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Nod for statistics panel in India

The Union Cabinet cleared a Bill for the constitution of the National Statistical Commission, which will identify core statistics and formulate statistical concepts and classifications. The commission will have four members and a part-time chairman. The commission will have the power to summon and enforce the attendance of persons under oath on matters connected with core statistics and can call for relevant documents. It will also be empowered to seek details of activities of statistical institutions in regard to quality, standards and errors. The Bill is proposed to be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament. The Cabinet also approved a proposal to convert leasehold industrial and commercial properties in Delhi into freehold properties on payment of 10 per cent of the land price while applying. Three years ago, the government had come out with a similar scheme for residential dwelling in the Capital where the lessees had to pay a fee ranging between 6.5 per cent and 50 per cent of the property cost.

Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Urban Development Minister Ananth Kumar said in case of original lessees of commercial and industrial properties, a 40 per cent rebate would be offered on the conversion fee. The government will levy a surcharge of 33.13 per cent for power-of-attorney holders. He said the decision would not be applicable for properties encroaching on government land and the move would benefit 13,000 industrial plot holders and 10,000 commercial plot holders. In addition to reducing bureaucratic bottlenecks, the decision was expected to realise Rs 500-600 crore revenue for the exchequer, the minister said.

The Cabinet also approved a series of agreements, including an Indo-Swiss agreement on co-operation in disaster management, an ex-post-facto approval for the extradition treaty signed between India and Ukraine and the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement with Belarus. The Cabinet cleared a proposal to seek parliamentary ratification of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc) convention on trafficking in women and children for prostitution, signed by the then External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh in January 2002.

Source: Business Standard