GST: Cabinet gives nod for Rs 65,545-cr Vadhavan port
Certain co-op banks to be brought under RBI regulatory oversight
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to set up a major port at Vadhavan near Dahanu in Maharashtra with a total cost of ₹65,545 crore, including about ₹14,500 crore of GST. This is part of the government’s plan to develop infrastructure projects with a cost of ₹100-lakh crore over the next five years.
The Cabinet also approved bringing amendments in the Banking Regulation Act to put certain co-operative banks under the regulatory ambit of the Reserve Bank of India.
The Union Cabinet also gave its nod for setting up ‘Shri Ram Janma Bhoomi Tirtha Kshetra’ trust to oversee the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya as ordered by the Supreme Court. Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed Parliament that the Trust will be free to take all decisions regarding the construction of the temple.
Speaking to reporters — at a post-Cabinet briefing — on plans for the Vadhavan port, Shipping Minister Mansukh L Mandaviya said, “This will be a deep draft port of 20 metres depth that can handle bigger ships.”
He added that there is a proposal for the government to own 51 per cent of the port, while the remaining can be owned by private participants and the State government. Vadhavan port will be developed on the “land lord model”. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be formed with Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) as the lead partner with equity participation equal to or more than 50 per cent to implement the project, the official statement added.
Development of Vadhavan port will enable call of container vessels of 16,000-25,000 TEUs capacity, giving advantages of economies of scale and reducing logistics cost, the official statement.
The SPV will develop the port infrastructure including reclamation, construction of breakwater, besides establishing connectivity to the hinterland. All the business activities would be undertaken under PPP mode by private developers.
JNPT and Mundra, the two largest container handling ports of the country (for mid-size container ships only), have drafts of 15 metres and 16 metres. Vadhavan port has a natural draft of about 20 metres close to the shore, making it possible for it to handle bigger vessels at the port.
On the issue of amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, Information & Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “The proposed amendments will ensure greater accountability and transparency in the functioning of cooperative banks.” He said the amendments will put 1540 co-operative banks with ₹ 5 lakh crore deposits under RBI regulations.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet also approved Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020 that will confer Institutions of National Importance status to five IIITs enabling them to award B Tech, M Tech and Ph.D degrees.
“The Bill will declare the remaining 5 IIITs-PPP along with the existing 15 Indian Institutes of Information Technology in Public Private Partnership mode as ‘Institutions of National Importance’ with powers to award degrees,” the official statement said adding this will also help them in attracting enough student required to develop a strong research base in the country in the field of IT.
The Cabinet also approved ex-post facto to 21 posts of directors, one each in 20 IIITs (PPP) and one in IIITDM Kurnool (IIIT-CFTI) besides ex-post facto to 21 posts of Registrars, one each in 20 IIITs (PPP) and one in IIITDM Kurnool.
The Cabinet nod was also granted dispensation to Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, to fly on international sectors between India and Sri Lanka.
Cabinet’s green signal
JNPT to own at least 50% in Vadhavan Port.
Port will require an investment of ₹51,000 crore, excluding GST.
Vadhavan Port, which has a natural depth of 20 metres, can handle larger ships.
The Cabinet cleared Indian Institutes of Information Technology Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The Cabinet nod was also granted dispensation to Alliance Air to fly on international sectors between India and Sri Lanka.
Source- Business Line.
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