Separately, the Cabinet also gave its ‘in-principle’ approval for the strategic sale of the government’s existing 52.63% total paid-up equity shareholding in Rural Electrification Corporation to the Power Finance Corporation, along with the transfer of management control. “In my Budget speech, I had said that where multiple PSUs are operating in the same sector or area, the government move was to consolidate them,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at the press conference. “The earlier proposal was for REC to take over PFC, but the proposal of the Power Ministry was accepted, and now PFC will be the holding company and REC will be the subsidiary.”
Fund access “The acquisition intends to achieve integration across the power chain, obtain better synergies, create economies of scale and have enhanced capability to support energy access and energy efficiency by improved capability to finance power sector,” the press release said. “It may also allow for cheaper fund raising with increase in bargaining power for the combined entity.”
Cyber security In a third decision, the Union Cabinet approved the launching of the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS) to be implemented by the Department of Science &Technology at a total outlay of Rs. 3,660 crore over five years. “The Mission addresses the ever-increasing technological requirements of the society, and takes into account the international trends and road maps of leading countries for the next generation technologies,” the release said. The Mission targets the establishment of 15 Technology Innovation Hubs (TIH), six Application Innovation Hubs and four Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP). “These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to academics, industry, Central Ministries and State governments in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organisations across the country in a hub-and-spoke model,” the government said.