Cabinet okays Rs 8,000-cr plan to fit IAF with Brahmos

Approves healthcare plan and setting up of 14th Finance Commission

The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a Rs 8,000-crore plan to produce 200 air versions of the Brahmos cruise missile and to procure 10,000 Invar missiles from Russia for the T-90 tanks of the Army.

The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared an Indian Air Force proposal worth over Rs 6,000 crore to buy Brahmos missiles for the IAF.Frontline Su-30MKI fighters would be modified to carry these cruise missiles. In the first step, two SU-30MKI platforms were jury-rigged by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd as a testing platform.

The first test of the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile, developed jointly by India and Russia, is to be conducted by December-end.

If successfully inducted, Brahmos missiles will aid the IAF to strike a target from a distance of about 300 km, without getting close to them. The CCS approval comes days after India and Russia agreed to produce 1,000 regular Brahmos missiles for the Navy and Army.

The two sides have also decided to jointly develop a hypersonic version of the missile.

Under the proposal to procure Invar missiles for the T-90 tank fleet of the Army, 10,000 Invar missiles would be brought from Russian manufacturers and there will be an agreement for licence-producing 15,000 missiles by the Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) under Transfer of Technology.

With more than 42,000 Japanese encephalitis cases and 7,600 deaths in the last seven years in the country, a Rs 4,000-crore package to improve the healthcare, drinking water and sanitation standards in 60 most-affected districts in five states also got approval.

Bulk of the money would come from the ministries of drinking water and sanitation (Rs 2,300 crore) and health (Rs 1130 crore) for overhauling the water supply, sanitation and healthcare systems in 20 districts in Uttar Pradesh and 15 in Bihar where the scourge of the disease is the maximum and recurring.

Railways announces bonus

About 12.37 lakh non-gazetted railway employees will be paid Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) equivalent to 78 days’ wages for 2011-2012, estimated to cost Rs1,021.56 crore, reports DHNS from New Delhi.  The wage calculation ceiling prescribed for payment of PLB to the eligible non-gazetted railway employees is Rs 3,500 per month, as per a decision taken at Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.

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