Indian Parliament (Reuters)
Indian Parliament (Reuters)Reuters

The Union government has approved a ₹75 crore non-plan loan to Bangalaore-based Hindustan Machine Tools Ltd (HMT) and its unit in Kerala, stated Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete.

The minister revealed this in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA), in its meeting held on 28 February, had approved the financial aid to HMT, Geete said.

The amount is to be utilisid by the government-owned organisation for implementation of 1997 pay revision, extension of retirment age from 58 years to 60 and other necessities.

Task Force to Revive MSMEs

The government is to set up a task force to review and revive the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in the country, said the Union Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

MSMEs in the country provide employment to over 80 million persons through over 36 million enterprises, he added.

The Annual Employment Generation figures in the non-farm micro enterprises are captured in the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), the minister said. Since 2008-09 till 2013-14, around 24 lakh persons have been employed under the PMEGP.

MSME sector accounted for 42.38 percent of the total export earnings of the country during the year 2013-14.

Centre Asks States to Check Hoarding of Essential Commodities

The government has been regularly issuing advice to states for taking effective steps against speculative hoarding under Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and Prevention of Black marketing Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980, said Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Raosaheb Patil Danve in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The government has taken the following steps recently, to contain price rise in essential commodities:

  • Reduced import duties to zero - for wheat, onion and pulses.
  • Banned export of edible oils (except coconut oil, forest based oil and edible oils in blended consumer packs up to 5kg with a Minimum Export Price of USD 1500 per MT) and pulses (except Kabuli chana and organic pulses and lentils up to a maximum of 10000 tonnes per annum).
  • Imposed stock limits from time to time in the case of select essential commodities, such as pulses, edible oil, and edible oilseeds for a period up to 30 September.
  • Suspended Futures trading in rice, urad and tur.
  • To enhance the production and productivity of oilseeds and thereby edible oil, a National Mission on Oilseed and Oil Palm (NMOOP) is being implemented during the XII Five Year Plan. The mission envisages in increasing the production and productivity and bridge the gap between oilseed production and consumption.