The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a number of Bills including the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 that prohibits unmarried couples, single parents, live-in partners and homosexuals from opting for surrogacy.
The Surrogacy Bill proposes a complete ban on commercial surrogacy and allowing only legally wedded Indian couples to opt for children through it was today approved by the government to check unethical practices. The bill has a provision for a jail term upto ten year and a fine of Rs 10 lakhs for violations, such as abandoning the child and opting for commercial surrogacy.
Here are the other Bills that the Cabinet approved on Wednesday
The government approved a Rs 6,461-crore project for development of 1,120 km national highways in five states under NHIIP programme.
“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for development of 1,120 km of National Highways in the states of Karnataka, Odisha, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal,” a statement from Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said.
The work for development to two-lane standards are under Phase-I of the National Highways Interconnectivity Improvement Project (NHIIP) with World Bank assistance, it said.
“The revised estimated cost is Rs 6,461 crore including cost of land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation and other pre-construction activities,” the statement said.
Giving a big push to rail infrastructure, government approved a line expansion programme to the tune of about Rs 21,000 crores to facilitate smooth movement of freight and passenger trains in 11 states.
The Union Cabinet approved the massive line expansion programme that includes nine projects of track construction for a total length of 1937.38 km at an estimated cost of Rs 20867.24 crore, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the green signal to create a capacity to carry 1.5 billion tonnes of goods by 2020.
It is a huge capacity augmentation programme aiming at decongesting the main trunk routes for faster movement of coal, minerals, steel and other commodities and introduction of more mail and express trains, said a senior Railway Ministry official.
The Cabinet approved a revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement(DTAA) between India and Cyprus that provides for source-based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares instead of one based on residence.
“The Cabinet approves signing a Revised Double Tax Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) between the Republic of India and the Republic of Cyprus,” the Finance Ministry said in a tweet.
“Revised DTAA provides for source-based taxation of capital gains on transfer of shares, instead of residence based taxation,” it added.
An official-level meeting between India and Cyprus was held here in June to finalise the new India-Cyprus DTAA wherein all pending
issues, including taxation of capital gains, were discussed, and an in-principle agreement was reached on all pending issues.
The government decided to waive Rs 897 crore penal interest on loan availed by Cochin Port.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for waiver of penal interest on government loans worth Rs 897.23 crore availed by Cochin Port Trust, said a statement by the Ministry of Shipping.
“The CCEA also gave its approval by freezing the liability on account of GOI loans, interest thereon and penal interest @ 0.25 per cent as on March 31, 2016 amounting to Rs 557.16 crore,” the statement said. The amount covers Rs 258.14 crore in loan, Rs 281.45 crore as interest and Rs 17.57 crore in penal interest.
For the first time, the victims of cross border firing along the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir will get compensation of Rs five lakh, similar to those who die due to terrorism or Left Wing Extremism violence. At present, there is no scheme to compensate victims of cross border firing.
The Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave its approval to enhance the grant of compensation under “Central Scheme for Assistance to Civilian Victims of Terrorist, Communal, Left Wing Extremist (LWE), Cross Border Firing and Mine or Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) blasts on Indian Territory” from Rs three lakh to Rs five lakh.
With an aim to address the stagnation in the Indian Information Service (IIS) and improve the career prospects, the government today gave its nod for the restructuring of its “group A” cadre.
The restructuring will involve addition of two posts at apex level, five at higher administrative grade level and 19 posts at senior administrative grade level with matching reduction at other levels.
“The restructuring will address the problem of existing stagnation in the IIS Cadre and will improve the career prospects of IIS officers. The cadre review exercise will result in better functioning of media and communication arms of the government,” an official statement said.
The Cabinet approved signing of a new air services agreement between India and Fiji that would allow Indian airlines to fly to any point in the island nation.
The pact is for revising the ASA, which was entered into in January 1974. The updation is being done as per the latest ICAO template with an objective to improve air connectivity between the two countries, an official release said.
The leasing out of land owned by AAI for setting up of a centre for perishable cargo at Assam international airport was cleared by the Cabinet today.
The Cabinet has approved Airports Authority of India (AAI) leasing out 4,050 square metres of land to Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC).
“This will be utilised for setting up of Centre for Perishable Cargo (CPC) and its future expansion at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati,” an official release said.
Govt gives nod to signing of pact with Myanmar on traditional medicines
The Government today gave its nod to signing of a pact between India and Myanmar in the field of traditional system of medicines.
The pact aims to provide a structured frame work for cooperation between both the countries and for promotion of AYUSH and traditional systems of medicine in Myanmar.
“It will boost the importance of AYUSH systems of medicine and conservation, production and standardisation,” an official statement said.