The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today cleared a slew of projects in different ministries. In a major boost for public service broadcasting, the CCEA approved a proposal on the BIND (Broadcasting Infrastructure and Network Development) Scheme, clearing ₹2,539.61 crore up to 2025-26 for the development of Prasar Bharati wings All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).

The BIND scheme provides financial support to public broadcaster Prasar Bharati for expenses related to the expansion and upgradation of its broadcasting infrastructure, content development and civil work related to the organisation. Prasar Bharti mainly works towards communicating information in areas like education, and entertainment, and engages with people, especially in remote areas.

The BIND scheme will allow Prasar Bharti to upgrade its facilities with better infrastructure. It'll also allow the development of high-quality content for domestic as well as international audiences, and ensure the availability of diverse content to the viewers.

At present, Doordarshan operates 36 TV channels, including 28 regional channels, while All India Radio operates over 500 broadcasting centres. The Centre says the scheme will increase coverage of AIR FM transmitters in the country to 66% by geographical area and 80% by population up from 59% and 68%, respectively. It also aims free distribute over 8 lakh DD free dish STBs to people living in remote, tribal, LWE and border areas.

Besides, the modernisation of broadcast infra will also create indirect employment by way of manufacturing and services related to the supply and installation of broadcast equipment.

In another crucial decision, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved ₹2,614.51 crore for the 382 MW Sunni Dam Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh, which is being undertaken by SJVN Limited. "Project cost of ₹2,614 crore included hard cost amounting to ₹2,246.40 crore, Interest During Construction (IDC) and Financing Charges (FC) of ₹358.96 crore & 9.15 crore, respectively. The revised cost sanctions for cost variations due to quantity changes (including additions/ alterations/ extra items) and time overruns due to the developer shall be capped at 10% of the sanctioned cost," said CCEA.

The proposed 382 MW Sunni Dam project is expected to provide benefits to local suppliers, enterprises and MSMEs, and will encourage entrepreneurship opportunities. It will also provide job opportunities and ensure the socioeconomic development of the region.

Besides, the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission with an initial outlay of ₹19,744 crore. This includes an outlay of ₹17,490 crore for the Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme (SIGHT) programme, ₹1,466 crore for pilot projects, ₹400 crore for R&D, and ₹388 crore towards other Mission components.

The Cabinet also gave ex-post facto approval for the naming of Greenfield International Airport Mopa, Goa, as ‘Manohar International Airport – Mopa, Goa’. A statement said it is a mark of tribute to late Manohar Parrikar, who was the former defence minister and four-time Goa CM. The Greenfield Airport at Mopa, Goa, was inaugurated by the PM in December 2022.

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