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NEW DELHI : The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the policy for land acquired under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition & Development) Act, 1957, so that land which is mined out or practically unsuitable for coal mining can be harnessed for developing and setting up infrastructure related to coal and energy.

The CBA Act provides for acquisition of coal bearing land and its “vesting in a government company", free from any encumbrance. The approved policy provides the framework for use of such land for energy and coal related infrastructure.

This means land belonging government companies such as Coal India can now be leased out to even private entities through joint ventures with CIL for infrastructure development. This unlocking of un-mineable land for other purposes will also help CIL cut its cost of operations as it will be able to set up coal-related infrastructure and other projects such as solar plants on its own land by adopting different business models in partnership with private sector.

It will make coal gasification projects viable as coal need not be transported to distant places.

Utilisation of already acquired land would also prevent fresh acquisition of land and related displacement and would promote local manufacturing and industries.

In another decisions the cabinet approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Securities and Exchange Board of India and Manitoba Securities Commission, Canada, that will make investors from Manitoba eligible for registration as an FPI with Sebi. Around 20 Manitoba-domiciled FPIs with total Assets Under Custody of 2,665 crore are expected to benefit and would be eligible to continue investing in the Indian markets.

The Cabinet also approved the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) between the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD&GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti and the Ministry of the Environment of Japan for Decentralised Domestic Waste Water Management.

A Management Council (MC) is proposed to be formed for the implementation of the MoC by formulating detailed activities of collaboration and monitoring the progress.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), which also met on Wednesday, approved continuation of revamped Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) for implementation during the period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026 (co-terminus with XV Finance Commission period) to develop governance capabilities of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs).

The total financial outlay of the scheme is 5,911 crore with the Central share 3,700 crore and state share 2,211 crore.

Briefing media persons about the decision, information and broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur said RGSA will help more than 2,78,000 rural local bodies develop governance capabilities to deliver on sustainable development goals through inclusive local governance with a focus on optimum utilisation of available resources.

subhash.narayan@livemint.com

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