The Union cabinet empowered Central ministers to relax the retirement age of profit-making public sector units’ (PSU) employees from 58 to 60 years.
The cabinet committee on economic affairs has said the units must have reported profits for three consecutive years and not have any budgetary support from the Centre to pay statutory dues of employees’ salaries or pensions during that period.
In addition, they will have to forego future budgetary support if the retirement age is raised, information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi said after the cabinet meeting.
In another decision, the cabinet approved a Rs1,200 crore grant to upgrade Mumbai’s storm-water drains, making them capable of handling 100mm of rainfall every hour.
The city’s 150-year-old storm-water drains can deal with rainfall up to 25mm per hour at present.
Separately, a decision on the container security initiative (CSI), proposed after the 11 September 2004 terrorist attack in the US, was, however, deferred by the cabinet to next week. The CSI proposes a series of measures to safeguard cargo containers from terrorist attacks. “The external affairs minister wanted to work on some more points on the issue,” Dasmunsi said.
The cabinet also approved signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to seal an India-Brazil-South Africa (Ibsa) initiative on cooperation in public administration and governance.
The MoU is to be signed by Brazil and South Africa in 2007, Dasmunsi said.
Dasmunsi also reiterated a government denial that there were plans to impose a licence fee or cess on radio and television sets.