ltd, Bharat Dynamics Ltd and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Ltd will be benefited through this decision.

“In the emerging scenario with primacy being accorded to indigenous manufacturing and ‘Make in India’, it is felt that having multiple set of guidelines may lead to ambiguity and incongruity in the environment,” an official added.


Cabinet nod to revised cost estimate for projects under NATRIP

New Delhi–The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the revised cost estimate for projects under the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP), an official statement said.

The decision to approve the revised cost estimate worth Rs 3,727.30 crore for NATRIP projects was taken at its meeting here, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The approval ensures completion of projects under NATRIP for the establishment of the global test centres in India, said the statement.

“This will address the R&D requirements of the automotive industry, full-fledged testing and homologation centres,” it said.

The centres are are within the northern auto-cluster at ICAT, Manesar, Haryana, the southern auto-cluster at GARC-Oragadam, Chennai, while existing centres at ARAI-Pune and VRDE-Ahmednagar in Maharashtra will be upgraded for the western auto-cluster, it said, adding that the new infrastructure will enable vehicle and component manufacturers to develop and certify products which meet global standards.


Cabinet approves key changes in GST Bill

New Delhi–In a bid to strengthen the chances of passage of the crucial GST Bill, the Union Cabinet here on Wednesday approved key changes in the proposed legislation, including dropping the proposed one per cent additional tax on inter-state sale, sources said.

This provision’s removal has been a key demand of the opposition Congress.

The cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also agreed to include the mechanism to compensate states for all loss of revenues for five years.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi earlier told the Rajya Sabha that the GST Bill will come up for discussion in the first week of August. It is pending in the Rajya Sabha, where the National Democratic Alliance government lacks a majority.

On Tuesday, West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra chaired the meeting of the empowered committee of state finance ministers to form a consensus on the bill, and the states agreed to keep the GST rate out of the bill. However, there was no decision on what the rate should be as all the states did not agree on the proposed 18 per cent rate.

The Congress demands that the constitutional amendment bill sould provide for capping the GST rate at 18 per cent.

Mitra said a broad consensus has been worked out on the GST and all are of the opinion that taxes on the common man need to be reduced. At the same time, there is a need to ensure that the trend of revenue collection continues, he added.

“It is very important that tax on the common man is significantly reduced. At the same time we need to safeguard the taxes going to the state exchequer,” he said.

The states are demanding that there should be no dual control on businesses with an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore, and this issue has to be resolved for the GST to happen, Mitra said after the panel’s meeting.

“We will work towards this so that small businesses do not suffer. It has to be through a consensus for the GST to happen,” Mitra added.

The Congress is also demanding an independent dispute resolution mechanism for the GST.

The GST was first mooted by the previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.


Cabinet approves AIIMS in Bhatinda

New Delhi–The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Punjab’s Bhatinda district, said an official statement.

“The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the establishment of a new AIIMS at Bhatinda in Punjab under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY),” it said.

The institution shall have a hospital with capacity of 750 beds which will include emergency/trauma Beds and AYUSH Beds, private beds and ICU Speciality and Super Speciality beds.

“In addition, there will be an administration block, AYUSH block, auditorium, night shelter, hostels and residential facilities,” said the statement.

The cost of the project for establishment will be Rs 925 crore.