New Delhi, Nov. 2: The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) today waived the Rs 1,000-crore ceiling on equity investments by NTPC in joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries in India and abroad. This will help the PSU giant in its bids for ultra mega power projects.
Finance minister P. Chidambaram said after the CCEA meet that the waiver is for a maximum of two projects of NTPC under the power ministry. “However, the ceiling of 15 per cent of the net worth of NTPC in one project and the overall ceiling of 30 per cent of the net worth of NTPC in all such projects put together shall remain,” Chidambaram said.
The Cabinet gave its ex-post-facto approval to the amalgamation of Union Western Bank Ltd (UWB) with IDBI Bank.
The RBI had drawn up the scheme of amalgamation as UWB could not meet its deposit liabilities. UWB’s business, properties, assets and liabilities shall stand transferred to IDBI Bank.
Under the scheme, IDBI Bank will make an upfront payment in cash of Rs 28 for every fully paid-up share in UWB to the registered shareholders.
The Cabinet cleared a proposal to create an additional 7,051 posts in the income-tax department, to cover up the shortfall in staff.
The government will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 150 crore a year to implement the proposal.
Chidambaram said the shortage in staff was a result of cost-cutting initiatives of the government, adding that since 2001 only one person got recruited for every three retirees. However, work has increased considerably in the tax department necessitating extra recruitment that would fill up the shortfall within three years, the minister said.
Chidambaram said, “The cost of tax collection at 0.62 per cent of the collections was still the lowest in the world and would remain so even after the recruitment.”