From MSP boost to railway network electrification: Important decisions taken by PM Modi-led Cabinet today

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Cabinet and CCEA (Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs) has approved several key initiatives that will give the economy and infrastructure a boost. From ensuring that farmers get the MSP (Minimum Support Price) for their produce, to taking a step towards making Indian Railways the worlds largest electrified rail network, PM Modi-led Cabinet has taken several noteworthy steps today. 1. The Cabinet has approved Policy Framework in order to promote and incentivize Enhanced recovery, improved recovery, unconventional hydrocarbon (UHC) production methods, techniques to improve recovery factor of existing hydrocarbons reserves for augmenting domestic production of oil and gas. The step comes at a time when petrol and diesel prices are at an all time high. With enhanced domestic supply, the decision may work to check impact of rising crude prices. 2. CCEA has approved 100% electrification of broad gauge routes of the Indian Railways network. This will ensure that the remaining 13,000 km of railway tracks are electrified – a big environment-friendly step that will go a long way in reducing dependence on fossil fuels and also drastically reduce costs of the national transporter. An annual saving of Rs 13,000 crore is being projected after the entire railway network is electrified. 3. The Cabinet approved 4 new National Institutes of Design for Vijayawada, Jorhat, Bhopal and Kurukshetra. Also, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced that these will get status of Institute of National Importance. 4. The Cabinet has also approved New Umbrella Scheme Pradhan Mantri Annadata Aay SanraksHan Abhiyan (PM-AASHA)- a step said to be a pro-farmers initiative of the government. The new scheme will make sure that farmers get the remunerative prices for their produce. 5. The Cabinet has also approved transfer of land of Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers to Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority and Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and also Selling of Transferable Development Right Certificate received\/receivable against this transfer. 6. An MoU between India and Egypt on cooperation in the field of Agriculture and allied sectors and an MoU between India and Brunei Darussalam on cooperation in the operation of Telemetry Tracking and Telecom and station for satellite and launch vehicles, and for cooperation in the field of Space Research, Science and Applications have also been approved by the Cabinet today. 7. The Cabinet has also approved the continuation of Capacity Development Scheme of MoSPI (Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation) for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20. The objective is to augment manpower, technical and infrastructural resources to make available credible and timely official statistics. 8. A MoU on Collaborative Research on Distributed Ledger and Block Chain Technology in the context of Development of digital economy by Exim Bank under BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism has been approved. 9. CCEA has approved revision or fixation of ethanol price derived from B heavy molasses \/ partial sugarcane juice and and fix a higher price for 100% sugarcane juice based ethanol for the forthcoming sugar season.