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Friday, January 31, 2014

Revision of Headquarter Allowance admissible to officers of organized Group A Services posted in Headquarters Organisation-regarding.

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"Charging own customers for ATM is ridiculous"

Mumbai, Jan 30 (PTI) Amidst rising demand from banks that they be allowed to increase user fees and limit free access to automated teller machines (ATMs), senior-most Reserve Bank Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty today said it is "ridiculous" for a bank to charge its own customers for these services.

"You are saying charging for using your ATMs. Tomorrow you will start charging for going to the bank," Chakrabarty said here while replying to a query on the matter.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Updation of entries in the All India Negative List of Cash Certificates dated 22.01.2014

To view please Click Here.

Judgement Order dated 20.11.2013 of the Hon'ble High Court of Kolkotta in the matter of W.P No. 33290 of 2013 in the case of Mr Avishek Goenka vs Union of India regarding personal details of RTI applicants

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Revised Delivery NOrms for Speed Post : Addendum

To view please Click Here.

Promotion of Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) officers (who are on deputation) of Indian Postal Service, Group 'A', to Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) of the Service.

To view please Click Here.

Government Decides to Keep in Abeyance the Decision to Change the Procedure for Pan Allotment Till Further Orders

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to keep in abeyance the decision to change the procedure for PAN allotment till further orders. Accordingly, the operation of Circular No. 11 dated 16.01.2014 issued to PAN service providers has been directed to be put on hold till further orders. In the meantime, the old procedure of PAN application and allotment shall continue. 


Irda cautions public not to fall prey to fictitious calls

Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) has asked the public to remain alert and not to fall prey to frauds and scams perpetrated by miscreants using the name of the authority or insurance companies. 

Irda said it was receiving complaints, through email and letters and from the public informing the Authority that they were receiving spurious calls from unidentified persons who claimed to be representative and offered policies of different insurance companies with various b .. 

Cabinet nod to changes in OBC list

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Government today gave its go-ahead to the amendment of the central list of Other Backwards Castes to ensure reservation benefits to about 60 castes and communities which have not been able to avail of these so far.

Govt hikes subsidised LPG cylinder quota to 12 per year

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) Bowing to party pressure, the government today raised the quota of subsidised LPG to 12 cylinders per household in a year from nine at present and also put on hold paying users the subsidy into bank accounts using Aadhaar platform.

Announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily said raising the LPG quota will cost Rs 5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually.

Congratulation to Shri P.K. Bisoi (IPoS)

The Circle Secretary,  All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Posts, Odisha Circle Branch accompanied by other members from Bhubaneswar met Shri Pradipta Ku. Bisoi, PMG, Berhampur Region, Berhampur at Circle Office and congratulated him on his promotion and posting as Chief PMG, Maharastra Circle, Mumbai and wished him the best for all his future endeavors.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CHQ News:-Sr. Postmaster CAT Case Chandigarh Bench ....... an updates !!!

Sr. Postmaster CAT Case under OA. No. 1328/HP/2011 filed by the All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents Posts Haryana and Punjab Circle Branch jointly came up for hearing on 27.01.2014 before Hon'ble CAT Bench Chandigarh. On a pleading raised by Ld Counsel on behalf of Association that unless and untill Recruitment Rules of PS Group ''B'' 1987 are amended, Sr. Postmaster Recruitment Rules - 2010 cannot be made applicable. Hon'ble Bench directed to submit progress made in revision of PS Group B cadre Recruitment Rules by the Department on the next date of hearing 18.02.2014.

CHQ News....

1.   Issue of combined seniority list of Inspector Posts from 1998 to 2000 

Today, seniority list is compiled by SPG Division of Directorate and is likely to be released very soon.  

2.   Holding of DPC for promotion to the cadre of JTS Gr. A for the vacancy of 2012-13.

All the queries raised by UPSC were replied by Directorate and suitable date for convening DPC is awaited from UPSC.  

3.   Declination of PS Gr. B promotion and repatriation to parent circle.

Secretary (Posts) has accepted the declination of PS Gr. B promotion of 17 IP Line officers. List is being circulated soon and thereafter supplementary DPC and repatriation cases will be decided on merit.  

4.   Issue of combined seniority list of PS Gr. B cadre  

Representations received from officers have got clearance from DoPT and now DOP will prepare a fresh seniority list at the earliest.

Shri Pradipta Ku. Bisoi, PMG, Berhampur Region posted as Chief PMG, Maharastra Circle.

Shri Pradipta Ku. Bisoi, PMG, Berhampur Region, Berhampur has been posted as Chief PMG, Maharastra Circle, Mumbai on promotion.To view the order please Click Here.

All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Posts, Odisha Circle Branch congratulates him on his promotion and wishes him the best for all his future endeavors.  

Pre-2005 notes valid for transaction till March:RBI

Mumbai, Jan 28 (PTI) Reserve Bank today said all pre-2005 currency notes can be used for commercial transaction only till March 31 but could be exchanged at banks even after this deadline.

"All older series of banknotes issued prior to 2005 would be acceptable for all kinds of monetary transactions only till March 31, 2014," RBI said in a notification.

Thereafter, it said, the public will be required to approach bank branches for exchange of such currency on an ongoing basis.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New PAN card to cost Rs 105

New PAN cards issued by the income tax department will cost Rs 105, including taxes. 

The I-T department has recently notified new procedures for verifying personal and proprietary data of an individual or entity for allotment of new PAN cards. 

The step, sources said, has been taken in order to weed out the problem of fake or multiple Permanent Account Number(PAN) cards. 

"The cost of getting a new PAN card, including all taxes, is Rs 105. This service charge by-and-large has been kept unchanged. The new procedures of checking original documents for proving date of birth, address and identity have been brought in to check the complaints of fake PAN cards or multiple cards obtained by any entity," a senior I-T official said. 

From February 3, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has notified that individuals or others wanting PAN will have to furnish copies of proof of identity, address and date of birth attached with their application forms and they will be checked against their original documents when applications are submitted at PAN facilitation centres. 

While the original documents would be returned to applicants after on-the-spot verification, the applicant has to self-attest the photocopies. 

The I-T department, in a number of cases, has found a number of individuals possessing multiple PAN cards or forging details to evade taxes and create 'benami' properties. 

"The technology systems of the I-T department will now be made error-free and robust once PAN card data is entered as correctly as possible," the official said, adding that the new cards issued henceforth will feature the name and date of birth of the applicant and not the address details. 

PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number allotted by the I-T department to taxpayers.

Source:-The Times of India

Fundamental (First Amendment) Rules, 2014.

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Call for application for the position of Lecturer for Business, finance & Human Resources Management at APPU

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Shri V Pati, PMG, Hyderabad Region will look after the current duties of CPMG, Andhra Pradesh

To view the order please Click Here.

Withdrawal of pre-2005 notes is not to check black money:Rajan

Mumbai, Jan 28 (PTI) Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said the withdrawal of pre-2005 notes is not intended to check black money but to prevent counterfeiting.

"It is not intended to get at black money, tax evasion etc. I am not saying those are good things. This is technical action, in order to withdraw notes which have fewer security features than new notes," Rajan said in a media briefing after announcement of third quarter monetary policy review.

How postmen, and their wives, may help set India's monetary policy

NEW DELHI: Global investors may well be putting their faith in postmen like Phanin Deka when they decide to buy or sell Indian assets in the future. 

He is one of about a thousand post workers collecting data that determines the level of India's consumer price index, which is likely to become the central bank's most important tool for setting monetary policy. 

Deka, a postmaster in Sarpara in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, spends 6 days every month visiting two villages by bicycle to collect prices from 15 shops. 
"At times, some shopkeepers refuse to co-operate. I think they consider me as an irritant, particularly when customers are around," said Deka. 

Last week, a committee formed by Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan proposed making CPI the central bank's main inflation measure and using it to set an inflation target, part of sweeping proposals to revamp monetary policy in a country that has long struggled with high inflation. 

It would make CPI the most important data followed by the central bank and key in determining changes in interest rates that could affect millions of dollars in investments and loans. 

For years, India has been an outlier among major economies by relying as its main inflation gauge on changes in wholesale prices, collected from India's cities. That was because the CPI was seen as too heavily geared to food prices, which are unresponsive to the ups and downs of interest rates because people have to eat. 

There is a wide gap between wholesale and consumer inflation in India, so if the new set up is approved, economists expect higher interest rates for longer. In December, WPI inflation in Asia's third-largest economy was 6.16 percent and CPI was nearly 10 percent. 

Using CPI as a benchmark eventually to bring inflation down to a targeted 4 percent, plus or minus 2 percent, would better reflect the way inflation affects the broader population, the committee argued. 

However, the current CPI inflation series was launched only in 2012 and is based on nearly decade-old consumption patterns in a country of 1.25 billion people whose spending habits are changing fast. Average incomes have more than doubled over the same period. 

It still measures changes in the cost of cassette tapes, while smartphones - fast becoming ubiquitous in India - are not included. 

Power failures, worker strikes that shut shops and businesses, heavy rains and flooding, and even insurgencies all make the postal workers' data collection more difficult. 

That leads to some guess work. 

"Sometimes during the rainy season, I am unable to go out. Then I have no option but to fill in the prices of different items myself," said a postman in Guwahati in northeastern India, who declined to be identified. 

"Usually I go to shops once or twice in two or three months to check price trends and fill in the price details myself by cross-checking with my wife," he said. 

Arvind Mayaram, economic affairs secretary at the ministry of finance, acknowledged there are shortfalls in the consumer price index. 

"CPI has a lot of imperfections," he told a TV channel last week. "We know that it requires a whole lot of sophistication, which we haven't achieved yet on determining CPI." 

Houses and milk Consumption patterns between rural and urban India differ dramatically, and there is no data available on rural housing costs. 

Food consumption, the key driver of persistent consumer price inflation, is changing as incomes grow, especially in rural areas. Indians now eat more protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, whereas in the past their diet was more based on cereals, rice and vegetables. 

Statistics ministry officials say the data is fairly robust and comparable to international standards, but needs to be updated to reflect changing consumption habits. 

Food is now about 50% of the index, the highest among the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. That weighting will be brought down in a new CPI series, said TCA Anant, India's chief statistician. Clothing, now just under 5 percent of the basket, would also change, he said. 

"There has been a decline in the share of food in the total expenditure, and within food there is shift from cereals to protein, eggs, milk and other items that need to be reflected in the index," he said. 

Food is a major source of inflation - about a third of fresh produce perishes before it reaches the shops - and is currently running at double digits. 

Challenge India's postal service started in 2011 to collect price data for the statistics department. 

Collecting quality information on roughly 300 index items is a challenge in such a large country, and some officials privately expressed doubt over the quality of price data collected by the postmen in village markets. 

"A postman who cannot even timely deliver letters, you expect him to gather price data on hundreds of items?" said a senior official at the statistics department. "You can imagine what happens when a truck driver drives a Mercedes-Benz car." 

Large swathes of rural northeastern and central India are essentially controlled by militants in long-running ethnic and Naxalite insurgencies, one of the more extreme factors making it difficult to gather data. 

"Half of the month here businesses remain shut due to strikes called by various organizations or there are other problems related to militancy," said another postman, who also declined to be identified. 

Pronab Sen, head of the National Statistical Commission and Anant's predecessor as India's chief statistician, said that until the CPI index builds long-term data, the central bank should use both the CPI and WPI to set monetary policy. 

"If two indices are telling me two different stories, and I ignore one, then what I am doing is essentially, deliberately losing information, and any loss of information leads to lower quality of decision," said Sen.

Source:-The Times of India

39th Circle Conference.- Modification of order issued nominating IPs & ASPs as escorting officer to receive CBSE material

On invitation of the DPS (HQ), the Circle Secretary met him in his chamber in the presence of the AD(Mail) and had a discussion in the matter. It has now been decided that the order issued vide C.O. No.BD/27-4/2011 dated 24-01-2014 and 27-01-2014 will be modified. 

Fresh instruction has already been issued to the Units vide CO Letter No.BD/27-4/2011 dated 28-01-2014 sent through e-mail to nominate Sr. Official/PRI instead of IPs/ASPs.  

All concerned are requested to apply for Special Casual Leave and Head Quarter Leave permission to their controlling authority to attend the Circle Conference with reference to C.O. Letter No. WL/24-7/2001-Ch-I dated 20/21-12-2013 immediately.  

CS writes to Chief PMG on engagement of IPs & ASPs on pre- Conference CWC and Circle Conference scheduled on 01-02-2014 and 02-02-2014

No. AIAIPASP/Corr-1/24/2013
Shri Tilak De(IPoS)
Chief Postmaster General
          Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar-751001

Sub:- Engagement of IPs & ASPs on pre- Conference CWC and Circle Conference scheduled on 01-02-2014 and 02-02-2014 respectively- Request for exemption.  

Respected Sir,

A kind reference is invited to C.O. Letter No. WL/24-7/2001-Ch-I dated 20/21-12-2013 wherein Special CL as admissible under rule has been granted to all the IPs & ASPs who are members of All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Posts, Odisha Circle Branch to attend 39th Circle Conference being held on 01-02-2014 (Saturday) (Pre-Conference CWC) and 02-02-2014(Sunday) (Open Session) at Balasore.
On the other hand a good number of IPs & ASPs who are members of this Association are being engaged vide C.O. Letter No.BD/27-4/2011 dated 24-01-2014 to act as escorting officer and receive the CBSE materials from Bhubaneswar RMS on above mentioned dates.
This is against the essence of the facilities admissible to unions /associations recognized by the Department of Posts under CCS (RSA), Rules, 1993.
It is to mention that now the Circle Conference is being held once in a two year and the members should be given the opportunity to participate in the Conference which is also admissible under rules. 
  I, on behalf this Association request for your kind intervention in the matter and to exempt the IPs and ASPs from any official duty by making some other arrangement. It is a very sensitive issue for the Association. This Association looks forward for your kind consideration in the matter. 
With profound regards,
Yours sincerely,

(Pitabasa Jena)
Circle Secretary

Copy to:-
1. Shri Pawan Ku. Singh, DPS(HQ), O/o CPMG, Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar-751001 for kind information.  
2.The Asst. Director(BD), O/o CPMG, Odisha Circle, Bhubaneswar-751001 for information and necessary action.
Circle Secretary

Monday, January 27, 2014

Why people are parking money in Post Office deposits & NSC instead of gold

Plentiful rains during monsoons have led to bumper crops, delivering a bounty to rural India as expected, but it's not gold that people seem to be buying with their surplus income.

People in villages and semi-urban areas are parking money in Post Office deposits and National Savings Certificates, instead of the usual practice of buying gold with their extra cash. That is a welcome change as India's penchant for gold had wreaked havoc with the country's external balances.

Though numbers are available only till November, agencies involved with small savings say 2013-14 will be a trend reversal year for financial savings. "There is 10% growth in the current financial year (in small savings)," said a government official handling small savings.

Inflows to savings instruments had dipped in the past couple of years as a combination of low economic growth and high inflation forced people to put their money in gold. Some also invested in real estate. India's domestic savings rate declined to 30.8% in 2011-12 from 34.0% in the previous year, the Reserve Bank of India had said in its annual report. But interest in gold is waning.

Steps by the government and central bank to curb gold imports have driven up its price, and many expect returns from the yellow metal to fall.

The nature of inflows into small savings instruments - deposits and savings certificates - suggests inflows are largely rural, the official said. The agriculture sector, the main employer of rural workforce, expanded 3.6% in the first half of the current fiscal year, up from 2.3% a year earlier, and the growth is expected to gather pace in the rest of the year because of the good monsoon.

Against a budgeted outflow of Rs 13,690 crore, there was a net inflow of Rs 3,940 crore in deposits and certificates in the April-November period. In contrast, the public provident fund saw an inflow of only Rs 6,428 crore against the more than Rs 28,000 crore expected for the same period.

Higher interest rates offered by small savings schemes have improved their attractiveness, and helped wean investors away from gold. The goverPeople in countryside opting for small savings over gold to park money innment had revamped the national small savings fund in December 2011, benchmarking returns on to market interest rates. Interest rates are now notified at the beginning of every financial year based on the average yields on government securities of similar maturity, with a positive rate spread of 25 basis points.

The fourth quarter is expected to bring in more robust inflows from urban areas as tax savers rush to make their deposits before the end of the fiscal year, the official said. According to him, these savings typically displayed a cyclical character.

Finance minister P Chidambaram had identified increasing savings as one of the focus areas for the government. "A high level of savings is a precondition to a high level of investment," Chidambaram had said after returning to the finance ministry in 2012.

The government and the RBI together had announced inflation-linked bonds to wean people away from gold. India imports most of the gold it consumers. According to authorities, huge imports of the metal were a key reason for India's wide current account deficit, which had pulled the value of the rupee to its lowest level against the dollar in August last year.

Source:-The Economic Times

UPU News:- New leadership at PUASP

The Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (PUASP) has a new secretary general. Ecuador’s Roberto Cavanna entered office this month, heading this UPU restricted union created in 1911 and based in Montevideo, Uruguay.
He replaces Serrana Bassini Casco, who led PUASP during eight years. Previously, Cavanna was director general of Correos de Ecuador.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

President’s address to the Nation on the eve of the Republic Day

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, addressed the Nation on the eve of the 65th Republic Day. Following is the text of the President’s address on the occasion: 

“My Fellow Citizens, 

On the eve of 65th Republic Day, I extend warm greetings to all of you in India and abroad. I convey my special greetings to members of our Armed Forces, Paramilitary Forces and Internal Security Forces. 

The Republic Day commands the respect of every Indian. On this day, sixty four years ago, in a remarkable display of idealism and courage, we the people of India gave to ourselves a sovereign democratic republic to secure all its citizens justice, liberty and equality. We undertook to promote among all citizens fraternity, the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation. These ideals became the lodestar of the modern Indian State. Democracy became our most precious guide towards peace and regeneration from the swamp of poverty created by centuries of colonial rule. From within the spacious provisions of our Constitution, India has grown into a beautiful, vibrant, and sometimes noisy democracy. For us, the democracy is not a gift, but the fundamental right of every citizen; for those in power democracy is a sacred trust. Those who violate this trust commit sacrilege against the nation. 

Some cynics may scoff at our commitment to democracy but our democracy has never been betrayed by the people; its fault-lines, where they exist, are the handiwork of those who have made power a gateway to greed. We do feel angry, and rightly so, when we see democratic institutions being weakened by complacency and incompetence. If we hear sometimes an anthem of despair from the street, it is because people feel that a sacred trust is being violated. 

Fellow Citizens, 

Corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy, and weakens the foundations of our state. If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments. 

Equally dangerous is the rise of hypocrisy in public life. Elections do not give any person the licence to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power. 

This rage will abate only when governments deliver what they were elected to deliver: social and economic progress, not at a snail`s pace, but with the speed of a racehorse. The aspirational young Indian will not forgive a betrayal of her future. Those in office must eliminate the trust deficit between them and the people. Those in politics should understand that every election comes with a warning sign: perform, or perish. 

I am not a cynic because I know that democracy has this marvellous ability to self-correct. It is the physician that heals itself, and 2014 must become a year of healing after the fractured and contentious politics of the last few years. 

My Fellow Citizens, 

The last decade witnessed the emergence of India as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The slowdown of our economy in the last two years can be some cause for concern but none for despair. The green shoots of revival are already visible. The agricultural growth in the first half of this year has touched 3.6 per cent and rural economy is buoyant. 

2014 is a precipice moment in our history. We must re-discover that sense of national purpose and patriotism, which lifts the nation above and across the abyss; and back on to the road of prosperity. Give the young jobs and they will raise the villages and cities to 21st century standards. Give them a chance and you will marvel at the India they can create. 

This chance will not come if India does not get a stable government. This year, we will witness the 16th General Election to our Lok Sabha. A fractured government, hostage to whimsical opportunists, is always an unhappy eventuality. In 2014, it could be catastrophic. Each one of us is a voter; each one of us has a deep responsibility; we cannot let India down. It is time for introspection and action. 

India is not just a geography: it is also a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation, and experience. The promise of India has sometimes been mislaid by misfortune; at other times by our own complacence and weakness. Destiny has given us another opportunity to recover what we have lost; we will have no one to blame but ourselves if we falter. 

Fellow Citizens, 

A democratic nation is always involved in argument with itself. This is welcome, for we solve problems through discussion and consent, not force. But healthy differences of opinion must not lead to an unhealthy strife within our polity. Passions are rising over whether we should have smaller states to extend equitable development to all parts of a state. A debate is legitimate but it should conform to democratic norms. The politics of divide and rule has extracted a heavy price on our subcontinent. If we do not work together, nothing ever will work. 

India must find its own solutions to its problems. We must be open to all knowledge; to do otherwise would be to condemn our nation to the misery of a stagnant mire. But we should not indulge in the easy option of mindless imitation, for that can lead us to a garden of weeds. India has the intellectual prowess, the human resource and financial capital to shape a glorious future. We possess a dynamic civil society with an innovative mindset. Our people, whether in villages or cities, share a vibrant, unique consciousness and culture. Our finest assets are human. 

Fellow Citizens, 

Education has been an inseparable part of the Indian experience. I am not talking only of the ancient institutions of excellence like Takshashila or Nalanda, but of an age as recent as the 17th and 18th centuries. Today, our higher educational infrastructure consists of over 650 universities and 33,000 colleges. The quality of education has to be the focus of our attention now. We can be world leaders in education, if only we discover the will and leadership to take us to that pinnacle. Education is no longer just the privilege of the elite, but a universal right. It is the seed of a nation’s destiny. We must usher in an education revolution that becomes a launching pad for the national resurgence. 

I am being neither immodest, nor beating a false drum, when I claim that India can become an example to the world. Because, the human mind flourishes best when it is, as the great sage Rabindranath Tagore said, free from fear; when it has the liberty to roam into spheres unknown; in search of wisdom; and when the people have the fundamental right to propose as well as oppose. 

My Fellow Citizens, 

There will be a new government before I speak to you again on the eve of our Independence Day. Who wins the coming election is less important than the fact that whosoever wins must have an undiluted commitment to stability, honesty, and the development of India. Our problems will not disappear overnight. We live in a turbulent part of the world where factors of instability have grown in the recent past. Communal forces and terrorists will still seek to destabilize the harmony of our people and the integrity of our state but they will never win. Our security and armed forces, backed by the steel of popular support, have proved that they can crush an enemy within; with as much felicity as they guard our frontiers. Mavericks who question the integrity of our armed services are irresponsible and should find no place in public life. 

India`s true strength lies in her Republic; in the courage of her commitment, the sagacity of her Constitution, and the patriotism of her people. 1950 saw the birth of our Republic. I am sure that 2014 will be the year of resurgence. 



Procedure for Pan Allotment Process to Undergo a Change with Effect from 3rd february, 2014

The procedure for PAN allotment process will undergo a change with effect from 03.02.2014. From this date onwards, every PAN applicant has to submit self-attested copies of Proof of Identity (POI), Proof of Address (POA) and Date of Birth (DOB) documents and also produce original documents of such POI/POA/DOB documents, for verification at the counter of PAN Facilitation Centres. The copies of Proof of Identity (POI), Proof of Address (POA) and Date of Birth (DOB) documents attached with PAN application form, will be verified vis a vis their original documents at the time of submission of PAN application at PAN Facilitation Centre. Original documents shall not be retained by the PAN Facilitation Centres and will be returned back to the applicant after verification. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Withdrawing pre-2005 notes: RBI move impacts public, creates panic


The central bank did specifically say there was no reason to get into a panic about bank notes printed before 2005 getting phased out. So naturally, a lot of people have done exactly that. That's an exaggeration of course, but it has to be said that there is consternation among large sections of the people.

The Bharatiya Janata Party fumed that the poor and the illiterate will be badly hit by the move. Meanwhile, some shopkeepers and cab drivers are looking askance at currency notes without the year of printing on the back.

Experts said gold and real estate prices may increase while individuals could face difficulty making transactions, leading to the mushrooming of agents to facilitate note swaps.

All these and more could be among the unintended consequences of the Reserve Bank of India's decision to swap currency notes that went into circulation before 2005 with new ones.

RBI governor Raghuram Rajan seems resigned to facing a barrage of questions over the move. Even Central Bureau of Investigation director Ranjit Sinha wanted to know whether the timing of the announcement on Wednesday had anything to do with the general election that's coming up. "I feared that this question will be asked," Rajan said in Delhi on Thursday. "The decision to withdraw pre-2005 currency notes after March 31 is not guided by politics and elections. It was a long-standing demand of the finance ministry. There are security factors attached with the decision."

Rajan was delivering the RN Kao memorial lecture. Incidentally, the governor's father had worked closely with Kao, founder of India's external intelligence agency, the Research & Analysis Wing.

"This is not an attempt to demonetise," Rajan insisted. "It is an attempt to replace less effective notes with more effective notes. I understand people are making different interpretations. Unfortunately that should not be the interpretation." Some RBI officials said that with many security features having been introduced since 2005, it made sense to withdraw currency without these to weed out counterfeits, which was possibly what the governor meant by "more effective notes".

Still, Sinha's question was legitimate. Black money with businessmen, politicians and elements beyond the pale of the law may chase real assets ahead of the polls on fears that come April they'll face uncomfortable questions from the income tax department even though in theory, unlimited amounts of currency could be exchanged without disclosing the source of income.

While that may act as boost to an economy in a prolonged slump amid a cut in government spending, a price rise would run counter to what policymakers are trying to achieve.

Veteran bankers remember what happened in 1977 when the Janata Party government of Morarji Desai demonetised notes of higher value to curb black money. But the intended effect was undone by a weakness in the system -- it moved to Nepal instead where the currency had the same status as in India.

"In 1977, RBI had withdrawn currency and called it demonetisation with a focus to curb black money hoarding,'' said Sunil Pant, a banker who retired from the State Bank of India recently. "We used to wait for customers to walk in with the notes, but it hardly happened. Pressure on undeclared currency could result in black money moving into other near cash assets like commodities.''

Since currency notes began carrying the year of printing in 2005, all those without this will be withdrawn according to the plan. Those who have such notes can swap them for new ones from April 1. From July 1 though, anyone wanting to exchange more than 10 Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes will need to show identity proof unless they are customers of the bank.

Rajan got some support from yoga guru Ramdev. "This a very good move to curb black money,'' he told ET. Ramdev had held a protest in 2012 seeking to force the government to make greater efforts to unearth black money. "But, this is just a band-aid solution and what we need is complete surgery...

Withdrawing pre-2005 notes: RBI move impacts public, creates panic
RBI should have recalled all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes issued until 2013." Experts such as R Vaidyanathan, a professor at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and Arun Kumar, a professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, believe the move won't help in combating black money.

"They have not said you have to establish the source of income,'' said Vaidyanathan. "You can walk in with any amount of cash and walk out with equal amount of new currency.''

Meanwhile, RBI officials admit that the move has led to problems on the ground. "This has created panic among the people and only publicity can bring awareness,'' said an RBI official who didn't want to be identified. "Shopkeepers and small shops have stopped accepting the notes already.'' Some question whether banks can handle the currency note swap of this magnitude.

"From the logistics point of view, it is going to be a nightmare," said Madan Sabnavis, economist at CARE Ratings. "Not many banks will have that kind of cash stock. A lot of agents will spring up and we could face a lot of irritants.''

With inputs from Deepshika Sikarwar

Source:-The Economic Times.

Transfers/postings in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG) and in the Senior Administrative Grade (SAG) of lndian Postal Service, Group A

To view Department of Posts (Personnel Division) No.1-512014-SPG dated 23rd January, 2014 please Click Here.

Revised Syllabi and Pattern for Limited Departmental Competitive Examinations and Direct Recruitment Examinations of 2014 and onwards for the cadres of Postman, Mail Guard and Multi Tasking Staff

To view Department of Posts (Personnel Division) No. 45-14/2012-SPB-l dated Dated: 17th January, 2014 please Click Here.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

MTNL, BSNL likely to offer free roaming plans from January 26

NEW DELHI: State-owned telecom firms MTNL and BSNL are likely to launch new roaming plans from January 26 that will offer their subscribers free calls, sources said. 

"MTNL has plans to make roaming free for its customers on its network in Delhi and Mumbai without any additional charge," said an official source. 

He added, however, that BSNL will also have a roaming plan for free calls, but its customers may have to shell out Re 1 a day to avail of the facility. 

The schemes are likely to be in place from January 26. Several private telecom operators already offer plans under which, for a monthly or daily fee starting Rs 5, people get all incoming calls without roaming charges. 

MTNL has operations in Delhi and Mumbai only, while BSNL has operations across country except in these two circle. 

MTNL's Mumbai customer will not have to pay any extra charge when they travel to Delhi, and same scheme will apply for its Delhi customers. 

Further details of PSUs plans could not be ascertained. Source said that Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is likely to announce this scheme within couple of days. 

"Minister (Sibal) had asked the PSUs in November to come up with free roaming scheme. Though MTNL made it free, BSNL will levy charge so that it can bear cost. Customers availing scheme will enjoy local tariff wherever they travel," the source said. 

As per latest the data released by telecom regulator Trai, 9.78 crore mobile subscribers while MTNL has 35.75 lakh customers on its network.

Source:-The Economic Times