Cabinet approves Eleventh Five Year Plan

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New Delhi, Nov 30: The Union Cabinet has given its approval for placing the draft document of the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) before the National Development Council (NDC), the highest policy making body of the country.

The decision, taken at a meeting last evening, would enable the operationalisation of the Plan in full, Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters today.

A meeting of the NDC, comprising the Chief Ministers and the full Planning Commission, chaired by the Prime Minister, is likely to be convened shortly to consider the Plan document, official sources said.

Another Cabinet decision pertained to approval for enhancing the capital of State Bank of India by subscribing to the rights issue of equity shares of the government amounting to about Rs 10,000 crore against issue of SLR, marketable government securities and creation of a Securities Redemption Fund for redeeming these securities on the due date.

The actual number of shares to be subscribed, the total amount subscribed, coupon rate and tenure of the securities, and other modalities would be worked out by the government in consultation with SBI, keeping in view the extant SEBI guidelines, market conditions and other relevant factors.

The Cabinet also approved the sale of 49 per cent equity stake of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) in BSL to Shell or its affiliate for a consideration of Rs 152.40 crore in cash.

The proposed sale would enable BPCL to withdraw from a joint venture company which has a competing business interest -- production and sale of branded lubricants in India. This would help BPCL concentrate on building and promotion of its own brand of lubricants resulting in improved brand image, higher growth, efficiency and profits.

The National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy 2005 would be placed in Parliament and circulated to state governments and Union Territories and other stakeholders for implementation. The policy would be put into effect by various stakeholders and promote sustained development of urban housing and settlements with a focus on social housing for economically weaker sections (EWS) and lower income groups (LIG).

The Cabinet also gave its approval for moving official amendments to the ''Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Bill 2007'' in the Lok Sabha. The Bill would provide effective care and protection to the senior citizens and offer a speedy and inexpensive legal framework for granting maintenance to them.

Another decision pertained to amending the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).

This would result in reduction or elimination of tariff on 555 products through a protocol. It would also offer to Singapore any subsequent improvement made at the time of ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) in terms of product coverage timeline and Rules of Origin (RoO) with appropriate amendments to India-Singapore CECA.

The tariff concessions would further enhance growth in bilateral trade with economic benefits to both countries. As Singapore is a member country of ASEAN, betterment made in the ASEAN-India FTA over CECA may be incorporated in CECA to maximise gains to both countries. The tariff elimination/reduction would commence tomorrow.

The Cabinet approved a proposal for enhancing to Rs 10 crore a year India's contribution to the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi, under non-Plan expenditure during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12).

It also gave the go ahead for signing an extradition treaty with Egypt which provide a legal framework for seeking extradition of terrorists, economic offenders and other criminals by either country.

Further, it approved ex-post-facto the agreement signed on September 17 this year with Serbia on exemption from visa requirement for the holders of diplomatic and official passports for implementation.

India and Cambodia would sign an agreement for the transfer of sentenced persons to their home countries.


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