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Two key economic issues for CCEA meet

The UPA government has pitched two key economic issues in its agenda for the Cabinet and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for Thursday.

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2012 22:04 IST
HT Correspondent

The UPA government has pitched two key economic issues in its agenda for the Cabinet and Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for Thursday.


The CCEA will consider a disinvestment proposal of steel major Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) and the union cabinet is likely to approve the amendments to the long-awaited forward contracts (regulation) amendment bill that is seen as a tool to check inflation of food articles.

A Parliamentary Standing Committee in December 2011 had suggested key changes in the proposed amendment bill aimed at bringing Forward Markets Commission as par with its securities market counterpart, SEBI.

The Agriculture Ministry has said to have agreed with key recommendations of the committee including increasing maximum penalty to insider trading violation to Rs 50 lakh from earlier proposed Rs 25 lakh.

Another key amendment being proposed is to make easier for farmers and small traders to trade through future commodity market instead of playing at the hands of big traders, who have been accused of inflating prices through the future market trading. Some other key recommendations of the standing committee on strengthening the commission have also been agreed by the agriculture ministry.

The Steel Ministry has proposed to offload around 10.82% of the government’s share from SAIL amid the government’s efforts to send out positive signals to investors. It is also aimed to earn revenue through disinvestment to bridge the growing fiscal deficit. The government currently holds around 85% stake in SAIL.

The move is seen as a rebuff to UPA ally Trinamool Congress, which had opposed disinvestment in profit-making PSUs and had earlier stalled attempt disinvest government holding in SAIL.

A few weeks ago, the finance ministry had prepared a list of 15 PSUs for disinvestment in the current fiscal with the aim to mobilize Rs 30,000 crore. Apart from SAIL, it also included BHEL, NMDC, Hindustan Copper, MOIL, NHPC and Engineers India.