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Cabinet okays anti-piracy pact for Asia

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Jan. 6

THE Cabinet on Friday okayed signing and ratification of Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

It has also been decided that designation of Coast Guard would be the focal point for the purpose of this agreement.

The countries that have signed this anti piracy agreement are India, Bangladesh, China, Brunei, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos and Sri Lanka.

This pact would pave way for establishment of an information sharing centre concerning piracy and armed robbery that would be located in Singapore.

MSP for copra approved: The Cabinet approved the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of Fair Average Quality of milling copra at Rs 3,590 per quintal for 2006 season, an increase of Rs 20 per quintal over the previous year.

The price of Ball copra has also been raised by Rs 20 per quintal at Rs 3,840 for 2006, the Defence Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee told reporters after the meeting.

It has also been decided that NAFED would continue to act as central nodal agency to undertake price support operations of copra for 2006 season, under a condition that losses incurred, if any, by NAFED in its operations will be fully reimbursed by the Centre, Mr Mukherjee said.

The Cabinet also okayed signing of the MoU between Central Board of Excise and Customs and Australian Customs Service of the Commonwealth of Australia for co-operation and mutual assistance in customs matters.

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