The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a one-time relaxation in lending by Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation, a remunerative price for sugarcane, and leasing out of three airports. In another significant decision, the Cabinet approved setting up of the National Recruitment Agency (NRA) to conduct a Common Eligibility Test. The objective of this test will be to make it a qualifying examination for all government jobs.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) a one-time relaxation to lend to stressed power distribution companies (DISCOMs). This relaxation allows them to extend loans to DISCOMs above the limits that were set under the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana.
After the relaxation, PFC and it’s subsidiary REC will be able to lend to DISCOMs an amount more than 25 per cent of the working capital of last year’s revenues.
FRP for sugarcane
In another decision, CCEA approved the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of sugarcane payable by sugar mills for 2020-2021 sugar season (October-September) on the recommendations of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP).
“The FRP of sugarcane for 2020-2021 sugar season is at ₹285 per quintal for a basic recovery rate of 10 per cent. There will be a premium of ₹28.50 per quintal for every 1 per cent increase above 10 per cent in the recovery,” Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told journalists after the Cabinet meeting.
“The Cabinet also approved a decision to allow all Non-Banking Finance Companies to offer discounting facilities through Trades Exchange for Micro-Small and Medium Enterprises. This will allow cheaper discounting and easier freeing up of capital,” Javadekar said.
Common Eligibility Test for government jobs
This Common Eligibility Test (CET) approved by Cabinet on Wednesday will act as a basic qualifying and scoring metric to help assess the capabilities of prospective candidates for all government exams. “As a start, the CET will be eligible for all Tier I Exams of Staff Selection Commission, Railway Recruitment Boards and the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection,” Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Jitendra Singh said.
Speaking to journalists after the Cabinet meeting Singh said, “The test results will be valid for three years, and students will be allowed to sit for retests to better their scores.”
“In due course, CET will be expanded to all recruitment agencies of Central and State governments,” he said.
The Cabinet also approved the proposal for leasing out three airports of Jaipur, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram. These are presently under the control of the Airports Authority of India and will be leased out through Public-Private Partnership.