Cabinet approves Discovered Small field Round II

The Cabinet, on Wednesday, gave its approval to extend the Discovered Small Fields Policy to enable the second round bidding for 60 discovered small oil and gas fields or un-monetised discoveries. It also gave its nod for many of the Budget proposals across sectors.

An official statement said the 60 discovered marginal fields to be put on offer for the second round are estimated to have 194.65 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas in place. The government expects to create over 88,000 jobs because of this decision.

This is a bigger offering than the round 1 and the Directorate General of Hydrocarbons expects to launch this in next two-three months.

The Cabinet also revised the target for the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. This is the government’s flagship for distributing free cooking gas connections. The Ujjwala target has been increased from 5 crore to 8 crore. This new target is to be achieved by 2020 with an additional allocation of ₹4,800 crore. So far, more than 3.36 crore connections have been released under the scheme, the statement added.

In another decision it approved signing and ratification of protocol amending the agreement between India and China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income.

The Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi and Jansankhya Sthirata Kosh, autonomous bodies under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare will be closed and their functions to be will be vested in the Department of Health & Family Welfare after the Cabinet’s decision.

The Cabinet also approved schemes to boost health and medical education. An official statement said that 24 new Medical Colleges will be set up in under-served areas. The number of under-graduate and post-graduate seats in medical colleges will be increased by 18,058. Further, 248 nursing and midwifery schools will be set up.

Implementation of the Prime Minister’s Research Fellows (PMRF) scheme also got the Cabinet nod. The scheme will cost ₹1,650 crore for seven years beginning from this financial year.

The Cabinet also approved the incorporation of the official amendments to the Major Port Authorities Bill 2016, which is pending in Parliament. The ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury and depositing the instrument of ratification, enabling India to become a party to the Convention was approved too.

A memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom on cooperation in the field of skill development, vocational education and training got the Cabinet’s nod. Another MoU for Secondment Programme between the Department of Economic Affairs (Indian Economic Service Cadre) and The Treasury, Government of Australia, for a period of three months was approved.

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