The proposal to set up a cashew board is reported to have been revived by the Commerce Ministry. This follows intervention by the Prime Minister’s Office that sought a draft note for establishing the board.

The Planning Commission, which had held two meetings in December 2009 and June 2011 with the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture on formation of the cashew board by merging the Cashew Export Promotion Council of India (CEPC) and the Directorate of Cashew and Cocoa Development (DCCD), has requested the Commerce Ministry to send a draft note for establishing a cashew board on the lines of its status note.

The Planning Commission, in its status note to the PMO in December 2011, said that the Cashew Board should be formed by merging CEPC and part of the Directorate and it should be housed in the Department of Commerce.

The PMO is understood to have desired to know the likelytime frame within which the note shall be placed before the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC)and Project Appraisal and Monitoring Committee of the Planning Commission. The Commerce Ministry will discuss this issue with the Agriculture Ministry before the EFC and Cabinet note is moved, official sources told Business Line.

Several committees, councils and many study reports from the 1950s have stressed the need for a single agency such as the cashew board to promote integrated and unified approach for the development of this crop as a part of their recommendations, they said.

Claiming that the merger of the above two organisation would not lead to any additional burden, they said that the CEPCI is a non-pensionable organisation and, hence, the Union Government will not have pension liability.

Consequent upon the introduction of a new pension scheme (NPS) effective from January 1, 2004, the staff of CEPCI is contributing to the NPS.

The DCCD, being a pure Union Government agency, is a pensionable department.

The pension liability of all staff of the Directorate, except for those joined service after January 1, 2004, rests with the Centre, they said.

(This article was published on November 2, 2012)
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