Wednesday, January 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

India to accede to convention on nuclear material

* Cabinet decides to scrap Banking Services Commission

* Extradition pact with Malaysia approved

* To repeal 22 laws in UTs

New Delhi, January 22
As part of the fight against global terror, the Cabinet approved India’s accession to the convention on the physical protection of nuclear material reinforcing New Delhi’s commitment to international legal instruments against terrorism, particularly of the nuclear variety.

With this, India will complete adherence to all 12 universal instruments which are accepted as benchmarks for a state’s commitments in the fight against international terrorism and are referred to in the UN Security Council resolution 1373, an official spokesperson said after the meeting of the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister.

It provides a framework for cooperation in protection against theft or unauthorised diversion of nuclear materials and obliges state parties to ensure physical protection of nuclear material during international transport.

The Union Cabinet today approved the signing of an extradition treaty with Malaysia, in a move that could help the government bring back Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi, an accused in the Bofors gun deal case, to India.

At its meeting here this morning, presided over by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, the Cabinet also approved the signing of an extradition treaty with Poland and granted ex-facto approval to the accord between India and the US on mutual legal assistance in the investigation, prosecution, prevention and suppression of offences in proceedings related to criminal matters falling within the jurisdiction of the two countries.

In a step towards providing greater autonomy for public sector banks, the government decided to decentralise recruitment of bank officers and do away with setting up of a banking services commission for the purpose.

The government also relaxed the criteria for releasing central loan assistance (CLA) under the accelerated irrigation benefits programmes and approved a fast track programme for irrigation projects.

As per the decision taken by the Cabinet, the states which agree to undertake reforms within a period of five years will be given CLA on liberal terms, an official spokesperson told newsmen after the Cabinet meeting.

Under the revised terms, the general category reforming states will get a loan assistance of up to 80 per cent as against 66.66 per cent earlier. Similarly, the special category states eligible for CLA will get 100 per cent loan as against upto 75 per cent earlier.

Twenty-two archaic laws in various union territories which are no longer needed will be repealed and removed from the statute book, the Cabinet decided today.

The laws being repealed range from the 1912 Colonisation of Government Lands (Punjab) Act to the Punjab Pre-Emption (Chandigarh and Delhi Repeal) Act of 1989.

The laws going out of the statute book also include several relating to the rehabilitation of East Punjab refugees, the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Validation of Electricity Tax) Act, 1966 and the Goa, Daman and Diu Opinion Poll Act, 1966. UNI, PTIBack

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