Cabinet Committee extends health scheme benefits to Ex-servicemen, other key decisions


The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday extended Health Scheme Benefits to Ex-servicemen in four categories.

“Earlier, Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS) scheme had some reserved categories. But now, we have made amendments to that. From now onwards, World War-II veterans or their spouses, emergency commission officers, short service commission officers, pre-mature retirees can now take benefit of the scheme,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said while speaking to the media on Thursday.

“It is expected that under this, as many as 45,000 families will be benefited. However, war widows are included in this scheme but are exempted from contribution,” Jaitley said.

Notably, this was the last cabinet briefing before the commencement of Lok Sabha elections in April.

The Committee also approved additional funds to the tune of Rs 3,300 crore to sugar mills in order to augment the income of the sector. It has also approved soft loans for Sugar mills to up the ethanol Capacities.

“This decision was taken as the government was trying to augment the income of sugar mills. Sugar Mills which are divided into two categories will get Rs 2790 crores and Rs 565 crores,” he added.

The Cabinet Committee has also approved three new corridors for Delhi Metro for Rs 24,900 crores.

“The cabinet has approved three priority corridors of Delhi Metro spanning 67 km,” the Finance Minister said.

Jaitley also informed reporters that they have also decided to constitute Committee on Unauthorised colonies in Delhi. This Committee will be headed by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal and the report of which will be submitted in three months.

Apart from this, the Cabinet Committee approved Rs 11,100 crore Investment for Khurja Power Unit, Amelia Mine and has also given nod to invest a whopping amount of Rs 10,440 crores for the development of Buxar Thermal Plant given to SJVN.

The Committee also approved an alternate mechanism for strategic Divestment of PSUs.

Moreover, it has also approved the expansion, moderation of MUTP-III Rail Project at the cost of Rs 54,777 crores and has also given approval SoP for standalone Molasses-based distilleries.

In his concluding remark, the Union Finance said that the government has extended Atal Innovation Mission till 2025.

This programme was introduced by the Centre in 2017 to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Its objective is to serve as a platform for the promotion of world-class innovation hubs, grand challenges, start-up businesses and other self-employment activities, particularly in technology driven areas.

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