Cabinet approves the establishment of the National Anti-profiteering Authority under GST
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the creation of the posts of Chairman and Technical Members of the National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) under GST, following up immediately on yesterday’s sharp reduction in the GST rates of a large number of items of mass consumption.This paves the way for the immediate establishment of this apex body, which is mandated to ensure that the benefits of the reduction in GST rates on goods or services are passed on to the ultimate consumers by way of a reduction in prices.
The establishment of the NAA, to be headed by a senior officer of the level of Secretary to the Government of India with four Technical Members from the Centre and/or the States, is one more measure aimed at reassuring consumers that Government is fully committed to take all possible steps to ensure the benefits of implementation of GST in terms of lower prices of the goods and services reach them.
The “anti-profiteering” measures enshrined in the GST law provide an institutional mechanism to ensure that the full benefits of input tax credits and reduced GST rates on supply of goods or services flow to the consumers. This institutional framework comprises the NAA, a Standing Committee, Screening Committees in every State and the Directorate General of Safeguards in the Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC).
Affected consumers who feel the benefit of commensurate reduction in prices is not being passed on when they purchase any goods or services may apply for relief to the Screening Committee in the particular State. However, in case the incident of profiteering relates to an item of mass impact with ‘All India’ ramification, the application may be directly made to the Standing Committee. After forming a prima facie view that there is an element of profiteering, the Standing Committee shall refer the matter for detailed investigation to the Director General of Safeguards, CBEC, which shall report its findings to the NAA.
In the event the NAA confirms there is a necessity to apply anti-profiteering measures, it has the authority to order the supplier / business concerned to reduce its prices or return the undue benefit availed by it along with interest to the recipient of the goods or services. If the undue benefit cannot be passed on to the recipient, it can be ordered to be deposited in the Consumer Welfare Fund. In extreme cases, the NAA can impose a penalty on the defaulting business entity and even order the cancellation of its registration under GST.
· Cabinet approves the increase in the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme for the Middle Income Group under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the increase in the carpet area of houses eligible for interest subsidy under the Credit Linked Subsidy Scheme (CLSS) for the Middle Income Group (MIG) under Pradhan MantriAwasYojana (Urban). To further enhance the scope, coverage and outreach of the Scheme, the Cabinet has approved the following:
i. increasing the carpet area in the MIG I category of CLSS from the existing 90 square metre to “up to 120 square metre” and increasing the carpet area in respect of MIG II category of CLSS from the existing 110 square metre to “up to 150 square metre”; and
ii. making the above change effective from 01.01.2017 i.e. the date the CLSS for MIG had become effective.
The CLSS for MIG is a pro-active step in meeting the challenges of urban housing shortage. It also is a pioneering step to enable the Middle Income Group to access the benefits of an interest subsidy scheme.
The CLSS for MIG covers two income segments in the MIG viz. Rs.6,00,001 to Rs.12,00,000 (MIG-I) and Rs.12,00,001 to Rs.18,00,000 (MIG-II) per annum. In the MIG-1, an interest subsidy of 4% has been provided for loan amounts up to Rs.9 lakh while in MIG-2, an interest subsidy of 3% has been provided for loan amount of Rs.12 lakh. The interest subsidy will be calculated at 9% NPV over a maximum loan tenure of 20 years or the actual tenure, whichever is lesser. Housing loans above 9 lakh and 12 lakh will be at non-subsidized rates.
· Cabinet approves Resolution for adoption of the recommendations of the Railway Convention Committee (2014) as contained in their Sixth Report on “Rate of Dividend payable by the Railways to the General Revenues for the year 2016-17 and other ancillary matters”
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal of Ministry of Railways to move a Resolution in both the Houses of Parliament adopting Railway Convention Committee (2014)’s recommendations that for the year 2016-17, purely as a one-time move, the Rate of Dividend payable by Railways to the General Revenues be waived off.
· Cabinet approves deputation of Group ‘A’ officers of Department .of Telecommunications (DoT) and other Ministries, with Telecommunication and Information Technology background, to Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL)
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for deputation of Group ‘A’ officers of Department .of Telecommunications (DoT) and other Ministries, with Telecommunication and Information Technology background, to Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. (TCIL) as per the following details:
a) To allow Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) to fill up such number of posts by deputation of Group ‘A’ officers of the Department of Telecommunications(DoT) and other Ministries, with Telecommunication and Information Technology background, for the intervening period i.e. from 01.10.2016 till the approval of this proposal (earlier Cabinet approval was valid up to 30.09.2016) and for a further period of three years from the date of approval, as per DPE guidelines subject to maximum of 10% of the total number .of below Board level posts, in Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) with exemption from the rule of immediate absorption and
b) To allow that in future the issue of exemption of below Board Level Posts in Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) may be dealt in terms of DPE OM No. 18(6)/2001-GM-GL-77 dated 28.12.2005 so that such proposal is not required to be brought before the Cabinet.
· Cabinet approves agreement between India and Belarus on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture, etc.
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been apprised of the Agreement between the Indian National Science Academy (INSA) and the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) on Scientific and Technological Cooperation for mutual benefit in the areas of science, technology, agriculture, etc. The Agreement was exchanged on 12th September, 2017 at New Delhi during the visit of Belarus President H.E. Mr. Alexander Lukashenko.
The Agreement is aimed at identifying, assessing, developing and commercializing globally competitive technologies from India and Belarus. It will support institutions in both countries by way of research, technology transfers, exchange of visits and joint workshops leading to scientific and economic benefit.
· Cabinet approves MoU between India and Poland for the promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Poland for the Promotion of Civil Aviation Cooperation. The MoU will be signed on behalf of the two countries after its approval by the two Governments. The MoU would be for a term of five years.
The objective of the MoU is to recognize the mutual benefit of Cooperation in the field of Civil Aviation having particular significance in establishing and improving Regional Air Connectivity in India. Apart from this both sides will recognize the mutual benefits of environmental testing or approvals, flight simulators monitoring and approvals, aircraft maintenance facilities approvals, maintenance personnel approvals and aircrew members approvals. The main areas of this Memorandum of Understanding to promote ad facilitate mutual cooperation are as under:
a. Support in the civil aviation market by reviewing any legal and procedural issues which may adversely affect cooperation between India and Poland.
b. Exchange of information and expertise between the Ministries and respective Civil Aviation Authorities related to aviation regulations, regional air operations, airworthiness requirements and safety standards to enhance safety and security of air transport; and / or
c. Collaboration on or joint development, organization and/or conduct of training programmes on aviation safely, on topics such as safety oversight, airworthiness, flight operations, licensing, legislation and enforcement; and / or
d. Aviation associated consultations, joint organization and/or conduct of conferences and professional seminars, workshops, talks and other such activities on aviation safety with the participation of representatives from the Parties related to the field of civil aviation; and / or
e. Regular dialogue or meetings for exchange of information; knowledge, expertise and experiences between Ministries and respective Civil Aviation safety related development of mutual interest to the parties;
f. Collaboration on research and studies on aviation safety interest topics and issues of mutual interest.
g. Any other issues related to co-operation in the areas mentioned above.
· Cabinet approves continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme to improve judiciary infrastructure
The Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) for Development of Infrastructure Facilities for Judiciary beyond 12th Five Year Plan i.e. from 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2020 to be implemented in a Mission Mode through National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms with an estimated outlay of Rs.3,320 crore.
The Cabinet also approved setting up of an on-line monitoring system with geo-tagging by the Department of Justice enabling data collection on progress, completion of court halls and residential units under construction, including for future projects as well as better asset management and formulation of norms and specification of court halls and residential units to be constructed under Scheme for implementation throughout the country for future.
· Cabinet approves Continuation of sub-schemes under Umbrella Scheme “Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)” for the period till November, 2018
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for continuation of Anganwadi Services, Scheme for Adolescent Girls, Child Protection Services and National Crèche Scheme from 1.4.2017 to 30.11.2018 with an outlay of over Rs.41,000 crore. These are the sub-schemes under Umbrella Scheme “Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)”.
The approved Schemes include:
i. Anganwadi Services
ii. Scheme for Adolescent Girls
iii. Child Protection Services
iv. National Crèche Scheme
The Cabinet has also approved:
i. implementation of Scheme for Adolescent Girls for out of school girls in the age group of 11-14 years, its phased expansion
ii. phasing out of the on–going Kishori Shakti Yojana for out of school girls in the age group of 11-14 years.
The decision also provides for conversion of National Crèche Scheme from Central Sector to Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the revised cost sharing between Centre and States as 60:40 for all States and UTs with legislature, 90:10 for NER and Himalayan States and 100% for UTs without legislature and implementation of the Scheme through States/UTs instead of existing implementation agencies.
· Cabinet allows export of all varieties of pulses
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for removal of prohibition on export of all types of pulses to ensure that farmers have greater choice in marketing their produce and in getting better remuneration for their produce.
The CCEA also empowered the Committee chaired by Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution (DFPD) and comprising Secretaries of Department of Commerce (DoC), Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW), Department of Revenue (DoR), Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to review the export/import policy on pulses and consider measures such as quantitative restrictions, prior registration and changes in import duties depending on domestic production and demand, domestic and international prices and international trade volumes.