Cabinet approves sale of stakes in BPCL, 4 other PSUs; here are key takeaways

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held a Cabinet Briefing on Wednesday wherein she highlighted the Union Cabinet decisions.

1. The Cabinet approves the sale of stakes in BPCL, 4 other PSUs

The Union Cabinet approved the sale of the government’s stake in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and onland cargo mover Concor.

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2. The Cabinet has decided to cut shareholding in select public sector firms below 51% to boost revenue collections.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the sale of government’s entire 53.29% stake along with transfer of management control in the country’s second-biggest state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) after removing Numaligarh refinery from its fold, FM Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

Besides, the government will sell its entire holding in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corp (NEEPCO) to state power generator NTPC, the Minister said.

The minister also said Numaligarh Refinery will be handed over to the public sector oil company to allay concerns of the North East over privatisation move.

3. Cabinet approves two-year moratorium on spectrum payments for telecom companies

Providing relief to telecom companies, the Union Cabinet approved a moratorium of two years for spectrum payments, sources said.

The move to defer payments for 2020-21 and 2021-22 will give ₹42,000 crore relief to Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio, they said.

The move was approved by the Union Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

4. Union Cabinet approves import of 1.2 lakh tonnes onion

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the Food Ministry’s recent decision to import 1.2 lakh tonnes of onions to improve the domestic availability and check prices.

The move comes after the government’s efforts to boost domestic availability failed to cool down the retail prices. Retail prices of onions are continuing to rule above ₹60/kg in the national capital and other consuming centers.

The all-India average retail price of onion stood at ₹60.38 per kg on November 15, compared with ₹22.84 per kg on the same date last year.

5. Cabinet has also approved monetising NHAI projects

6. The Cabinet approved the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi-NCR.

The regularisation of these colonies will provide relief to approximately 40 Lakh people.

7. The Cabinet approved the establishment of National Institute of Sowa Rigpa in Leh

Sowa-Rigpa is a traditional Tibetan system of medicine practiced in the Himalayan belt of India. It is popular in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal’s Darjeeling, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh.

The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved the establishment of the NISR as an autonomous body under the Ministry of AYUSH at an estimated cost of Rs 47.25 crore.

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