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Cabinet clears HAL pact

June 24, 2005 13:41 IST

The Cabinet on Thursday cleared a joint venture between Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd and French firm Snecma Moteurs.

It also approved a grant of Rs 478.72 crore (Rs 4.79 billion) to Afghanistan for setting up a 220KV of transmission line from Pul-E-Khumri to Kabul and a substation in Kabul by PowerGrid Corporation Ltd. The project will enable Afghanistan to import power from Uzbekistan.

The joint venture between HAL and Snecma will have an initial investment of Rs 50 crore (Rs 500 million) with HAL holding 50 per cent in the project. "The joint venture is expected to lead to outsourcing of aero-engine components by both companies," Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee said while briefing the media.

It was also decided to amend the Jute Manufacturing Cess Act1983, for exempting goods produced or exported by jute manufacturing units in the Northeast from cess for a specified period. A Bill for the purpose would be introduced in Parliament, Mukherjee said.

He added that the government had also appointed a group of ministers to scrutinise the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976, and suggest amendments. The Act monitors the use of foreign funds received by non-governmental organisations.

The government has also referred to a GoM a proposal by the urban development ministry to restructure the government press. The GoM will be headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The proposal for introducing the Indian Medicine and Homeopathy Pharmacy Bill, 2005, for setting up a central pharmacy council was also approved. The council will regulate education and the practice of pharmacists in ayurveda, siddha, unani and homeopathy.

The Cabinet also cleared amendments in the Warehousing Corporations Act, 1962.

This is aimed at increasing the autonomy of the central warehousing corporations. With enhanced autonomy, the CWCS will be able to have three functional directors on their boards.

The amendments will also allow the warehousing corporations to borrow from scheduled banks and source funds at more competitive rates.

The government also passed a proposal for introducing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Bill, 2005, in Parliament. The Bill has defined domestic violence, which will include physical, sexual, verbal, economic and emotional abuse.

Other Cabinet decisions included establishment of a global development network in India with New Delhi as its headquarters.

This is envisaged to be a global network of research and policy institutes, working to address problems of national and regional development.

The establishment of the network headquarters will help in shifting the hub of global research and development activities to New Delhi, according to an official statement.
BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi