This blog is meant for use by members of the Association for news and views. Send comments / suggestions / views to e-mail Id: aiaipasp.ors@gmail.com

Saturday, September 23, 2017

I-T department asks taxpayers to update their information on e-filing portal

The Income Tax Department has asked taxpayers, who file ITRs and conduct other I-T businesses online, to update their profiles and vital details on the official e-filing portal to ensure an "effective communication" between the two. 

The department today issued an advisory asking taxpayers to furnish their latest information such as personal and secondary email and mobile phone numbers, address and bank account details. 

These details will be verified and processed after the taxpayer is sent a One Time Password (OTP) over the email and through SMS over the phone. 

"New registration process to facilitate effective communication between the taxpayer and the department is enabled. The existing e-filing users are required to update their profile by logging into e-filing account. Users who have registered already and not activated has to register again," the advisory said. 

The updated information, a senior official said, is being sought to ensure that a communication sent to a taxpayer reaches him without fail and in good time. 

"A taxpayer can do any business using their personal e- filing account only after updating the details," he said. 


Source:-The Economic Times

Your postman may soon become the point of contact for all your financial work. Read how

NEW DELHI: Come 2018 and the humble postman will be armed with a high-tech device that will enable him to carry out various financial transaction at the door step of people. 

The India Post Payment Bank, which plans to launch nationwide operations by March 2018, is coming up with a large contract to source such devices for more than 1.5 lakh postmen. 

The equipment, a micro-ATM of sorts, will have a biometric reader, a printer and a debit card and credit card reader attached to it. A tender for 2 lakh such devices is almost ready and will be released in a month’s time, India Post Payment Bank chief executive AP Singh told ET. Hewlett Packard Enterprise has already been chosen to build the backend for India Post Payment Bank as a system integrator. 

“The idea is to streamline and focus on payments through the bank. We have identified close to one dozen payments, including utility bills such as gas and electricity, mobile, DTH, school fees, etc.”, which the payments bank will seek to facilitate, Singh said. India Post is working on an app that will enable these payments. 

It will also allow booking of bus and unreserved train tickets, categories which are highly cash dependant. “Even small payments such as for fruits and vegetable, and welfare payment transfers under the direct benefits transfer scheme are on the radar,” said Singh. 

“We have to focus on payments rather than deposits,” said Singh. Reserve Bank of India rules don’t allow payments banks to take deposits, the key and cheap source of funds for conventional banks. To generate revenue, India Post Payment Bank will charge each payment transaction that happens through its app, either from the customer or the bill company, Singh said. 

“The Post Office already has 35 crore accounts, we are targeting around 8 crore households in the next five years (as customers for the payments bank).” 

At a recent UN conference, Singh had said while private sector rivals such as Paytm and Airtel Payments Bank would skim the market from the top, India Post would have a bottoms up approach. Arming the postman with the micro-ATM and turning him into a sort of a banking correspondent may be part of the plan to target rural and the semi-urban areas. 

“The micro ATM and the banking correspondent model has been tried and may help in turning cash into digital at the last leg, even though it may take some time,” said Vivek Belgavi, partner and India FinTech Leader at PwC. 

In a village, the nearest bank branch may be 10-25 kms away and the India Post, with its huge network of post offices and postmen, may be able to effectively cater to that audience, he added. The proposed India Post app will allow person-to-person transactions. 

In the dozen key bill payments it is targeting, those who aren’t familiar with operating an app on their own can approach the postmen armed with micro-ATMs to help them make payments. 

Meanwhile, as opposed to the earlier plan of having separate branches for the payment bank, India Post is looking to capitalise on the existing network of 1.55 lakh post offices and 3 lakh employees on the postal network.

Source:-The Economic Times

Promotion and posting of Senior Time Scale (STS) officers of the Indian Postal Service (IPoS), Group 'A' to Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) of the Service and transfers/postings of Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) officers

To view please Click Here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Is it really mandatory to link Aadhaar with bank account and mobile

We have all been getting repeated reminders from mobile service providers and banks via text messages and other means that it is mandatory to link our phone numbers and bank accounts with the 12-digit unique identification number Aadhaar. Failing which, our bank accounts and mobile numbers will cease to exist, if the seeding is not done within the stipulated deadline-- December 31, 2017 for bank accounts and February 28, 2018 for mobile numbers.



Screenshot of a banking app pop-up


While the government has indeed directed telecom companies and banks to get this done, is this really mandatory or even legal?


We spoke to Supreme Court lawyer Apar Gupta to understand the legalities around this.



For starters, before the deadline, banks and mobile service providers cannot disable your account or number, says Gupta. As far as the legality of the directive is concerned, he says "It's under a cloud and there are right now doubts that exist about the legality of the Aadhaar system."


The 'cloud' that Gupta mentions is formed from the landmark Supreme Court ruling in August which states that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, that it is intrinsic to life and liberty and thus comes under Article 21 of the Indian constitution.



"The right to privacy judgement got all of us very excited and there were questions which came up right after the judgement that what is its impact on Aadhaar. For this lawyers then went to the Supreme Court and said that you now have the right to privacy firmly established under the Constitution and now you need to apply it to the pending court cases which challenge the Aadhaar scheme.



Now, a lot of these court cases also challenge Aadhaar specifically being linked to a lot of government services which are now requiring it as a precondition for the service itself," says Gupta who had argued for petitioners in the Right to Privacy case and also represents those challenging Aadhaar.


These cases are due to be heard in November which is prior to the seeding deadlines, adds the lawyer who is a vocal critic of the Aadhaar scheme over concerns around security and privacy.



So, by November some legal clarity on whether Aadhaar is unconstitutional or if it's legal and justified is expected to emerge. This in turn will obviously have a bearing on whether all of us indeed need to get our Aadhaar seeded with our bank accounts and mobile numbers.



"People who believe that Aadhaar opens them up to a large array of concerns including privacy, profiling and even identity theft they should hold on. But again this is a very personal call each person has to take after they asses where they stand on this issue and how they personally assess the level of impact it's going to cause them," says Gupta.




It would be interesting to look back at the Supreme Court's judgement in the Aadhaar- PAN linking case here (which was delivered a couple of months before the right to privacy verdict), where the top court stated that while the government was right in asking for Aadhaar to be linked with the 10-digit alpha-numeric PAN, it was too harsh a punishment to deactivate someone's PAN altogether. It results in the "civil death" of a person as they are not able to function effectively in society, the court had stated. Having your bank account and mobile number disabled would also similarly result in "civil death" opines Gupta.



The Aadhaar-PAN issue will again be argued in November as it came before the right to privacy judgement, Gupta says.




The government on its part wants to link almost all essential services to Aadhaar to plug leakages and gaps that exist within the system as India moves towards digitisation. The Centre seems to believe that Aadhaar could be that proverbial 'silver bullet' that takes down terrorism, money laundering, black marketeering and other frauds, all at once.



Every resident who has an Aadhaar has their biometrics (fingerprints, iris scan) linked to the 12-digit unique identity. According to the government, over 99 per cent of adults in India are enrolled in the program, with nearly 90 per cent of the entire population coming under its fold.




Source:-The Times of India

Grant of Dearness Allowance to Central Government Employees - Revised Rates effective from 01.07.2017

To view please Click Here.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Centre to launch mobile app for retiring govt staff

NEW DELHI: A mobile application will be launched tomorrow for central government employees who are about to retire to help them monitor the progress of their pension settlement cases.

Retired employees will also be able to assess their superannuation funds and record complaints, if any, through the pension calculator, an official release issued by the Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions Ministry today said.

The ministry already has a pensioners' portal for this purpose.

The mobile app will be extending to the mobile handset all services meant for the pensioner which are currently available on the portal of the Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare, it said.

With this application, a superannuating central government official will be able to monitor the progress of his or her pension settlement and retired officials will be able to assess or check details of their pension amounts through the pension calculator as well register grievances and get updates on orders issued by the department, it said.

The app will be launched by by Minister of State for Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh.

He will also award pensioners for outstanding contributions towards 'Anubhav' - a platform for retiring employees for sharing their experiences on working with the government.

To help government pensioners, a workshop on pre- retirement counselling of 300 central government employees who are on the verge of retirement is also scheduled to be held.

The objective of this workshop is to create awareness about post-retirement entitlements as well as to help them plan for life after retirement, the release said.


There will be four interactive sessions which will cover among other things a road map to retirement, medical facilities for pensioners and re-engagement of retired people for voluntary social activities, it said.


There will be a session on Income Tax and other benefits for senior citizens as well as investment and financial planning for retired people and the importance of writing a will, the release said.


The pension department in this programme will launch the first of a series of pension adalats, which seek to bring together an aggrieved pensioner, the department concerned and a bank or CGHS representative, wherever relevant, so that such cases could be settled across the table within the framework of rules.


The 'Anubhav Awards 2017' will be presented to 17 pensioners. The 'Anubhav' scheme was instituted at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who encouraged retiring or retired employees to submit their experiences while working in the government to create institutional wealth for the government for future governance and inspire the coming generations of government officials, it said. 

Source:-The Times of India

No action on last-minute graft complaints against bureaucrats: CVC


No action will be taken on last- minute corruption complaints against bureaucrats when they are being considered for senior-level posts or promotions, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has said.



The announcement may come as a relief to bureaucrats, some of whom complain of a rise in motivated allegations of corruption against them ahead of a proposed promotion, empanelling or posting.



The CVC provides vigilance clearance to central government officers for senior-level appointments and promotions.



Central Vigilance Commissioner K V Chowdary said any complaint received within six months of a proposed elevation or empanelment etc would not to be taken into account.



"Generally there is a trend of complaints coming up just before somebody gets either promoted or is about to be considered for a post. By and large, it is there," Chowdary told PTI.



However, he added a rider to the provision, saying "misconduct" would not be ignored.



"If a misconduct itself is conducted, let's say, yesterday or the day before yesterday, you cannot be immune to that," he said.


Chowdary had earlier advocated penal provisions to deter people from filing motivated or vexatious complaints.

Source:-The Times of India