India’s cabinet on Wednesday approved the norms for the next round of spectrum auctions and a new textiles policy to push manufacturing and exports, besides extending the scheme to assist debt-ridden power distribution companies in the state sector, sources said.
The decisions were taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the sources said, adding that further details would be spelt out later by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Communication and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
A national textiles policy was last unveiled in 2000. An expert committee under Ajay Shankar, Member Secretary of the now-defunct National Manufacturing Council, was set up in 2014 to give its recommendations on a new policy.
As regards what is called Uday (Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana), the cabinet has extended the time by which interested states can enjoin the scheme, which allows for the distressed power companies to issue bonds and clean up their balance sheets while agreeing to come conditions.
Eithteen states and one union territory have joined the scheme thus far, officials said.
For spectrum, the government proposes to auction as much as 2,100 MHz of airwaves for telecom operators in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2,300 MHz and 2,500 MHz bands. The cabinet nod was sought for fixing the reserve price and other norms.