M A I N   N E W S

Cabinet okays panel for backward sections
GoM to look into FDI in print media
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 29
The Union Cabinet today approved the setting up of a National Commission which will recommend measures for uplift of the social and economically backward classes among religious and linguistic minority communities, including reservations in education and government jobs.

Briefing mediapersons after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Information and Broadcasting Minister Jaipal Reddy said the terms of reference of the commission included recommending criteria for identification of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities.

The commission, which is expected to submit its report by March 31 next year, will also recommend measures for the welfare of these sections of people and will suggest legal, administrative and constitutional modalities which may be necessary for implementing the recommendations.

Responding to a question whether the existing ceiling of 50 per cent in job reservation would be retained, Mr Reddy said the ceiling was fixed through a judicial process and the government would not pre-empt the report of the commission.

The Cabinet approved agreements for tourism cooperation with Thailand and Brazil. The agreements were signed with both countries on October 9, 2003, and January 25, this year.

The Cabinet decided to constitute a Group of Ministers (GoM) to take a comprehensive look at the policy decisions pertaining to the print media in the light of decisions taken by the earlier NDA government in 2002 and the emerging scenario in the sector.

The NDA government had decided to permit 74 per cent FDI in technical and scientific journals and specialty magazines.

Mr Reddy said the Cabinet had decided to "view in one go" the decisions taken by the previous government in the print media sector.

The GoM would look into the entire gamut of issues. The Cabinet considered amendments to certain sections of the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867.

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