Cabinet nod on compensation to Bhopal victims

THE HINDU – Special Correspondent

Government to meet shortfall

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the implementation of the 2004 Supreme Court order for disbursement of pro-rata additional compensation on one-on-one basis to victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.
It also decided that the Government will take responsibility for meeting the shortfall of about Rs. 50 crore, as estimated by the Office of Welfare Commissioner.
The Cabinet also gave its nod for the proposal of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to open its South Asia Regional Office here to improve the efficacy of the Federation in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its activities in the region.
The regional office would, among other things, coordinate and advise on development projects and programmes of the national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies of the countries in the region, assist them in the event of a disaster and also provide training to their staff and volunteers.
The Cabinet also cleared a proposal to withdraw the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill to bring in a more comprehensive legislation.
The Bill was introduced in Parliament in 2003.
Union Defence Minister and Cabinet spokesperson Pranab Mukherjee said the Bill was being withdrawn as a Parliament Standing Committee had recommended a long list of changes in it.
The Government thought that instead of introducing the change in the Bill, it would be better to withdraw it and bring in a new legislation that incorporated the recommendations.
The Cabinet also gave its nod for signing an agreement with Kuwait for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion in respect of taxes on income and cleared a proposal for India to join the memorandum of understanding on the conservation and management of marine turtles and their habitats in the Indian Ocean and South East Asia.

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