Thursday, February 27, 2014

UPA. Govt. on pre-poll announcements

UPA govt. working ‘feverishly’ on pre-poll announcements

With the schedule for the Lok Sabha election likely to be announced on Saturday, the UPA government is working “feverishly” on a record number of announcements, appointments and initiatives before the model code of conduct kicks in.

The Cabinet meeting on Friday is expected to be a “marathon” session as it will be the last opportunity for the government to take policy decisions as well as announce ‘populist’ sops, top Finance Ministry sources told The Hindu .

The proposals lined up for Friday’s Cabinet meeting include 54 new Kendriya Vidyalayas, space programme GSLV-Mark III, a six-lane bypass for Delhi, and terms of reference for the Seventh Pay Commission, which was set up by the government recently.

It is expected to consider Rs. 3,500 crore budget for new broadcasting infrastructure for All India Radio and Doordarshan, 10 per cent dearness allowance for government employees and 600 MW hydro-power projects in Bhutan.

The dearness allowance hike to 100 per cent from the existing 90 per cent is expected to benefit 50 lakh employees and 30 lakh pensioners.

New schemes have been put up for approval by the Ministries for health, tourism, water resources, human resource development and agriculture. These include expansion of government-funded Ph.D seats for electronic systems design and manufacturing of hardware, a new investment scheme for urea, two new highways and a health research scheme from the Human Resource Development Ministry. Some shipping and steel projects will also come up for approvals.

Officials believe some more items could be put on the block-buster agenda. A Cabinet Minister told The Hindu that the government expects the Election Commission to announce the election schedule on Saturday or latest by Monday.

Wants to take decisions on policies, sops before the model code of conduct comes into force

News The Hindu paper Totday

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