Cabinet Decision Current Affairs - 2019

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CCEA approves Nutrient Based Subsidy rates for P&K fertilizers

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister has approved proposal for fixation of Nutrient Based Subsidy Rates for Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) Fertilizers for the year 2019-20. This proposal was forwarded by Department of Fertilizers.

Nutrient Based Subsidy Rates 2019-20

Benefits: This will enable manufacturers and importers to formalize supply contracts for fertilizers and fertilizer inputs. It will make fertilizers available to farmers in year 2019-20.

Expenditure: The expected expenditure (during 2019-20 period) on releasing subsidy on P&K Fertilizers will be Rs. 22875.50crore.

Background: Union Government makes available Urea and 21 grades of P&K fertilizers to farmers at subsidized prices through fertilizer manufacturers/importers. This subsidy on P&K fertilizers is governed by Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS) Scheme.

About Nutrient Based Subsidy (NBS)

Under it fixed amount of subsidy is decided by Government on annual basis and is provided on each grade of subsidized P&K fertilizers, except for Urea, based on the nutrient content present in them.

It was launched 2010. It is being implemented by Department of Fertilizers, under Ministry of Fertilizers.

Objectives: (i) Ensure sufficient quantity of P&K is available at farmer’s disposal at statutory controlled prices. (ii) Ensure balanced use of fertilizers for improving agricultural productivity, promoting growth of indigenous fertilizers industry and also reducing burden of subsidy

Features: It is largely meant for secondary nutrients like N, P, S and K and micronutrients which are very important for crop growth and development. It is implemented with expectation that it will promote balanced fertilization of soil, which will lead to increased agricultural productivity and consequently better returns to the farmers.

Significance: In India, urea is the only controlled fertilizer and is sold at statutory notified uniform sale price. NBS allows manufacturers, marketers, and importers to fix Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of Phosphatic and Potassic (P&K) fertilizers at reasonable levels. This MRP is decided considering domestic and international prices of P&K fertilizers, inventory level in the country and the exchange rates.

Cabinet approves ISRO Technical Liaison Unit at Moscow

Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved setting up of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow, Russia. It is mandated to collaborate with Space agencies and industries in Russia and neighbouring countries for mutually synergetic outcomes. It will enable effective technical coordination for timely interventions on diversified matters with Russia and neighbouring countries for realization of the programmatic targets of ISRO.

Note: This will be third such Technical Liaison Unit. Department of Space (Dos) already has instituted technical Liaison Units, namely ISRO Technical Liaison Units (ITLU) at Washington, Untied States and Paris, France with prime objective to liaise with various Government and space agencies in US and Europe, respectively

ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow

Implementation of ITLU Moscow office: It will be managed by ISRO Scientist/Engineer who will be designated as Counsellor (Space) on deputation. He/She will be deputed from ISRO and will be supported by staff locally sourced.

Liaison Officer: Will be deputed at ITLU from ISRO to provide technical information about developments in research and technology and inputs arising from their meetings with researchers, government agencies and industries in the respective countries.

Benefits: ISRO will be able to collaborate with Space agencies/industries in Russia and neighbouring countries for mutually synergetic outcomes. It will provide required technological support to ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme which requires development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialized facilities essential to support life in space. It will support ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO.

Significance

It is prudent for IRO to avail technical cooperation from International space agencies, who have already demonstrated their technical capabilities in specific areas keeping in view 15th August, 2022 timeline for realization of Gaganyaan human space programme,

Russia is one of the space faring nations, thus it is envisaged to collaborate with Russia extensively in various fields of relevance. They also support ongoing bilateral programmes of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO on the matters referred.

ISRO’s Gaganyaan programme (India’s maiden human spaceflight programme) requires development of some of the key technologies and establishment of specialized facilities, which are essential to support life in space.