The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved investment proposals of over Rs 4,600 crore (Rs 46 billion) in both private and public sector projects.
The largest proposal cleared was the infusion of Rs 1,500 crore by the Essar group through Mauritius into its business in India. This will be in the form of foreign investment. The Essar group's investment vehicle will be Teletech Investments (India) Ltd.
The CCEA approved two changes in Teletech converting original investments from non-repatriable to repatriable basis and an additional infusion of Rs 1,500-crore (Rs 15 billion) equity by Essar Logistics Holdings, Essar Power and Essal Metal Holdings. The investment will go towards the group's expansion plans in steel, shipping and power.
Among other big-ticket investment proposals cleared by the CCEA are Rs 1,352.04 crore (Rs 13.52 billion) for the Amlohri open cast expansion project of the Northern Coal Fields, and the Rs 718.8-crore (Rs 7.19 billion) expansion-cum-diversification project of the state-owned Hindustan Newsprint.
Production from the Amlohri project, located in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, will meet the demand of NTPC's second phase of the Rihand state thermal power station.
Another plan approved was investment of Rs 789.99 crore (Rs 7.9 billion) in the Krishnashila open cast project of the Northern Coalfields Ltd. The project, located in Sonebhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, will have linkage with captive thermal power stations owned by Hindalco.
The CCEA also approved Rs 271.77 crore (Rs 2.72 billion) for the Madhuband washery project of Bharat Coking Coal Ltd. It also decided to hike the minimum support price of jute for 2006-07. The new MSP will be Rs 1,000 per quintal of TD-5 grade of jute ex-Assam.
The CCEA also approved the continuation of the "Nutrition Programme for Adolescent Girls" in 51 districts, clearing Rs 124.09 crore (Rs 1.24 billion) as special central assistance for the programme.
The Phase-II of the special package for the North-East, which will work out to Rs 400.17 crore (Rs 4 billion), was also cleared.
The Union Cabinet, which also met today, approved the formation of ministry of earth sciences by reorganising the ministry of ocean development. An earth commission will also be formed.
The development of a Rs 1420-crore (Rs 14.2 billion) Indian regional navigation satellite system was also approved. This will provide an independent, indigenously developed constellation of satellites for critical national applications.
The amendments to the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 were also cleared. The Bill will now be introduced in Parliament.
The amendments to the Wildlife (Protection) Bill 2005 and those to the National Institute of Fashion Technology Bill 2005 were also cleared.The Cabinet also approved placing the Action Taken Report on Justice Mukherjee Commission's findings on the inquiry into Subhas Chandra Bose's disappearance before Parliament.