Public Procurement Bill,coal royalty rates get Cabinet nod

The government approved an ad-valorem regime for calculating royalty for coal and lignite

Published: April 13, 2012 1:35:22 am

Bill to bring clarity in public procurement

In a move to bring in transparency in State purchases,the Cabinet today approved Public Procurement Bill,2012,that will regulate public procurement of above Rs 50 lakh and provide “fair treatment” to bidders.

The proposed legislation aims at regulating public procurement by all ministries and departments of the Union government,Central public sector enterprises (CPSEs),autonomous and statutory bodies controlled by the Centre and other procuring entities.

The Bill,which suggests the absence of price negotiations,except in circumstances that are prescribed,and for which reasons are to be recorded,is likely to be introduced in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament.

Ad-valorem Royalty on coal gets green signal

The government today approved an ad-valorem regime for calculating royalty for coal and lignite,which will enrich the coffers of coal-bearing states by over Rs 1,000 crore.

“The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today approved the proposal for adoption of ad-valorem regime,in place of the current hybrid formula,for charging royalty on coal and lignite at the rate of 14 per cent and 6 per cent respectively,” an official statement said.

Royalty rates on coal and lignite have not been revised since 2007. “The major coal producing states will now earn revenue of about Rs 6,980 crore in place of Rs 5,950 crore being earned at present at existing rates,resulting increased combined earning by more than Rs 1,050 crore,” it said.

Go-ahead to NLC Power plant Joint Venture

The CCEA also approved the proposed joint venture between state-run Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd for setting up a 1,980 MW thermal power plant at Ghatampur in Kanpur district in Uttar Pradesh. The proposed power project,which could entail investments of over Rs 10,000 crore,by the JV company will cater to the demand of Uttar Pradesh and northern region.

Swavalamban scheme funding extended

The Cabinet approved the extension of funding support for implementing the Swavalamban Scheme under the New Pension System (NPS) from three years to five years for all subscribers enrolled during 2010-11,2011-12 and 2012-13. The exit norms of the scheme have been relaxed to enable subscribers under Swavalamban to exit at age 50 instead of 60,or a minimum tenure of 20 years,which ever is later.

The Cabinet has provided an additional funding support of Rs 2,065 crore to the scheme till 2016-17.

This will benefit 70 lakh workers in the unorganised sector.

SPV for IT network for GST approved

The Cabinet today approved a proposal to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) that will help facilitate the smooth introduction of the new indirect tax regime. GSTN SPV would be incorporated as Section 25 not-for-profit private limited company in which strategic control would be held by the Centre. It will provide IT infrastructure and services to various stakeholders including the Centre and states.

The SPV would have an equity capital of Rs 10 crore,with both the Centre and states having stakes of 24.5 per cent each. Non government institutions would hold 51 per cent equity.

CCI’s interest payment on loan frozen

The government approved the freezing and deferring of interest payment by Cement Corporation of India (CCI) on the non-plan loan of Rs128.62 crore sanctioned to the company.

The payment has been postponed till completion of sale process of closed units by the company. The Cabinet also approved the enhancement in the age of retirement of all board and below board level employees of the company from 58 to 60 years.

The government expects that the deferment of payment of interest will help the company unlock its financial resources and modernise existing operating plants.

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