New Delhi, August 29 IANS | 3 months ago

* Panel created to locate the estimated Rs.50,000 crore ($8 billion) in 'black money' estimated to have been stashed away in tax havens abroad.

* The previous government's 62 panels, called Groups of Ministers (GOMs) and Empowered Groups of Ministers (EGOMs), supposed to aid the decision-making process scrapped. Modi says there would be one decision-making centre.

* The Planning Commission that existed for 50 years scrapped as it had not moved with the times. Is likely to be replaced by a think tank.

* Collegium or internal system of making appointments to the higher judiciary scrapped in favour of a commission comprising the prime minister and the chief justice of India.

* Juvenile Justice Act to be amended to enable Juvenile Justice Board decide whether juvenile above 16 years involved in heinous crimes such as rape be tried in a regular court.

* Ambitious financial inclusion scheme - Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana - launched with 15 million bank accounts opened and each of the holders provided Rs.100,000 insurance cover on the first day. First phase target of 75 million account holders advanced to Jan 26, 2015, from Aug 14 that year.

* Government to create a National Food Grid to connect deficient areas with surplus producing regions to reduce wastage of fruit and vegetables and ensure stable prices. Government expects it to help contain price rise.

* Modi prioritising relations with Asian nations as a part of government's Look East policy, visiting Bhutan and Nepal, followed by Japan Aug 30-Sep 3. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yia's visit to India is seen as a positive development for bettering relations between the two countries.

* Cancelled Aug 25 foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan after Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit invited Kashmiri separatists for talks. Seen as the government's tough side.

* Gas price rise put on hold for three months, given that this is a sensitive issue and needs further discussion to address many important aspects before taking the final call.

* In a major pointer to government's firmness against graft in defence procurement, no further deals with Italian conglomerate Finmeccanica, whose Britain-based subsidiary AgustaWestland is enmeshed in the kickbacks relating to the purchase of VVIP helicopters.

* Ministers asked to adopt austerity measures; among others, asked not to buy new cars. Ministers were also asked to get PMO approval for expenditure above Rs.1 lakh.

(Posted on 29-08-2014)

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