Special Correspondent

Bill amending law likely to be tabled during current session of Parliament

Private sector employees have been brought on a par with Central government employees

132 nursing and midwifery schools to be set up across the country

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet has decided to raise the ceiling on gratuity payable to private sector employees from Rs. 3.5 lakh to Rs. 10 lakh.

With this proposal, cleared at a meeting presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, they have been brought on a par with Central government employees who were granted the hike by the Sixth Pay commission.

The Centre is likely to table a Bill amending the gratuity law during the current session of Parliament.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the setting up of 132 nursing and midwifery schools across the country at a cost of Rs. 660 crore during the XI Plan period.

These will come up in the high-focus States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, northeast, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and in districts, preferably those which do not have any auxiliary nursing and midwifery school.

In the ratio of 85:15, the Centre will incur an expenditure of Rs. 561 crore and the States Rs. 99 crore, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told journalists here.

The Cabinet also decided to set up a separate Central Council for Research in Siddha (science of healing through natural herbs), bifurcating the Central Council of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha (CCRAS), New Delhi.