Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) Current Affairs

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Union Cabinet Approves Pharma Mission to Develop Bio-Pharmaceuticals

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a collaborative mission between industry and academia called ‘Innovate in India empowering biotech entrepreneurs and accelerating inclusive innovation‘ that is aimed at accelerating research for early development of bio-pharmaceuticals. 

Salient Highlights

The mission would attract an investment of Rs 1,500 crore from the central government over a period of five years. Half of the funding would be funded through a loan from World Bank.

The mission will be implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a public sector undertaking working under the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

The mission will focus on key areas that would supplement country’s technological and product development capabilities in the biopharmaceutical sector to enable the sector to become globally competitive over the next 10-15 years.

The significance of the mission lies in the fact that National Biotechnology Development Strategy 2015-2020 announced by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) lays emphasis on making the country achieve USD 100 billion biotech industry by 2025. 

The mission will concentrate on development of specific products such as vaccines, biotherapeutics, medical devices and diagnostics etc. Besides, the mission will also work on establishment of shared infrastructure and facilities.

The mission will help in building and strengthening domain specific knowledge and management skills at the same time creating and enhancing technology transfer capabilities in public and private sector.

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CCEA gives Approval to New Coal Linkage Policy

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved a new coal linkage policy to ensure adequate supply of the fuel to power plants through reverse auction. The new policy will help in ensuring fuel supplies to the power plants in an organised manner.

Need

Though, the government’s initiatives and prevailing market conditions to a large extent has helped to bring down the prices of the dry fuel and boosted the domestic production, a proper mechanism for providing coal linkages to power plants at competitive rates was lacking. The new policy will address this issue and will ensure proper sourcing of the dry fuel by the power plants as per their schedules.

Coal linkage policy

Coal linkage policy is a policy designated by the union government for the allocation of coal among thermal power plants. Inadequate availability of domestic coal coupled with high price for imported coal requires the government to allocate the available coal rationally among the power plants. This is especially necessary as the coal producing firms are public sector companies. Also, the pricing of coal is an another important issue. In this context, the government designates coal linkage policies to allocate coal among different thermal power plants.

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Packaging of foodgrains & sugar in jute material mandatory: CCEA

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has made packaging of foodgrains & sugar in jute material mandatory for jute year 2014-15.

In this regard CCEA mentioned that packaging with jute material will be mandatory for minimum 90 per cent of production in case of food grains and 20 per cent in case of sugar production.

With this decision, government is seeking to help the jute sector which generates a lot of livelihoods for farmers and workers.

CCEA also has approved providing financial support to the Jute Corporation of India (JCI). In this regard, government will provide subsidy to JCI on a continuous basis to off-set the losses on account of Minimum Support Price (MSP) operations.

The quantum of subsidy will include the difference between the Purchase and Sale Price of MSP Raw Jute.

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