18 Jan 2017 19:38 IST

Cabinet clears proposals for listing 5 PSU general insurers

The government holding in the these companies will gradually come down to 75 per cent

The Cabinet has given its "in-principle" nod for listing of all the five general insurance companies. The five general insurance companies are the New India Assurance Company Ltd; United India Insurance Company Ltd; Oriental Insurance Company Ltd ; National Insurance Company Ltd and General Insurance Company Ltd

The Centre's shareholding would be divested from 100 per cent to 75 per cent in one or more tranches over a period of time, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after a Cabinet meeting. The stake dilution will happen through combination of fresh issue of shares or offer for sale, he said.

It may be recalled that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had, in budget 2016-17, announced that the general insurance companies owned by the Government would be listed in stock exchanges. In another decision, the CCEA on Wednesday gave it's approval to an "alternative mechanism" to decide on the quantum of disinvestment in case of minority stake sale in Central Public Sector Enterprises.

The quantum would be decided on a case-by-case basis subject to Government retaining 51 percent equity and management control. This is in addition to the present functions performed by Alternative Mechanism as had been approved by CCEA in August 2014, an official release said.

Other proposals

India-UAE road agreement: The Government today approved a pact between India and the United Arab Emirates on bilateral cooperation in the road transport and highway sector.

“The Union Cabinet... has approved the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and the United Arab Emirates on bilateral cooperation in the road transport and highways sector to be signed between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, India, and the Federal Transport Authority — Land and Maritime, UAE,” the ministry said in a statement.

The proposed MoU envisages increased cooperation, exchange and collaboration between India and the UAE, and will contribute to increased investment in infrastructure development and enhance logistics efficiency.

Electronics manufacturing sops at ₹10,000 crore: The Union Cabinet today approved a pared-down modified special incentive package meant to boost electronics manufacturing by cutting down the application window by about one and a half year to December 31, 2018, and capping the outflow at ₹10,000 crore.

“We have today amended MSIPS scheme. Now, proposals under MSIPS will be accepted till December 2018. Incentives of ₹10,000 crore have been allowed. If investment is more than of $1 billion, then a high-powered committee presided by the Cabinet secretary will approve it,” Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters today.

Under the scheme, the applications will be received up to December 31, 2018, or till such time that an incentive commitment of ₹10,000 crore is reached, whichever is earlier, an official statement said.

Funds for setting up IARI-Jharkhand: The government today approved an expenditure of ₹200.78 crore for the setting up of an off-campus of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Jharkand. IARI is the country’s premier national institute for agricultural research, education and extension and its campus is located in the national capital.

“The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for the 12th Plan proposal of the DARE/ICAR Plan Scheme of the ‘Establishment of Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI)-Jharkhand’,” an official statement said. The expenditure of ₹200.78 crore will be incurred from 2016-17 fiscal to 2019-20, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here after the Cabinet meeting.

Clears alternative mechanism for PSU sale modalities: The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today delegated powers to a select group of ministers that include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to decide on modalities of stake sale in PSUs.

Once the Cabinet approves disinvestment in a public sector undertaking, the group that includes the Finance Minister, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and the concerned administrative minister, will take over decision making on a range of issues — from date of stake sale, price band and tranches.

This is in addition to the present functions performed by ’Alternative Mechanism’ as has been approved by CCEA in August, 2014, said the statement issued after the Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet has approved repeal of 105 old laws.