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New Modi cabinet passes a bouquet of bills in first meet: Hike in DA, double tax-free gratuity, infra projects cleared

During the meeting, the new cabinet passed a bouquet of bills, including additional 1% Dearness Allowance to Central Govt employees, six lane highway in Andhra Pradesh, a new company for BSNL towers and double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh.


By   |  Updated On : September 12, 2017 11:11 PM
New Modi cabinet passes a bouquet of bills in first meet: Hike in DA, double tax-free gratuity, infra projects cleared (PTI Photo)

New Modi cabinet passes a bouquet of bills in first meet: Hike in DA, double tax-free gratuity, infra projects cleared (PTI Photo)

New Delhi :  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the first cabinet meet since reshuffle September 3. 

During the meeting, the new cabinet passed a bouquet of bills, including additional 1% Dearness Allowance to Central Govt employees, six lane highway in Andhra Pradesh, a new company for BSNL towers and double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh. 

It was first cabinet meeting for several ministers, who have been recently inducted into the miisterial club. However, PM Modo gave a stern warning to those who were likley to be dropped from the cabinet during the reshuffle but were retained, the sources said.

The sources added that PM Modi reminided the ministers that it was theri last chance to perform or a strict action would be taken in the future. 

Apart from the bills passed, the cabinet also discussed the Ryan International School murder case, where a 7-year-old boy was killed in toilet. After the meeting, Union Minister RS Prasad urged media and public not to spread panic and requested parents to send theri children to school as usual. 

Also read | Cabinet meeting: Rail Min Piyush Goyal says Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project to be completed by end of 2023

Bills passed during the cabinet meeting: 

#Double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh

In a major relief to private employees across the nation, the cabinet gave its approval to introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, in Parliament

The amendment will put the maximum limit of gratuity of employees of the private sector as well as public undertakings and autonomous organisations under the government who are not covered under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, at par with central government employees, which is Rs 20 lakh.

Read | Cabinet approves bill to double tax-free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh

#Additional 1% Dearness Allowance to Central Govt employees &  pensioners 

Bringing cheer to more than 1 crore Central government employees and pensioners, the government increased the dearness allowance and dearness relief from the existing 4 per cent to 5 per cent.

The government's decision to hike dearness allowance (DA) by a per cent comes a little over two months after Seventh Pay Commission's recommendations on revised allowance structure were okayed by the Union cabinet on June 28.

#Six-laning of Narasannapeta-Ranastalam section of NH-16 in Andhra Pradesh

#Doubling of Daund-Manmad and Barabanki-Akbarpur railway lines

The Cabinet approved the doubling of the Daund-Manmad and Barabanki-Akbarpur railway lines to ease movement of passengers and goods along these stretches in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

The doubling project will ensure higher speeds, reduce train delays, enhance safety by allowing more time for block maintenance, and provide capacity for any future increase in traffic.

The railway line on Daund-Manmad route is likely to be completed in the next five years. The estimated cost of the project is approximately Rs 2,081.27 crore and completion cost is Rs 2,330.51 crore.

Read | 7th Central Pay Commission benefits to be passed to 48 lakh government employees in July; check details here

#Rs 3000 cr projects for oil, gas reserves appraisal

The Union Cabinet approved a Rs 3,000 crore project to acquire seismic data for prospecting of oil and natural gas reserves.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a project to acquire 48,243 line kilometer (LKM) 2D seismic data for appraisal of Indian sedimentary basins where limited data is available, an official statement.

National oil companies Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd (OIL) will implement the project.

#Separate company for BSNL towers

The Cabinet approved hiving off mobile towers of state-run telecom firm BSNL into a separate company.

There are around 4,42,000 mobile towers in the country, out of which BSNL owns more than 66,000.

An independent, dedicated tower company of BSNL with a focused approach will lead to increasing of external tenancies and consequentially higher revenue for the new company, it added.

Read | Cabinet reshuffle | Check complete list of Union Cabinet and Council of Ministers

#Pacts with Morocco, Armenia

The Union Cabinet also approved signing of an agreement with Morocco on healthcare and another with Armenia on cooperation in disaster management.

The memorandum of understanding with Morocco, once signed, will see cooperation in the fight against child cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The two countries will also cooperate in the field of communicable diseases, maternal, child and neonatal health, an official statement said.

A working group will also be set up to further expound the details of cooperation and to oversee the implementation of the MoU.

The Cabinet also gave its nod for signing a memorandum of understanding with Armenia for cooperation in the field of disaster management.

The MoU seeks to put in place a system so that the two countries benefit from the disaster management mechanisms of each other, another official statement said. 

#Implementation of the scheme “Dairy Processing & Infrastructure Development Fund"

First Published: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 10:59 PM


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