The government on Thursday approved certain amendments to expand the ambit of a bill providing social security schemes to unorganised workers.
The amendments in the Unorganised Sector Workers' Social Security Bill 2007, approved by the Union Cabinet, seek to facilitate formulation of social security schemes for unorganised workers, Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi told reporters in New Delhi.
He said efforts will be made to ensure passage of the Bill, pending in the Rajya Sabha, during the next session of Parliament.
Sources said the government intended to rename the bill by dropping the word 'sector' from the title of the draft legislation in line with the suggestion made by a Parliamentary Standing Committee scrutinising it.
The purpose behind the move was to ensure that unorganised workers employed in the organised sector are also covered, they said.
The labour ministry is also examining whether volunteers, working under various welfare schemes like Aanganwadis, could be covered under the proposed Bill.
The Union Cabinet exempted special category states -- Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Northeastern states -- from paying deployment charges for Central Forces, including special armed police for the period April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2009, Dasmunsi said.
This move would help these states to utilise available funds for developmental purposes, he said.
The Cabinet also approved the merger of two centrally sponsored schemes -- Strengthening of Revenue Administration and Updating of Land Records and Computerisation of Land Records -- which will be replaced with a modified scheme.
The new scheme will be known as the National Land Records Modernisation Programme, Dasmunsi said.
A proposal for establishment of National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, and a Bioprocessing Unit in the Knowledge City at Mohali, Punjab also received the nod of the Union Cabinet.
NABI and BPU will be set up as autonomous institutions under the Department of Biotechnology at an estimated cost of Rs 380 crore (Rs 3.8 billion) over five years.
The meeting also approved creation of a post of additional secretary in the ministry of women and child development for effective implementation of its various schemes, policies and programmes.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs earmarked Rs 460 crore (Rs 4.6 billion) for the 11th Plan Period for continuing ongoing schemes for ground water management and regulation.
The scheme will help in strengthening ground water resource management system, delineation of ground water development worthy areas, developing area specific artificial recharge and rain water harvesting techniques, development of web-enabled information systems and strengthening of coordination and synergy amongst all other stakeholders.