The Cabinet on Wednesday approved some critical changes in key rural development programmes, which would enable targeted intervention for faster poverty reduction.
According to an official statement released after a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, interest subvention under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) has been extended to 100 more districts, along with the allocation of funds under the Himayat programme. Besides, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen kaushalya Yojana has been made flexible to enable swift disbursal.
On NRLM, the Cabinet approved the extensive use of the database generated by the newly released socio economic caste census (SECC) for rural areas for targeted reduction of poverty and convergence with other schemes. "The NRLM will use the SECC data to undertake planning for poverty-free Panchayats involving Panchayati Raj institutions and self help group (SHG) of households," the statement said.
Under the interest subvention scheme, women SHGs availing loans up to Rs 300,000 from banks are charged seven per cent interest per annum; they also get additional interest subvention of three per cent for timely repayment, bringing down their effective rate of interest to four per cent per annum.
On the Himayat programme, the Cabinet has approved the existing cap of Rs 235.30 crore on the total outlay to be replaced with a demand-based allocation and target within the overall Budget provision of NRLM. The scheme will be funded entirely by the Central government.
Agreement with Japan to avoid double taxation
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend the double taxation avoidance convention (DTAC) between India and Japan. The new agreement will facilitate exchange of information on tax matters, including bank information, and information without domestic tax interest. There is also a provision for sharing any information received from Japan with to respect of a resident of India with other law enforcement agencies. According to the agreement, India and Japan can lend assistance to each other in collection of revenue claims and for exemption of interest income from taxation in the source country, with respect to debt-claims insured by the government or government-owned financial institutions.
Pact with Germany on capital goods, solar energy
The Cabinet approved an agreement with Germany to roll out the 'Make in India' campaign for the capital goods sector. The objective of the pact between the department of heavy industries and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft of Germany is to provide a platform for various public sector undertakings and capital goods sector units to have easy access to capabilities and expertise of Fraunhofer for identifying and plugging technology gaps in line with the 12th Five-Year Plan.
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is a leading organisation of 65 institutes for applied industrial research in Europe. Under the agreement, Fraunhoferw will be a "technology resource partner" for implementing identified projects in manufacturing, working with various stakeholders in the government, industries and academia in India for increased cooperation and collaboration in applied industrial research and technology development, said an official release. Besides, the Cabinet gave a post-facto nod to an agreement with Germany to expand bilateral cooperation in the field of solar energy.