The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the launch of Ayushman Bharat or National Health Protection Mission even though it decided to continue with the UPA-era National Health Mission. The Ayushman Bharat scheme is the world’s largest government-funded health programme and will cover 10 crore families. The Cabinet also took a slew of decisions:
Other Backward Classes committee
The Cabinet approved the extension of the term of the committee constituted to examine the issue of sub-categorisation of Other Backward Classes in the central list. Sub-categorisation of OBCs aims to ensure more equitable distribution of reservations in government jobs and educational institutions so that dominant groups among OBCs do not corner benefits. A five-member commission, headed by retired Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini, was constituted to examine sub-categorisation of OBCs.
Indian missions in Africa
The Cabinet also gave its nod to the opening of 18 new Indian missions in Africa over a four year period from 2018-2021.
Tax Treaty with Qatar
Cabinet also approved for revision of Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement between India and Qatar. “The revised DTAA updates the provisions for exchange of information to the latest standard includes Limitation of Benefits provision to prevent treaty shopping and aligns other provisions with India’s recent treaties,” an official statement said. The existing DTAA with Qatar was signed on April 7, 1999.
India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians
Union cabinet also cleared the proposal to shut down India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians. According to the MEA, the India Development Foundation of Overseas Indians (IDF-OI) was set up by the government in 2008 as a not-for-profit Trust to facilitate Overseas Indian philanthropy into social and development projects in India.
North East Industrial Development Scheme
The North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS), 2017, was also approved by the Cabinet with a financial outlay of Rs 3000 crore. In order to promote employment in North East states, the government will incentivise primarily the MSME sector through this scheme.
Special package for J&K
The Cabinet also approved the continuation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package for Jammu & Kashmir 2015 with a special focus on “stepping up of support under the creation of infrastructure in district hospitals, sub-district hospitals and primary health centres over 5 years”.
Silk Industry and education
The Cabinet also okayed continuation of centrally sponsored scheme Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan from 1.04.2017 to 31.03.2020. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs also approved Integrated Scheme for Development of Silk Industry for sericulture sector. The proposal for a further public offer of Ms ITI Limited to achieve 25 per cent minimum public shareholding requirement of Securities and Exchange Board of India.