NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on Wednesday approved a slew of initiatives to stimulate the economy. It has approved sale of the government’s entire 73 per cent stake in Dredging Corporation of India, ex-post facto clearance to implementation of the special banking arrangement (SBA) of Rs 10,000 crore for payment of outstanding claims towards fertiliser subsidy in 2016-17.
To make farming a remunerative profession, the government also approved changes to the ongoing central scheme Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana with a focus on value chain, post-harvest infrastructure and agri-entrepreneur development, among others. According to estimates, the government’s stake sale in Dredging Corporation could fetch about Rs 1,400 crore to the exchequer.
The dredging company is under the administrative control of the shipping ministry. It is involved in maintenance dredging, capital dredging, beach nourishment, land reclamation, etc.
The government is making available fertilisers, namely Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilisers, to farmers at subsidised prices through fertiliser manufacturers/importers. For making funds available to the fertiliser companies against their subsidy claims, the finance ministry had approved SBA for an amount of Rs 10,000 crore with government interest liability limited to G-Sec rate.
Accordingly, an SBA was worked out with SBI for an amount of Rs 10,000 crore to meet the outstanding subsidy claims of fertiliser firms. The loan together with government interest thereon has been repaid from Budget Estimate 2017-18 within the sanctioned budget.