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Friday, January 20, 2017

Instructions on sealed cover procedure - where Government servant has been acquitted but appeal is contemplated/pending - clarification regarding.

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Summary of GDS report

Summary of GDS report            

1.   The minimum working hours of GDS Post Offices and GDS is increased to 4 hours from 3 hours. 

2.   The new working hours for GDS Post Offices will be 4 hours and 5 hours only.

3.   The Level 1 GDS Post Offices/GDSs will have 4 hours as working hours and Level – 2 will have 5 hours as working hours.

4.   The Point System for assessment of workload of BPMs has been abolished.

5.   The new wage payment system is linked to revenue generation of GDS Post Offices. Under the new system, there will be no increase in wagess of BPMs from Level-1 to Level-2 on the basis of workload but the same will be increased based on achievement of prescribed revenue norms which is fixed at 100% for normal areas and 50% for special areas which presently have 15% anticipated income norms.

6.   The GDS Post Offices not achieving the prescribed revenue norm within the given working hours will have to open GDS post offices for minimum of additional 30 minutes beyond the prescribed working hours.

7.   The GDSs BPMs will be paid Revenue Linked Allowance @10% beyond Level 2 wage scale if they will be successful in achieving revenue beyond prescribed norms

8.   The GDS Post Offices has been categorized into A,B,C and D categories based on the revenue generation norms. The GDS Post Office in A category will achieve 100% revenue. The Committee has recommended a set of actions for each category of GDS Post Offices.

9.   The six approved categories of GDS are subsumed into two categories only. One category will be Branch Post Master and all other 5 categories of GDSs are subsumed into one multi tasking category.

10.   The job profile of Multi Tasking GDS is expanded to include work such as Business Development and Marketing etc. Their jobs will no more be confined to their old designations. The Assistant BPM will assist BPMs for increasing revenue generation.

11. The GDSs working in the GDS Post Offices will be known as Assistant Branch Post Master (ABPMs) and those working in the Department Post Offices will be known as Dak Sevak (DS).

12. The minimum wage has been increased to Rs.10000/- per month and maximum to Rs.35,480/- per month.

13.   The rate of annual increase is recommended as 3%.

14. A composite Allowance comprising of support for hiring accommodation for GDS Post Offices as well as mandatory residence, office maintenance, mobile and electricity usage charges etc. has been introduced for the first time.

15. Children Education Allowance @ Rs.6,000/- per Child per annum has been introduced for GDS.

16. Risk & Hardship Allowance @ Rs.500/- per month for GDSs working in the special areas has also been introduced.

17. A Financial upgradation has been introduced at 12 Years, 24 years and 36 Years of services in form of two advance additional annual increases.

18.  The ceiling of ex-gratia gratuity has been increased from Rs.60,000 to Rs.5,00,000/-

19.The GDS contribution for service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) should be enhanced maximum up to 10% and minimum up to 3% of the basic wage per month, whereas the Department should contribute a fixed contribution of 3% of the basic wage of the GDSs.

20. The coverage of GDS Group Insurance Scheme has been enhanced from Rs.50,000/0 to Rs.5,00,000/-.

21. The contribution of Department in Circle Welfare Fund (CWF) has been increased from Rs.100/- per annum to Rs.300/- per annum.

22. The Scope of CWF is extended to cover immediate family members such as spouse; daughters, sons and dependent daughters in law in the scheme.

23. The Committee also recommended 10% hike in the prescribed limits of financial grants and assistance in the Circle Welfare Fund.

24. The Committee has recommended addition of Rs.10,000/- for purchase of Tablet/Mobile from the Circle Welfare Fund in the head ” Financial Assistance from Fund by way of loans with lower rate of interest (5%)”.

25. Provision of 26 weeks of Maternity Leave for women GDSs has been recommended.

26. The wages for the entire period of Maternity Leave is recommended to be paid from salary head from where wages of GDSs are paid.

27.   The Committee has also recommended one week of Paternity Leave.

28. The Committee has recommended 5 days of emergency leave per annum
           Leave accumulation and encashment facility up to 180 days has been    

29. Online system of engagement has been recommended.

30. The maximum age limit of 50 years for Direct Recruitment of GDSs has been abolished.

31.Minimum one year of GDS service will now be required for GDSs for Direct Recruitment into Departmental cadres such as MTS/Postman/Mail Guard.

32.   Alternate livelihood condition for engagement of GDSs has been relaxed.

33.   Voluntary Discharge Scheme has been recommended.

34.   The Discharge age has been retained at 65 years.

35. The Limited Transfer Facility has been relaxed from 1 time to 3 Time for male GDSs. There will be no restriction on number of chances for transfer of women GDSs. The power for transfer has been delegated to the concerned Divisional head.

36. The ex-gratia payment during put off period should be revised to 35% from 25% of the wage and DA drawn immediately before put off.

37. The committee has recommended preferring transfer before put off duty.

38. The compassionate Engagement of GDS has been relaxed to give benefits to eligible dependents in all cases of death of GDS while in service.

Courtesy:- CHQ Blog

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Looking to save tax on House Rent Allowance? Here's all you need to know

For most employees, House Rent Allowance (HRA) is a common component of their salary structure. Although it is a part of the salary, HRA, unlike basic salary, is not entirely taxable. Subject to certain conditions, a part of HRA gets exempted under Section 10 (13A) of the Income-tax Act. 

The amount of HRA exemption is deductible from the total income before arriving at a taxable income. This helps the employee in saving tax. Remember, the HRA received is fully taxable if an employee is living in his own house or if he does not pay any rent. 

Who can avail HRA? 
The tax benefit on HRA is available only to a salaried individual who has the HRA component as part of his salary structure and is staying in a rented accommodation.Self-employed professionals cannot avail the deduction. 

How much is exempted? 
The exemption for HRA benefit is the minimum of: 
i) Actual HRA received 
ii) 50% of salary if living in metro cities, or 40% for non-metro cities; and 
iii) Excess of rent paid annually over 10% of annual salary 

For calculation purpose, the salary considered is 'basic salary'. In case 'Dearness Allowance (DA)' (if it forms a part of retirement benefits) and 'commission received on the basis of sales turnover' is applicable, they too are added to compute the minimum HRA exemption available. 

The tax benefit is available to the person only for the period in which the rented house is occupied. 

Example of HRA calculation 
Let's say an individual, with a monthly basic salary of Rs 15,000, receives HRA of Rs 7,000 and pays Rs 8,400 rent for an accommodation in a metro city. The tax rate applicable to the individual is 20 percent of his income. 

To avail HRA benefit, the least of the following amount (yearly) is exempted, rest is taxable: 
i) Actual HRA received = Rs 84,000 
ii) 50% of salary (metro city) = Rs 90,000 (50% of Rs 1,80,000) 

iii) Excess of rent paid annually over 10% of annual salary = Rs 82,800 (Rs 1,00,800 - (10% of Rs 1,80,000)) 

It shows that of Rs 84,000 actually received as HRA, Rs 82,800 gets tax exemption and only the balance of Rs 1,200 gets added to the employee's income, on which a tax of Rs 240 ( 20 per cent slab ) gets payable. 

HRA exemptions can be availed only on submission of rent receipts or the rent agreement with the house owner. 

It is mandatory for the employee to report the Pan Card of the 'landlord' to the employer if the rent paid is more than Rs 1,00,000 annually, or if it exceeds Rs 15,000 per month. 

Special cases 
There could be special scenarios in claiming HRA tax benefit, such as: 

1. Paying rent to family members 
The rented premises must not be owned by the person claiming the tax exemption. So if you stay with your parents and pay rent to them then you can claim that for tax deductions as HRA. However, you cannot pay rent to your spouse. As, in the view of the relationship, you are supposed to take the accommodation together. Thus, these transactions can invite the scrutiny from the Income -tax Department. 

2. Own a house, but staying in a different city 
One can avail the simultaneous benefit of deduction available for the home loan against 'interest paid' and 'principal repayment' and HRA in case your own home is rented out or you work in another city. 

Individuals who don't get HRA but pay rent 
There may be some employees who might not have HRA component in their salary structure. Also, a non-salaried individual might be paying rent. For them, Section 80 (GG) of the Income-tax Act offers help. 

An individual paying rent for a furnished/unfurnished accommodation can claim the deduction for the rent paid under Section 80 (GG) of the I-T Act, provided he is not paid HRA as a part of his salary by furnishing Form 10B. 

How much 
The least of the following is available for exemption from tax under Section 80GG: 
(i) Rent paid in excess of 10% of total income 
(ii) 25% of the total of the total income* 
(iii) Rs 5,000 per month 

*Under this section, the total income is calculated as gross total income minus long-term capital gains, the short-term capital where Securities Transaction Tax (STT) has been paid and deductions under Sections 80C to 80U, except Section 80GG. 

While claiming a tax deduction, one must remember that the individual himself or his/her spouse, or minor child, or as a member of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) must not own any accommodation. Also, if the individual owns any residential property at any place and earns rent from it then no deduction is allowed. 

One can avail the simultaneous benefit of deduction available for the home loan against 'interest paid' and 'principal repayment' and HRA in case your own home is rented out or you work in another city. However, the same is not available in case of Section 80GG. 

Source:-The Economic Times (With inputs from Sunil Dhawan) 

Government may lower limit for quoting PAN number for cash transactions

Unwilling to lose the momentum it gained for a less-cash economy after demonetisation and restrictions on cash withdrawals, the government may announce big disincentives in the upcoming Budget for usage of cash. 

Sources revealed to ET Now that the upcoming budget could come up with a series of such big disincentives. 

The government may reduce threshold for quoting PAN card for cash transactions, say sources. 

The threshold, which is Rs 50,000 now, may be brought down to Rs 30,000 to bring more transactions within formal economy. Sources say the threshold for quoting PAN Card details for merchant transactions can also be reduced. 

In addition to these steps, the government may also announce cash-handling charges for cash payments above a certain limit. 

The move is part of the government's efforts to tighten the noose around people who deal in large cash transactions. 

In fact, the threshold for quoting PAN Card details for merchant transactions could also be brought down from current Rs 2 lakh. With Aadhaar now having the government's legal backing, the usage for Aadhar card may also be made mandatory as an alternative for people not having PAN card. 

In addition to these steps, the government may also announce cash-handling charges for cash payments above a certain limit. 

Sources have told ET Now that a levy could be in the works for cash transactions over Rs 1 lakh. 

"The scale of the implicit cost of transacting in cash is not fully understood. We are of the opinion that licencing authorities including government agencies should levy a cash handling charge for payments in cash above a certain threshold. The cash handling charge so collected should be exclusively used to fund new infrastructure for accpeting digital payments (like POS devices)," a source said. 

The move is aimed at moving from a less-cash to a cashless society post the demonetisation drive that was brought into effect by PM Modi on November 8. 

These measures will help the government stay on track towards a less-cash economy as there are concerns that easing of cash-withdrawal limits at banks and ATMs might take the economy back to pre-demonetisation prevalence of cash. 

Also, these steps may seem necessary to promote a less-cash economy as digital payments cannot be encouraged through apps and PoS alone due to the poor state of infrastructure and lack of digital literacy in the country.

Source:-The Economic Times

Grant of Transport Allowance at double the normal rates to deaf and dumb employees of Central Government

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Recommendation of the Public Accounts Committee regarding reflection of the recurrent lapses in observing financial discipline in the Annual Performance Assessment Report (APAR).

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Seventh Central Pay Commissions recommendations - revision of pay scales - amendment of Service Rules/Recruitment Rules.

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Seventh Central Pay Commissions recommendation - amendment of Service Rules/Recruitment Rules.

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GDS Committee Report

To view GDS Committee Report Part 1 please Click Here

To view GDS Committee Report Part 2 please Click Here

To view GDS Committee Report Part 3 please Click Here

To view GDS Committee Report Part 4 please Click Here.

150 years of Ravenshaw University: Postal department to bring out special envelope

CUTTACK: The department of posts will bring out a special envelope to commemorate the 150 years of existence of Ravenshaw University, the institution which started as an intermediate college in 1868.

"On our request the department of post has designed a beautiful envelope showcasing Ravenshaw's heritage building. The special cover will be released on January 21," said vice chancellor of the varsity, P C Sarangi. He will officially release the envelope along with senior officials of the postal department.

The limited edition special envelopes are collectible items and could soon become any philatelists' delight. Ravenshaw will procure at least 1,000 of them so that students can easily purchase this souvenir. Besides, it will also be sold in post offices across the city.

Ravenshaw authorities have also requested the department to release a special stamp on the university. "There is a specific procedure for bringing out a specially designed stamp. We are hopeful the department will issue it," added Sarangi.

In 1978, a special commemorative stamp on Ravenshaw, then a college, was released by the department to mark its centenary celebrations. Varsity authorities have chalked out grand plans for sesquicentennial celebrations. They will start from January 20 and will continue till January, 2018. Several seminars, talks, cultural programmes, alumni meets and many other activities have been planned by authorities to celebrate the event on a grand scale. Governor S C Jamir and chief minister Naveen Patnaik will be present at the opening ceremony.

The institution which was established in 1868, right after the great famine, started as an intermediate college and was raised to the status of a first-grade college in 1876.

Source:-The Times of India