New Delhi, April 27: The Union Cabinet has approved the upgrading of 2G mobile sites to 4G in Naxal-affected areas at a cost of Rs 2,426 crore, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said on April 27. The project is spread over the area affected by Naxal in 10 states and the task has been awarded to the public telecommunications company BSNL.
“We have 4G here but LWE [left wing extremism] areas have 2G connectivity. To provide 4G in place of 2G facility, Cabinet under Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved Rs 2,426 crore for upgrading 2,542 mobile towers from 2G to 4G. All of these towers are in the area affected by Naxal,” Thakur told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
He said the locally developed core network, radio network and telecom equipment will be used to upgrade the mobile towers to 4G.
“All of these sites will be upgraded and managed by BSNL,” Thakur said.
The 2,542 mobile towers are spread across 10 states. This includes 346 sites in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar 16, Chattisgarh 971, Jharkhand 450, Madhya Pradesh 23, Maharashtra 125, Odisha 483, West Bengal 33, Uttar Pradesh 42 and Telangana 53 , said the Minister.
Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi)
The Cabinet approved the continuation of lending under the Prime Minister’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) beyond March 2022 to December 2024, with a focus on improving the corpus of affordable unsecured loans, the increased adoption of digital transactions and the holistic socio-economic development of street vendors and their families.
Through the program, affordable collateral-free loans are provided to street vendors. The scheme had considered facilitating loans for an amount of Rs. 5,000 crores. Today’s approval has increased the loan amount to Rs. 8,100 crore, thereby providing the working capital for street vendors to further develop their business and make them AtmaNirbhar.
The budget for promoting digital payments, including vendor cashback, has also been increased.
The approval is expected to benefit nearly 1.2 crore citizens of Urban India.
Under Prime Minister SVANidhi, significant achievements have already been made. As of April 25, 2022, 31.9 lakh loans have been sanctioned and 29.6 lakh loans amounting to Rs. 2,931 crores have been disbursed. As for the 2nd loan, 2.3 lakh loans were sanctioned and 1.9 lakh loans amounting to Rs 385 million were disbursed. Beneficiary street vendors made over 13.5 crore in digital transactions and received Rs.10 crore cash back. An amount of Rs.51 crore was paid as interest subsidy.
Memorandum of understanding between India and Chile
The Cabinet of the Union has approved the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between India and Chile for cooperation in the disability sector.
The bilateral MoU will promote cooperation between the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities, the Government of India and the Government of Chile through joint initiatives in the disability sector. It will strengthen bilateral relations between India and Chile.
A joint letter of intent has been signed between the countries expressing the desire for cooperation in the disability sector, in particular in the following areas:
Information sharing on disability policy and service delivery.
Exchange of information and knowledge.
Cooperation in assistive device technology.
Development of projects of common interest in the disability sector.
Early identification and prevention of disability.
Exchange of experts, academicians and other administrative personnel.
The MoU provides the funding mechanism to cover the expenses of the activities under it.
Expenses for these activities will be mutually decided by the government on a case-by-case basis subject to the availability of funds and resources. The cost of international travel/accommodation for joint activities will be borne by the visiting country, while the cost of holding the meeting will be borne by the host country.
Establishment of India Post Payments Bank
Cabinet approves the revised cost estimate for the “Establishment of India’s Pay Station Bank” with additional funding of Rs 820,000,000 for the financial years 2020-21 to 2022-23.
The goal is to create the most accessible, affordable and reliable bank for the common man.
Cabinet approves opening of Indian mission in Lithuania
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for the opening of a new Indian mission in Lithuania in 2022.
The opening of the Indian Mission in Lithuania will help expand India’s diplomatic footprint, deepen political relations and strategic cooperation, enable the growth of bilateral trade, investment and economic engagement, facilitate contacts people-to-people, allow for more sustained political outreach in multilateral forums and help garner support for India’s foreign policy objectives. The Indian Mission in Lithuania will also better help the Indian community and protect their interests.
The decision to open a new Indian mission in Lithuania is a forward-looking step in pursuing our national priority of growth and development or “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”. India’s enhanced diplomatic presence will, among other things, provide market access for Indian companies and boost Indian exports of goods and services. This would have a direct impact on increasing national production and employment in line with our goal of a self-reliant India or ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.
Article first published: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 8:55 p.m. [IST]