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, June 16, 2018

Leave rule relaxed for women govt staff with differently-abled kids

Women government employees having differently-abled children can now avail of child care leave (CCL) irrespective of the age of the child. Rule 43 C of the Central Civil Services (Leave) Rules, 1972, which permitted CCL in case of a disabled/mentally challenged child upto 22 years of age, has been amended to accommodate “offspring of any age”.


Another amendment made to the child care leave norms was to allow grant of CCL for a period not less than five days at a time, against 15 days at present.


The amended rule allowing women government employees to avail child care leave for their physically and mentally challenged ward of any age is bound to come as a big relief as they need to act as caregivers at all stages in the child’s life.


As per CCL norms, child care leave may be granted for a maximum 730 days during the entire service of a women employee for taking care of up to two children, whether for rearing or to look after any of their needs like examination, sickness etc. CCL is admissible if the child is upto 18 years of age. In case of mentally challenged and differently-abled children, this age limit was earlier 22 years.


CCL may not be granted in more than 3 spells in a calendar year. CCL cannot be sanctioned during probation period except in cases of extreme situations and minimal leave should be sanctioned. LTC cannot be availed during CCL period.

Source:-The Times of India

UPU News:-Homeward bound: Remittances can be the difference between opportunity and calamity

June 16 is the International Day of Family Remittances, a day for reflecting on how postal operators can improve the lives of millions of women, children and men.

A massive US$429 billion was sent home to developing countries in 2016; a figure three times greater than the official development assistance provided that year. This shows the importance of remittances to the lives of millions globally.
Studies on remittances also show that a 10 per cent increase in per capita remittances can reduce the number of people living in poverty by 3.5 per cent. Such figures are evidence that the money sent is helping people escape poverty’s gravitational pull, while offering them greater opportunities for a better life.
Remittances are so crucial for promoting development that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has specifically recognized their importance and calls for reductions in the cost of sending money home. Goal 10 on reducing inequality includes a target seeking to: “reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent.”
Reductions in costs are vital in Africa where the lack of infrastructure, dangers in travel and monopolies can drive up the prices. Postal operators are being viewed as a fast acting antidote to these desperate challenges. “With their broad networks reaching deep into rural and impoverished areas, post offices can offer cost effective remittances that are part of the overall push to deepen financial inclusion in countries,” said the Deputy Director General of the Universal Postal Union Pascal Clivaz.
Just as significantly, the world’s postal operators were founded on a universal service obligation—the concept of providing a network of networks for delivering letters and parcels to everyone on this planet. With Posts already delivering a public service, there is a real opportunity for them to harness existing operations to ensure that families everywhere can access financial services.  
If postal operators are to achieve this goal, however, they have to provide a broad range of digital financial services. The Universal Postal Union (UPU) recognizes the importance of this challenge.
Speaking in Nairobi on 11 June, at the 25 Annual Meeting of Assemblies of the East African Communications Organizations, the Director General of UPU Bishar A. Hussein called on postal operators to diversify their services and to leverage growing electronic transactions to strengthen their role in the supply chain. “Diversification is the only sure way for the postal organization to continue performing well in the increasingly competitive market,” he said.
Read UPU Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz's statement on the International Day of Family Remittances.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

UPU News:-Posts face challenges, but innovation is creating new services, says UPU Director General in Kenya

In a keynote speech, Director General of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) praised the “unique model” of the East African Communications Organisation (EACO); called on Posts to embrace e-commerce opportunities.

Technology has brought many opportunities for the Post, UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein told a packed gathering of ICT regulators, operators and services providers at the 25th Annual Meeting of EACO in Nairobi, Kenya.
“Through innovation, the Post has taken advantage of technology to roll out new services. The new services, coupled with its large physical network and years of experience with customer services, have made it possible for the Post to remain competitive in the market,” Mr. Hussein said.  
He said the biggest technological upheavals had occurred in electronic commerce and financial services and noted East Africa has enormous potential for these services due to the strength of its Internet connectivity and main commercial centres.
“With a huge young population and a steadily growing middle class, the region holds the promise of success in the e-commerce business. This is where the Post’s opportunities lie,” added the UPU Director General. 
Mr. Hussein acknowledged that technology had also impacted the postal business globally. He said, “The Post, especially in the developing world, also faces challenges of low level funding, fulfillment of certain regulatory obligation and poor infrastructure. These have continued to negatively affect the postal business.”
The UPU Director stressed that UPU was working closely with its African partners through its Ecom@Africa project to assist. The project establishes an inclusive and innovative e-commerce ecosystem provided to postal operators via an online platform. 
He called on postal operators to diversify their services and to leverage growing electronic transactions to strengthen their role in the supply chain. “Diversification is the only sure way for the postal organization to continue performing well in the increasingly competitive market,” said Mr. Hussein. 
Offering further details of UPU’s comprehensive projects in the region, the UPU head said the UN specialized agency was working on eight technical assistance projects within the EACO region. He also highlighted UPU’s recent launch of a Regional Project on Electronic Postal Payment Services in Africa with the participation of a majority of EACO members.
Mr. Hussein praised EACO as a “unique model” that brought together governments, regulators and operators across the ICT sector to discuss issues affecting the sector. “This is one of the best models I have seen anywhere,” he enthused.
Closing his speech. The UPU Director General discussed postal operators’ role in facilitating financial remittance especially for international migrants at more affordable prices.
UPU, together with the International Organization for Migration is currently working with Burundi Post to develop affordable remittance of money from the country’s migrants living in Europe.
On 16 June, along with many of its partners, inside and outside the UN System, UPU will mark the International Day for Family Remittances that recognizes the financial contribution migrant workers make for the wellbeing of their families and the sustainable development of their countries of origin.

Grant of special increment in the form of personal pay to Central Government Servants for participation in sporting events and tournaments of National or International importance, in the 7th CPC Scenario.

To view please Click Here.

Reimbursement in respect Newspapers Purchased/supplied to officers at their residence guidelines

To view please Click Here.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Cabinet approves Revision in the wage structure and allowances of Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) of the Department of Posts

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today has approved the revision in the wage structure and allowances of Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS) of the Department of Posts.
The revision in the wage structure would entail an estimated expenditure of Rs 1257.75 crore (Non-recurring expenditure - Rs 860.95 crore and Recurring expenditure of Rs.396.80 crore) during 2018-19.
3.07 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks will be benefitted by this wage revision.
Details:
  1. Time Related Continuity allowance (TRCA) structure and slabs have been rationalised.  The total GDSs have been brought under two categories viz. Branch Postmasters (BPMs) and other than Branch Postmasters namely Assistant Branch Postmaster (ABPMs).
  2. The present 11 TRCA slabs will be merged into only three TRCA Slabs with two levels each for BPMs and other than BPMs.
  3. Introduction of new Time Related Continuity Allowance (TRCA) will be as below:

Minimum TRCA of two types of proposed categories of GDSs as per working hours / levels
S.No.

Category

Minimum TRCA for 4 Hours / Level 1

Minimum TRCA for 5 Hours / Level 2

1

BPM

Rs. 12000/-

Rs. 14500/-

2

ABPM/Dak Sevaks

Rs. 10000/-

Rs. 12000/-


  1. Dearness Allowance will continue to be paid as a separate component, and also revised from time to time whenever it is revised for Central Government Servants.
  2. It is decided to continue the calculation of the ex-gratia bonus by applying the calculation ceiling of Rs.7000 as basic TRCA + DA till such time a new scheme is devised.
  3. Arrears for the period 1.1.2016 to the date of implementation will be paid by increasing the basic TRCA drawn during the period by a factor of 2.57. The arrears will be paid in one instalment.
  • vii. Annual increase at the rate of 3% and the same may be given on 1st January or 1st July of every year as the case may be based on the one time written request of GDSs.
  1. A new Risk and hardship Allowance has been introduced. Other allowances Viz. Office maintenance allowance, Combined duty allowance, Cash conveyance charges, Cycle maintenance allowance, Boat allowance and Fixed Stationery Charges have been revised.

Implementation strategy and targets:
The revision would result in improving the wages, allowances and discharge benefits of Gramin Dak Sevaks resulting in providing efficient & cost-effective basic postal facilities in the rural area. The proposed increased emoluments will enable him to improve his socio-economic standing.

Impact:
The Branch Post Offices are the fulcrum for provision of Communications and financial services in the village and are located in remote areas. The Post Master has to deal with large sums while making payments to customers; hence accountability is already built into his work. The enhanced remuneration will increase the sense of responsibility. Moreover, with the roll out of the India Post Payment Bank (IPPB), the CDS network is expected to play a key role in the process of financial inclusion of the rural population.

Background:
The Extra Departmental system in the Department of Posts was established more than150 years ago to provide basic, economical and efficient postal services in the rural areas where there was no justification for engaging full time regular employees. One Lakh Twenty-Nine Thousand Three Hundred forty-six (1,29,346) Extra-departmental Branch post offices are primarily manned by Gramin Dak Sevak Branch Postmasters. In addition, Gramin Dak Sevaks other than Branch Postmasters are also working in Branch, Sub and Head Post offices. The main features of the engagement of Gramin Dak Sevaks are that they work for part time ranging from 3 to 5 hours per day and supplement their income from other vocations so as to have adequate means of livelihood for themselves and their families. They remain in service up to the age of 65 years.
****
(Release ID: 1534498) Visitor Counter : 2805 


Cabinet approves the joint issue of postage stamp between India and Russia

he Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi was apprised of the agreement signed in connection with release of Joint Stamps between Department of Posts, India and Russia Post (Joint-Stock Company “MARKA” of Russian Federation) to establish postal cooperation and strive towards mutually beneficial operational excellence in the field of issuance of stamps.

Bilateral relations between India and Russia are marked by broad understanding on issues of mutual interest. India and Russia enjoy enhanced levels of cooperation in almost all areas of the bilateral relationship.
*****
(Release ID: 1534516) Visitor Counter : 775 

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

SC clears decks for reservation in promotion to SC/ST staffers

In a shot in the arm for the Modi government facing flak over Supreme Court striking down automatic arrest under the law on prevention of atrocities against Dalits and tribals, the apex court on Tuesday allowed the Centre to implement the long-stalled reservation in promotion policy.



While quotas in promotions will be in "accordance with law", which will mean under-representation of scheduled castes and tribes must be established while also ensuring administrative efficiency is not compromised, the SC decision to lift the stay will open the doors for implementation of the policy.




In 2006, the apex court had itself upheld constitutional amendments for quota in promotion in government jobs while calling for data on extent of backwardness, which has not proved easy to quantify. The contentious issue, pressed aggressively by BSP and Dalit activists and supported by all major political outfits, has been caught in a legal tangle and judicial stays.




With governments failing to comply with guidelines, various high courts quashed the decision on granting reservation in promotion from 2011 onwards. Punjab and Haryana HC quashed the reservation policy in the income tax department and this was followed by other HCs. Last august, Delhi HC quashed the Centre's office memorandum issued in 1997 on implementing the policy and also set aside all such promotions in the last 20 years.





SC ST


In an appeal filed by the Centre, the apex court had in 2015 directed to maintain status quo. Even now, as the Centre and the states begin implementation of quotas, the action is liable to be challenged on similar grounds such as representation and efficiency, but the Centre has the opportunity to present evidence of having done so.




With the policy is at a standstill over the last seven years, Centre insistently sought the green signal to go ahead and implement reservations. Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh, appearing for the Centre told a vacation bench of Justices A K Goel and Ashok Bhushan that the government had a constitutional duty to promote its employees as per law and sought approval from the court.




"There had been no promotion. All promotion is stayed. I am government and it is my duty to promote my employee as per the law. It is not that Nagraj order is not to be complied with," Singh said. The ASG placed before the bench an order passed by another bench of SC allowing reservation in policy during pendency of the case and pleaded the court to pass similar order.




Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan and lawyer Kumar Parimal, appearing for anti-quota activists, opposed the Centre's plea and said the issue has been referred to a Constitution bench and any interim order should be passed by that bench.


The court, after a brief hearing, made it clear that the Nagraj order pertaining to collecting quantifiable data had to be followed. "It is made clear that the Union of India is not debarred from making promotions in accordance with law, subject to further orders, pending further consideration of the matter," the bench said.




It however, refused to clarify which law is to be followed by the Centre in view of various judgments and order passed by the HCs and the apex court. "We can say that you can go ahead with the promotion policy as per the law. If there is law, then you do it as per the law. We do not need to mention the law in our order," the bench observed while hearing the case.


Though the Centre is upbeat, doubts remain whether it will be able to fulfill guidelines fixed in the Nagraj case to give quota in promotions in government jobs. As the SC order says it has to be done as per the law, anti-quota petitioners say the hands of governments are tied in view of Nagraj verdict and Delhi HC order verdict which had quashed the 1997 office memorandum.

"The government has to follow the Nagraj verdict. Since there is no stay on operation of Delhi HC order which had quashed the policy, the HC order would be in force and the government cannot move to implement the reservation policy," advocate Parimal said.

But, the Centre and state governments see the apex court's order as a big victory and appear all set to go whole hog in implementing quota in promotion.

Source:-The Times of India

Sunday, June 3, 2018

UPU News:- Time for 'giant' to wake up

Postal services, for many years, have been pinned down; caught between their essential duties under an international treaty to provide a universal postal service — one network of networks delivering letters and parcels to everyone on this planet — and turning a decent profit in the age of austerity.

Postal operators need to wake up to their true potential and start using their enormous reserves of data, vast logistical fleets, and infrastructure to lead the world on e-commerce, financial inclusivity, and economic development.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” said Charles Dickens, but for the world’s postal operators, it must sometimes appear that the good times are gone.
Controversies simmering in the United States and elsewhere over remuneration rates for packages, accusations that postal operators are delivering deadly drugs, and woes over earnings, haunt the industry. There is, however, an alternative view that we may be on the cusp of dynamic changes.
As the head of the United Nations specialized agency for the postal sector, the Universal Postal Union, I recently returned from the 2018 World CEO Forum bringing together postal chief executive officers in Istanbul, Turkey.
The event’s theme was the digital dividend, but from the panel sessions, I sensed a growing belief among some CEOs that there were reasons to feel positive and confident. Here’s why.
Postal services, for many years, have been pinned down; caught between their essential duties under an international treaty to provide a universal postal service — one network of networks delivering letters and parcels to everyone on this planet — and turning a decent profit in the age of austerity.
Too often, burdened by the contrary impulses to provide a much-needed public service, while delivering in a world of competition, innovation, and creativity, the postal sector has been forced into a defensive crouch — a boxer mercilessly pushed into the corner.
It’s time to get out of the corner. With more than five million employees, more than 600,000 outlets and more than 300 billion letters and parcels delivered annually, the global postal sector is a colossus, sleeping giant.
Leveraging that vast infrastructure, as well as burnishing the post’s trusted brand is the task of every postal operator. The post is, after all, synonymous with the word “trust”.
Seizing the incredible opportunities offered by e-commerce and digitalization is also the means for posts to start a new age of delivery, a new postal future.
A service based this time not on letters and parcels, but on accessing the enormous amounts of data held by postal operators and building unrivalled customer-relationship-management tools to give people what they want.
It is in financial inclusivity where the postal sector can make its most telling difference and be profitable. In almost every country, there are people and small businesses who are unable to access financial services and the global e-commerce market.
Millions are forced into taking pay-day loans or keeping their savings in unsafe places. This situation needs to end and the Universal Postal Union intends to be at the forefront of the efforts to resolve this problem.
Over hundreds of years, through wars, disease, and famine, the world’s posts have proudly delivered letters and parcels.
That struggle for a unique, uniform network is almost over, but there is a new fight. The inclusion of two billion people who currently stand outside the world’s financial system and pay a disastrous penalty for doing so. It is a fight we are well-positioned to win.
The postal sector is already a global network; a powerful alliance capable of helping the unbanked and under-served, while wholeheartedly embracing e-commerce and digitalization to become profitable.
Bishar A. Hussein is the director-general of the Universal Postal Union

10 documents you need to file your income tax return


The time has come for all of us to start filing our income tax returns. This year it becomes all the more important to file it on time as there is a penalty for missing the deadline. 

To make the process of filing your returns easier, it is always better to keep all the necessary documentary proof ready and handy. Without it, filing your return could be difficult. 

This year, the income tax department has asked taxpayers who file using ITR1 to provide break-up of the gross salary income and income earned from one house property during the FY 2017-18. This is why chartered accountants advise that you must collect all the documents related to income earned during the financial year to ensure that there are no mistakes made while filing ITR. 

Here are the 10 documents you must keep in handy while filing your ITR for FY 2017-18: 


1. Form-16 
If you are a salaried person, this is one of the most important documents for you to file your ITR. Abhishek Soni, CEO, tax2win.in, a tax-filing company, says "Form-16 is a TDS certificate issued to you by your employer to provide details of the salary paid to you and TDS deducted on it, if any. It is mandatory for your employer to issue Form-16 if your employer has deducted TDS from your salary. If no TDS is deducted from your salary, then you can request your employer to provide you the same." 

This year, ITR form-1 requires salaried taxpayers to provide the salary break-up, having Form-16 makes it easier to get that information 

Form-16 consists of two parts: Part-A and Part-B. Part-A consists of all the details of the tax deducted by your employer during the year. Apart from details of the tax deducted from your salary, it also consists of the details of your Permanent Account Number (PAN), PAN and TAN of your employer whereas Part-B of the form consists of your gross salary break-up details such as exempt allowances, perquisites etc. Soni adds, "Details like perquisites, profit in lieu of salary which is taxable in your hands can be found in Part-B Form-16." 

While receiving Form-16, one must check that the PAN mentioned on it is yours. If there is any discrepancy, then you must bring this to your employer's notice. Your employer will rectify the mistakes in Form-16 and issue you a revised form. 

2. Salary slips 
Apart from perquisites and profit in lieu of salary, salaried taxpayers are also required to provide information of allowances such as house rent allowance, transport allowance etc. that are taxable. 

You can find these details in your salary slips. From the salary slips, you can add each allowance received during the year and then calculate the taxability portion of it. If you have received HRA in the last FY and paid rent, then the taxable portion of that will be calculated based on certain conditions. Click here to use our HRA calculator and compute taxable amount. 

Further, the tax treatment of each allowance received by you has a different tax treatment - some allowances will be fully taxable, while some are partially taxed. You can find all of this information in your salary slips. 

Special allowance received during the last FY will be fully taxable in your hands. Transport allowance received during FY 2017-18 will be tax-exempt for maximum up to Rs 19,200 in a year. However, from FY 2018-19, standard deduction of Rs 40,000 will be available in lieu of transport allowance and medical reimbursement. 

3. Interest certificates from banks and post office 
Interest received from savings bank account, post office savings account, fixed deposits and recurring deposits are taxable. Therefore, one must either get the interest certificates from the bank/s and/or post office branch to know the total interest earned, in case no TDS has been deducted. 

If you do not get interest certificates, make sure your account passbook is updated and shows details regarding the interest credited to your account till March 31, 2018. 

4. Form-16A/Form-16B/Form-16C 
If TDS deducted on the payments other than salaries such as interest received from fixed deposits, recurring deposits etc. over the specified limits as per the current tax laws, your bank (in this case) will issue you Form-16A providing you the details of the amount of TDS deducted. 

On the other hand, if you have sold your property, then the buyer will issue you Form-16B showing the TDS deducted on the amount paid to you. 

5. Form 26AS 
Form 26AS is your consolidated annual tax statement. This is like your tax passbook which has information of all the taxes that has been deposited against your PAN. These include: 
a) TDS deducted by your employer, 
b) TDS deducted by banks if the interest income in FY 2017-18 exceeds Rs 10,000, 
c) TDS deducted by any other organisation for the payments that have been made to you, 
d) Advance taxes deposited by yourself during the FY 2017-18, 
 e) Self-assessment taxes paid by you. 

One can download Form 26AS from the TRACES website. To download your Form-26AS, you can login to your account on the e-filing website, www.incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. Once logged in, click on 'View 26AS (Tax Credit)' under the 'My Account' tab. The website will redirect you to the TRACES website to download the form. 

You should ensure that all the taxes deducted in FY 2017-18 are reflecting against your PAN in Form-26AS. In case of mismatch you should ask the deductor to rectify the mistake. If the mismatch is not corrected, you won't be able to claim tax-credit for that TDS deduction. 

6. Tax-saving investment proofs 
All the tax-saving investments and expenditures incurred by you under section 80C, 80CCC and 80CCD(1) during FY2017-18 can help you lower your tax liability. The maximum tax-break you can claim under these three sections cannot exceed Rs 1.5 lakh in a financial year. 
The most common available tax breaks under section 80C are as follows: 
a) Employees Provident Fund (EPF) 
b) Public Provident Fund (PPF) 
c) Investments in ELSS schemes of mutual funds 
d) Life insurance premium paid 
e) National Pension System (NPS) etc. 

Apart from investments, there are certain expenditures that are also eligible for tax-benefits under section 80C. Examples of these expenditures include home loan principal repayment, tuition fees paid for your children etc. Click here to know all expenditures that can help you save tax under section 80C. 

7. Deductions under section 80D to 80U 
Apart from tax-saving investments and expenditures under section 80C, there are certain expenses on which you can claim deductions under different sections of the Income-tax Act. For instance, health insurance premium paid in the FY 2017-18 is eligible for deduction under section 80D of the Act for maximum up to Rs 25,000 in a year. 

8. Home loan statement from bank/NBFC 
If you have taken a home loan from a bank or any other financial institution, don't forget to collect the loan statement. It will provide you the break-up details of how much principal and interest has been repaid by you. 

9. Capital gains 
If you have earned some capital gains from the sale of property and/ or mutual funds, then you will be required to report these gains in your ITR. 

10. Aadhaar card 
Providing Aadhaar details is mandatory to successfully file your ITR. According to section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, an individual is required to provide his/her Aadhaar details while filing the return of your income. 

If you have not received your Aadhaar card yet but have applied for it, then you would be required to provide an enrolment ID in your tax returns. 

Source:-The Times of India