Cabinet approves Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season (from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022)


The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today has approved the proposal of the Department of Fertilizers for Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers for Kharif Season – 2022 (from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022).


Financial Implications:


Subsidy approved by Cabinet for the NBS Kharif-2022 (from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022) will be Rs. 60,939.23 Crores including support for indigenous fertilizer (SSP) through freight subsidy and additional support for indigenous manufacturing and imports of DAP.


Benefits:


The increase in the international prices of Di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) and its raw materials have been primarily absorbed by the Union Government. The Union Government has decided to provide subsidy of Rs. 2501 per bag on DAP instead of existing subsidy of Rs.1650 per bag which is a 50% increase over the last year’s subsidy rates. The increase in the prices of DAP & its raw material is in the range of approx. 80%. It will help farmers to receive notified P&K fertilizers on subsidized, affordable and reasonable rates and support the agriculture sector.


Implementation Strategy and targets:


The subsidy on P&K fertilizers will be provided based on the NBS rates for Kharif season -2022 (applicable from 01.04.2022 to 30.09.2022) to ensure smooth availability of these fertilizers to the farmers at affordable prices.


Background:


Government is making available fertilizers, namely Urea and 25 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/ importers. The subsidy on P&K fertilizers is being governed by NBS Scheme w.e.f 01.04.2010. In accordance with its farmer friendly approach, the Govt. is committed to ensure the availability of P&K fertilizers to the farmers at affordable prices. In view of steep increase in the international prices of fertilizers & inputs i.e. Urea, DAP, MOP and Sulphur, Government has decided to absorb the increased prices by increasing subsidy on P&K fertilizers including DAP. The subsidy would be released to fertilizer companies as per approved rates so that they can make available fertilizers to farmers at an affordable price than it would have been otherwise.


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(Release ID: 1820522)
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Cabinet approves construction of 540 Megawatt Kwar Hydro Electric project through M/s. Chenab valley Power Projects Private Limited


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today has approved the investment of Rs.4526.12 crore for 540 Megawatt (MW) Kwar Hydro Electric Project located on river Chenab, in Kishtwar district of Union Territory of Jammy and Kashmir.   The project will be implemented by M/s. Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s. CVPPL) a joint venture company between NHPC and JKSPDC with  equity contribution of 51% and 49% respectively on 27.04.2022.


The project shall generate 1975.54 million units in a 90% dependable year.


Government of India is extending grant of Rs.69.80 crore towards cost of Enabling Infrastructure and also supporting the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir by providing grant of Rs.655.08 crore for Equity contribution of JKSPDC (49%) in M/s. CVPPPL.  NHPC shall invest its equity (51%) of Rs.681.82 crore from its internal resources.  The Kwar Hydro Electric Project shall be commissioned with a span of 54 months.  The Power generated from the Project will help in balancing of Grid and will improve the power supply position.


Government of UT of J&K to make the Project viable, extending exemption form levy of Water Usage Charges for 10 years after commissioning of the project, reimbursement of State’s share of GST (i.e. SGST) and waiver of free power @2% per year in a decremental manner, i.e. the free power to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir would be 2% in the 1st year after commissioning of Project and thereafter shall increase @2% per year and shall be 12% from 6th year onwards.


The construction activities of the Project will result in direct and indirect employment to around 2500 persons and will contribute in overall socio-economic development of the Union Territory of J&K.  Further, UT of J&K will be benefitted with free power of around Rs.4,548.59 crore and Rs.4,941.46 crore with Water Usage Charges from Kwar Hydro Electric Project, during project life cycle of 40 years.


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(Release ID: 1820529)
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Cabinet approves implementation of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission with a budget of Rs.1,600 crore for five years


The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the national roll-out of Central Sector Scheme, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, with a budget of Rs.1,600 crore for five years. The National Health Authority (NHA) will be the implementing agency of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).


Digital health solutions across healthcare ecosystem have proven to be of immense benefit over the years, with CoWIN, Arogya Setu and eSanjeevani further demonstrating the role technology can play in enabling access to healthcare. However, there is a need to integrate such solutions for continuum of care, and effective utilization of resources.


Based on the foundations laid down in the form of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile (JAM) trinity and other digital initiatives of the government, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) is creating a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems while ensuring the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.


Under the ABDM, citizens will be able to create their ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) numbers, to which their digital health records can be linked. This will enable creation of longitudinal health records for individuals across various healthcare providers, and improve clinical decision making by healthcare providers. The mission will improve equitable access to quality healthcare by encouraging use of technologies such as telemedicine and enabling national portability of health services.


The pilot of ABDM was completed in the six Union Territories of Ladakh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep with successful demonstration of technology platform developed by the NHA. During the pilot, digital sandbox was created in which more than 774 partner solutions are undergoing integration. As on 24th February 2022, 17,33,69,087 Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts have been created and 10,114 doctors and 17,319 health facilities have been registered in ABDM.


Not only will ABDM facilitate evidence-based decision making for effective public health interventions, but it will also catalyse innovation and generate employment across the healthcare ecosystem.


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(Release ID: 1801323)
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Cabinet approves offering of coal by coal companies through a common e-auction window instead of sector specific auctions


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today approved the following:




i.     Offering of all the non-linkage coal by coal companies through one e-auction window of CIL (CIL) / Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL). This e-auction will cater to all the Sectors namely Power Sector and Non Regulated Sector (NRS) including traders and coal would be offered through this auction in place of the present system of sector specific auctions.


ii.     The above will be subject to CIL / SCCL meeting the coal linkage requirements against existing linkages and do not impact the current linkages to power and non-power consumers at contracted prices.


iii.    Coal offered through the single e-auction window shall be transport mode agnostic with default option being through Rail mode. However, coal may be lifted by the consumers through the road mode/other modes depending upon their choice and suitability without paying any additional charges or discount to the coal companies.


iv.     Long term allotment of coal by CIL/SCCL, without affecting the supplies against existing coal linkages, to their own gasification plants shall be allowed at prices as may be decided by the coal company. However, the taxes, duties, royalty etc shall be paid by the coal companies on the notified prices of coal for power sector.




Major impact, including employment generation potential:


Market distortions would be removed and single rate for all the consumers will evolve in the e-auction market. It shall increase operational efficiencies and lead to an increase in domestic coal demand by efficiency in domestic coal market. Besides the discretion presently vested in coal companies of allocating coal to different end use sectors will be eliminated. Further the coal companies shall be able to establish coal gasification plants by availing coal from their own mines. It shall help in developing clean coal technology in the country.




Removal of market distortions through offer of coal under a single e-auction window at the same rate for all the consumers of the economy will attract more consumers towards domestic coal.  Thus, the demand of domestic coal is expected to increase.  CIL also has ambitious coal productions plans for the future with an aim of producing 1 BT (Billion Tonne) coal by 2023-24.  Hence, with better availability of domestic coal with better price stability and predictability, the import of coal is expected to come sown drastically.  This would reduce the dependence on imported coal and would help to make Atmanirbhar Bharat.




This measure would ensure sustainability and development of the coal gasification technology.  Use of clean coal technology like coal gasification would mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of coal usage.




Financial Implications:


Clubbing of the e-auction windows would not involve any additional cost to the coal companies.




Background:


The coal market is segmented and regulated and consequently there are many different market-discovered rates for same grade of coal in each segment of market. Segmentation with rate differentiation results in coal market distortions. By these reforms in the coal market coal of any particular grade may be sold in the market at one rate (one grade, one rate), with default mode of transport being Railways, through a transparent and objective e-auction mechanism. A single e-auction window would enable the coal companies to sell coal through the market discovered price mechanism to all the consumers.   Besides the above, the need of the hour is to move away from the conventional coal use to clean coal technologies. The coal companies are planning to diversify business via coal gasification route. In coal block allocation mechanism, coal gasification is being encouraged through incentives like rebate in the revenue share. Similar incentivization is necessary to help early establishment of this new use of coal and related technologies. The coal companies would have flexibility to supply coal to their coal gasification projects.


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Cabinet approves Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts


The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the payment of ex-gratia amount of Rs. 973.74 crore pertaining to remaining claims submitted by Lending Institutions (LIs) under Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts (1.3.2020 to 31.8.2020).


Benefits:


          By granting ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest during the six month moratorium period to distressed/vulnerable category of borrowers, irrespective of whether the borrower had availed of moratorium or not, the scheme would equitably help small borrowers bear the stress on account of the pandemic and get back on their feet.


Operational guidelines for the scheme are already issued with the approval of the Cabinet. The said amount of Rs. 973.74 crore will be disbursed in accordance with the said operational guidelines.










S No

Date of Clam Submission by SBI

No. of lending Institutions

No. of Beneficiaries

Amount of Claim Received

Amount Disbursed

Pending Disbursement

1

23.3.2021

1,019

1406,63,979

4,626.93

4,626.93

2

23.7.2021 & 22.9.2021

492

499,02,138

1,316.49

873.07

443.42

3

30.11.2021

379

400,00,000

216.32


216.32

4

Resubmitted by SBI

101

83,63,963

314.00

314.00

Total


1,612

2389,30,080

6,473.74

5,500.00

973.74




Background:


            In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Scheme for grant of ex-gratia payment of difference between compound interest and simple interest for six months to borrowers in specified loan accounts (1.3.2020 to 31.8.2020)” was approved by the Cabinet in October, 2020, envisaging therein an outlay of Rs. 5,500 crore. Following category of borrowers were eligible for ex-gratia payment under the scheme:


  1. MSME loans up to Rs. 2 crore
  2. Education loans up to Rs. 2 crore
  3. Housing loans up to Rs. 2 crore
  4. Consumer durable loans up to Rs. 2 crore
  5. Credit card dues up to Rs. 2 crore
  6. Auto loans up to Rs. 2 crore
  7. Personal loans to professionals up to Rs. 2 crore
  8. Consumption loans up to Rs. 2 crore


Budget allocation of Rs. 5,500 crore was made for the scheme in FY 2020-2021. Whole amount of Rs. 5,500 crore, as approved by the Cabinet, has been disbursed to SBI, the nodal agency under the scheme, for consequent reimbursement to lending institutions.


The estimated amount of Rs. 5,500 crore was arrived at by extrapolating the share of SBI and Scheduled Commercial Banks for the aforementioned category of loans. It was also apprised to the Cabinet that the actual amount would be known once individual lending institutions submit their pre-audited account-wise claims.


Now, SBI has informed that it has received consolidated claims of Rs. 6,473.74 crore approx. from lending institutions. As Rs. 5,500 crore has already been disbursed to SBI, approval of the Cabinet is now being sought for balance amount of Rs. 973.74 crore.


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