The Union Cabinet has given a nod to an array of agreements. The iconic ones include signing an MoU between India, Finland in the field of Biotechnology, amendment to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, the establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for cows, higher power allocation to Telangana and Jharkhand and approving abolition of Income-Tax Ombudsman and Indirect Tax Ombudsman. 

The Union Cabinet is on a roll for sure! Go through this article to know about the individual approvals and what it means for the Indian citizens.

Key highlights of the 7th Pay Commission!

The signing of MoU between India, Finland in the field of Biotechnology

Union Cabinet

  • The Union Cabinet head by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 6, 2019 approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Finland.
  • India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Business Finland have shook hands on the same.
  • This will ensure cooperation based on mutual interest in the field of Biotechnology, innovations and research.
  • By funding need-oriented, ambitious joint projects of high international standards, the two countries aim to help reach world-class innovations beneficial to both countries.

Key highlights of Union Interim Budget 2019

Union Cabinet’s approval of direct, indirect taxes

Union Cabinet

  • The Union Cabinet on Wednesday, February 6, 2019, decided to abolish institutions of Ombudsman for direct and indirect taxes respectively.
  • This approval comes due to people finding the online grievances redressal mechanism more effective than the Ombudsman. (an official appointed to investigate individuals’ complaints against a company or organization, especially a public authority.)
  • The Ombudsman tax system was established in the year 2003 for redressal of grievances of public related to the settlement of complaints relating to income tax.
  • However, as per an official release, the institution failed to fulfil its objectives as the number of new complaints fell as low as single-digit ones.
  • Notably, taxpayers are resorting to the alternate methods of grievance redressal like CPGRAMS (Centralized Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System), Aaykar Seva Kendras etc.

National Register of Citizens (NRC)

Union Cabinet’s approval for the Cinematograph Act, 1952

Union Cabinet

  • The Union Cabinet has approved amendments to the Cinematograph Act, 1952, in order to combat piracy and copyright infringement.
  • The bill intends to tackle piracy in films by including the penal provisions for unauthorised camcording and duplication of films.
  • The bill proposes 2 major amendments- the insertion of new Section 6AA in the Act for the prohibition of unauthorised recording and amendment in Section 7 to introduce penal provisions for violating provisions of section 6AA.
  • These amendments will reportedly increase industry revenues, boost job creation, fulfill important objectives of India’s National IP policy and will give relief against piracy and infringing content online.
  • Notably, the film industry had been vehemently opposing camcording and piracy and wanted the government to look into it and issue amendments for the same.
  • PM Narendra Modi, had addressed the issue last month on January 19 while speaking during the inaugural function of the National Museum of Indian Cinema at Mumbai. The matter was subsequently brought to the consideration of the Union Cabinet.

Consumer Protection Bill 2018

Union Cabinet’s approval on setting up of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for cows

  • The Union Cabinet approved the proposal for the establishment of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog for conservation, protection and development of cows and their progeny.
  • Notably, the setting up of the Aayog was announced in the Union Interim Budget 2019-20.
  • The Aayog will work in collaboration with Veterinary, Animal Sciences or Agriculture University, departments or organisations of the Central and State Governments engaged in the task of research in breeding and rearing of cow, organic manure, biogas, etc.
  • Proper implementation of laws with respect to cows will be done, besides increasing growth of livestock sector which is more inclusive, benefiting women, and small and marginal farmers.

MoU between India and the UAE, Maldives, Brazil, Norway, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Namibia-Panama

  • A MoU was signed between India and Malaysia for mutual cooperation to raise the status and prestige of the Practicing Company Secretary in both countries.
  • MoU signed between India, Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) and Electoral Tribunal of Panama (ETP) on cooperation in the field of electoral management and administration.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the MoU between India and Norway on India-Norway Ocean Dialogue.
  • The Cabinet approved MoU between India and Brazil on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homoeopathy.
  • The Union Cabinet approved MoU between the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare and the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resource and Agriculture of Maldives.
  • The Cabinet approved the MoU between India and the United Arab Emirates on Development Cooperation in Africa.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the signing of an agreement between India and Ukraine for cooperation in Agriculture and Food Industry.
  • The Cabinet approved MoU between India and Uzbekistan for promoting bilateral cooperation in the field of e-Governance.
  • The Union Cabinet approved the Framework Agreement between India and Indonesia on cooperation in the exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes.
  • • The Cabinet approved the introduction of National Institutes of Food Technology, Entrepreneurship and Management Bill, 2019 in the Parliament.

NITI Aayog 2.0

Union Cabinet’s setting up of 12,000 MW Solar Power Projects

  • The Cabinet approved a proposal for setting up of 12,000 MW of solar power projects by state-run producers.
  • As per the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), the producers will be given a viability gap funding support of Rs 8,580 crore for self-use or use by both central and state government entities.
  • The CCEA decided that 12,000 MW or more of grid-connected solar PV power projects would be set up by government producers in 4 years i.e. 2019-20 to 2022-23, thereby creating an investment of about Rs 48,000 crores, as per an official statement.
  • The scheme will mandate use of both solar photovoltaic cells and modules manufactured domestically as per specifications and testing requirements fixed by the ministry.
  • The scheme will reportedly produce direct employment to around 60,000 persons for about 1 year in the construction phase. Also, around 18,000 persons for about 25 years in the operation and maintenance period.

Recently, the Union Interim Budget 2019 was also announced by the Finance Minister Piyush Goyal which was lauded by the people in general. However, let us see what lies in store for us for the Actual Budget. To continue receiving your daily dose of GK and Current Affairs, keep watching this space.