Cabinet approval to MoU between India, Britain

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) The union cabinet on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Britain for cooperation in public administration and governance reforms.

The meeting of the union cabinet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The form of co-operation will be in areas like sharing good governance practices in public administration, user led service design, reducing bureaucracy in service delivery, government process re-engineering, building and developing staff capability, public grievance redress mechanism, local government reforms, reforms towards strengthening of social security, collaboration in strategies for promotion of ethics in government, collaboration between government and industry on staff management, mechanisms for public engagement, crisis and disaster management and digital transformation of government,” an official release said.

A joint working group on public administration and governance, which is scheduled to meet later this month in London, will be responsible for implementation of the MoU.

“The MoU will help in understanding the system of customer-oriented public service delivery in UK with reference to rapidly changing environments in the area of public service management and enable in replicating, adapting and innovating some of the best practices and processes in the Indian Public Service Delivery System, leading to improved public service delivery in India,” the release said.

Cabinet approves policy on promoting compost use

A union cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for a policy to promote use of compost manufactured from garbage generated in the city.

A market development assistance of Rs.1500 per tonne to scale up production and use of the end product will be given under the policy, an official release said.

A joint mechanism would be set up by the departments of fertilisers and agriculture and the urban development ministry to monitor and facilitate availability of adequate quantity of compost at mutually agreeable terms between manufacturers and fertiliser marketing companies, the statement said.

Campaigns would be carried out to educate farmers on the benefits of compost and steps taken to increase the number of compost plants across all states, the statement added.

Government departments and public sector undertakings will also use city compost for their horticultural and related uses, it said.

Initially, marketing and promotion of compost is proposed to be done through the existing fertiliser companies, according to the release.

In due course, however, compost manufacturers and other marketing entities recognised by the state government concerned may also be co-opted for the purpose with the approval of the department of fertilisers.

Compost made from city garbage will not only provide carbon and primary/secondary nutrients to soil but also help keep the national capital clean.

Composting can also reduce the volume of waste dumped in landfills by converting the waste into useful by-products. It also prevents production of harmful greenhouse gases (especially methane) and toxic material that pollutes groundwater and environment.

Cabinet nod for subsidy to set up 5,000 MW solar projects

A union cabinet panel on Wednesday approved the setting up of over 5,000 MW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) power projects at an estimated outlay of Rs.30,000 crore.

Briefing reporters here following the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal said the decision to promote solar power through “viability gap funding” (VGF) was in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to make India the world’s largest generator of solar power.

“Installation of 5,000 MW solar PV plants will generate about 8,300 million units per year, which caters power to almost 2.5 million households,” said a release from the ministry of new and renewable energy.

According to the statement, the estimated requirement of funds to provide VGF for 5,000 MW capacity solar projects is estimated to be Rs.5,050 crore.

This includes handling charges to state-run Solar Energy Corp. at the rate of 1 percent of the total grant disposed and Rs.500 crore for the payment of security mechanism for the VGF schemes.

“These projects will have a market-found base rate, and thereafter reverse bidding will determine who wins the VGF. Actual funding will be determined by reverse bidding,” Goyal said.

The government has set a target of achieving 1,00,000 MW grid-connected solar power by 2022.

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