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Board boost to jack up auto growth

New Delhi, Oct. 18: The government today approved the setting up of a National Automotive Board (NAB), which would act as a facilitator between the government and the auto industry and promote research and development.

“The Union cabinet has approved the NAB proposal,” an official said after the cabinet meeting.

The board will also have a larger role in developing skills for the sector.

Besides, it will serve as a government think-tank for the development of hybrid and electric vehicles.

The board will have members from the department of heavy industries, the Planning Commission and other ministries such as road transport and highways, science and technology, environment and forests. Besides, there will be scientists and industry representatives.

The board will be the successor to the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (Natrip), which is a project implementation body.

“Natrip was formed to set up auto testing and R&D centres along with upgrading the existing ones. Now, these centres have been established and some of them have been upgraded. Therefore, its role has been completed,” officials said.

Natrip was set up to modernise three existing automotive testing and R&D centres — the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment at Ahmednagar, the Automotive Research Association of India at Pune and the International Centre for Automotive Technology at Manesar.

In addition, Natrip was responsible for setting up four centres in Chennai, Indore, Silchar and Rae Bareilly for automotive testing, homologation and R&D.

Rail bonus

The government today announced bonus equivalent to 78-day wages for over 12.37 lakh railway employees for 2011-12.

“The financial implication of the pay of 78 days’ PLB (productivity-linked bonus) to railway employees has been estimated at Rs 1,021.56 crore. The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for the payment of PLB to eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs 3,500 per month,” an official release after the cabinet meeting said.

Productivity-linked bonus is paid to eligible railway employees every year before Dussehra.

The railway unions had demanded an 80-day wage as bonus. Last year, too, they were given 78-day wage as bonus.

“We have written to railway minister C. P. Joshi seeking 80-day bonus this year against that of last year,” said an office-bearer of the All-India Railwaymens’ Federation.

 
 
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