Green signal for ₹7,660-crore highway upgradation projects

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2020 Published on March 13, 2020

4% hike in DA for Central govt staff

The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the rehabilitation and upgradation (from two to four and four to six lane) of various National Highways covering a length of over 780 kilometres.

“These highways go through Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. The upgradation will require an investment of ₹7,660 crore,” Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Information & Broadcasting; & Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Prakash Javadekar, told reporters after the Cabinet meeting.

“The project involves investment of ₹7,662.47 crore which includes a loan component of ₹3,500 crore. The loan assistance of the World Bank will be under the Green National Highways Corridor Project (GNHCP). The project also includes the maintenance of these National Highways stretches for 5 years (in the case of flexible pavement)/10 years (in the case of rigid pavement) after completion of construction,” an official statement said.

Hike in DA

“The Cabinet also approved a 4 per cent increase of Dearness Allowance (DA) to Central Government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners effective from January 1. This is over the existing rate of 17 percent of the Basic Pay/Pension,” Javadekar said.

“This hike will cost the exchequer ₹12,510.04 crore per annum and ₹14,595.04 crore in financial year 2020-2021 (for a period of 14 months from January 2020 to February 2021). It will benefit about 48.34 lakh Central Government employees and 65.26 lakh pensioners,” he added.

MSP for copra hiked

He also said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given its approval for the Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) for copra for 2020 season. “The MSP for Fair Average Quality (FAQ) of milling copra has been increased to ₹9,960 per quintal for 2020 season from ₹9,521 per quintal in 2019 and the MSP for ball copra has been increased to ₹10,300 per quintal from ₹9,920 per quintal. This will accrue a benefit of ₹439 per quintal in the milling copra and ₹380 increase in the ball copra,” Javadekar said.

In addition to the above, the CCEA given its approval to the proposal of Department of Fertilizers to remove ambiguities in the Modified New Pricing Scheme -III (NPS-III) for determination of fixed costs for the urea units. The scheme was notified on April 2, 2014.

“Due to ambiguous language of the notification, it could not be implemented. The above decision will facilitate its smooth implementation which will result in grant of Additional Fixed Cost of ₹350 per tonne to 30 urea manufacturing units,” he said.

Published on March 13, 2020
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