Key cabinet decisions, a look back (IANS Special: 2014 in Retrospect)

New Delhi, Dec 29 (IANS) A look at some of the important cabinet decisions taken during the year, notably after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government took charge on May 26:

* Feb 28: The 7th Pay Commission approved.
* May 27: Constitution of Special Investigating Team (SIT) approved to implement Supreme Court decision on probing ill-gotten money stashed by Indians abroad.
* June 18: As many as 62 ministerial groups scrapped, saying accountability must lie within the cabinet.
* June 20: Railway fares hiked by 14.2 percent, going ahead with the proposal mooted by previous Manmohan Singh cabinet, but partially rolled back five days later due to strong opposition.
* July 24: A hike approved in foreign direct investment in the insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent – a move followed by an ordinance to amend relevant legislation in December.
* Aug 6: Nod for amending the Juvenile Justice Act to let a competent authority to decide whether a juvenile over 16 years can be tried for heinous crimes such as rape.
* Aug 6: Nod for 100 percent foreign equity in railway infrastructure and hike in the limit for defence production from 26 percent to 49 percent.
* Aug 20: Digital India campaign cleared to transform the country into an electronically empowered society and knowledge economy.
* Aug 22: Collegium, or internal system of making appointments to the higher judiciary, scrapped in favour of a commission comprising, among others, the prime minister and the chief justice of India.
* Aug 29: Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, an ambitious financial inclusion scheme, launched with 15 million bank accounts opened; each of the holders provided Rs. 100,000 insurance cover.
* Sep 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat campaign approved, with a five-year mandate, by converting the existing Nirmal Bharat Programme.
* Oct 20: Approval for ordinance to be promulgated to pave the way for the auction of 214 coal blocks, ordered by the Supreme Court to be cancelled, followed by norms for e-auction in December. Ordinance re-promulgated in December, as Rajya Sabha unable to discuss.
* Dec 3: Strong anti-hijacking bill cleared to provide for stringent punishment, such as death penalty, for such acts in the aviation space.
* Dec 18: Bill approved for pan-India goods and services tax (GST) bill to rationalise state and central indirect taxes into a harmonised system.