Cabinet nod for ratification of Paris climate deal

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the ratification of the Paris climate agreement, to be formalised on October 2, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The approval will take the global greenhouse gas emissions covered by countries that have ratified the agreement so far to 51.89 per cent. The Cabinet nod comes days after Modi announced the decision at the recent BJP’s National Council meet in Kozhikode. The decision was contrary to India’s earlier position that it will not be able to do so due to pending “domestic procedures”.

While approving the ratification of the Paris agreement, the Cabinet also decided that India should declare that it will treat its national laws, development agenda, and availability of means of implementation, assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the agreement is being ratified.

The treaty will come into force as and when 55 countries, contributing to 55 per cent of total global emissions, ratify the agreement. So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification and acceptance or approval, accounting to 47.79 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

 “Today the Union Cabinet approved the ratification of Paris agreement which is a historic decision. With the ratification, India will be one of the key countries instrumental in bringing the Paris agreement into force,” Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, who previously held the Environment portfolio, said.

In another major decision, the Cabinet has approved closure of Hindustan Cables Limited, Kolkata as per the provisions all relevant acts. “The employees will be offered attractive VRS package at notional 2007 pay scales and other employees’ related liabilities including payment of salary and wages from April 2015 till they are separated from the company on VRS/VSS will be settled as well,” said Javadekar.

Total cash infusion for closure of company will be Rs 1,309.90 crore and non-cash infusion of Rs 3,467.15 crore in the form of conversion into equity of government’s loan (including interest) outstanding as on September 30.

Also, the Cabinet approved the proposal of Department of Heavy Industry for providing financial assistance amounting to Rs 111.59 crore as non-plan loan to Bharat Pumps and Compressors Limited, Allahabad.

The Cabinet has also given its approval to pay productivity linked bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days wages to eligible non-gazetted railway employees (excluding RPF/RPSF personnel) for the financial year 2015-16. The approval entails a financial implication of approximately Rs 2,090.96 crore.
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