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

Friday, May 29, 2015

REVISION OF SERVICE TAX RATE FROM 01.06.2015

As intimated by CEPT, Mysore to implement the changes in the software on the basis of the tax revision, it will take at least 10 days to CEPT to modify the software.   After development is completed, it is to be tested before release.
Separate suitable instructions are to be issued separately by the Circles to implement the revised tax structure.  The collection of service tax at revised rates is likely to be effected manually till implementation of changes in the software.

Yoga Training Sessions in association with Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi for the benefit of Central Government Employees and their dependents at Block No.14, C.G.O Complex, New Delhi w.e.f 01.06.2015.

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Introduction of new and healthy food items in the Departmnental Canteens located in Central Government Offices.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

5 financial frauds you need to keep an eye on before you hand out your account details

By Preeti Kulkarni, ET Bureau

Despite several regulatory and technological safeguards being put in place to prevent frauds in the banking space, they continue unabated. The only safeguards customers can rely on are awareness and constant vigilance. 

A few months ago, VN Kulkarni, chief credit counsellor at the Bank of India-backed Abhay Credit Counselling Centre came across a case of credit card fraud involving a 25-year-old victim. "He got a call from someone claiming to be a senior officer from the bank. He was told that as part of due diligence of all card holders, he had to disclose all the card-related information, including the password, failing which the card would be deactivated within five minutes," says Kulkarni. 

Unfortunately, he fell prey to the tactic. "Within ten minutes of sharing this information, entire amount from his account was utilised. Going to the cyber cell or the police did not yield results and the banker, too, took the stand that since card was in his possession, he was responsible for the transaction," he adds. 

This is not an isolated case. Many banking customers get tricked into the revealing sensitive information like their CVV number or the PIN over the phone or emails. This apart, victims also unwittingly end up helping fraudsters in their mission by storing their passwords in mobile phones and computers or believing tall claims. 

Last month, the Reserve Bank of India cautioned bank customers against using the 'RBI' mobile app, a tool with the central bank logo that claimed to be an 'All Bank Balance Enquiry No'. "Members of public are, therefore, advised to use the application, if at all, at their own risk," the RBI alert stated. 

To counter various online and card-related frauds, the banking regulator and banks have taken a series of measures, the latest being the RBI's decision to ask banks to issue new cards using the chip-and-PIN technology. Starting September 1, all new cards - debit and credit, domestic and international - issued by banks will come with an embedded chip (that can be seen on the face of the card), and you will need to enter your Personal Identification Number (PIN) each time your swipe your card at a merchant terminal to make purchases. 

However, all the measures will yield the desired results only if you are aware of the types of frauds and alert enough to avert them. 
Here are financial frauds you need to be aware of: 

1) Card from the 'Reserve Bank of India' The Reserve Bank India (RBI) has, in the past, issued an alert, drawing customers' attention to a credit card scam where fraudsters issue cards in the name of the central bank. This is how it works: Initially, the 'RBI' credit card allows withdrawal of small amount of money -- this is just a ruse to get the users to deposit a large sum in a bank account linked to the card. Predictably, the card stops working after this transaction and the fraudster, too, is unreachable. 

2) Congratulatory messages or offers from 'RBI' According to the banking regulator, fraudsters posing as RBI officials have, over phone or e-mail, made fictitious offers of transferring large amounts or lottery winnings. The modus operandi is simple: Victims are told that they are eligible for a huge sum or have won a lottery, but need to deposit a 'small' transaction or processing fee into a bank account to facilitate the transfer. 
Once the victim transfers this amount in hope of receiving a larger sum, the caller becomes incommunicado after transferring the money abroad. "To lend credence to such offers, the communication is often sent on/from letterheads/websites that appear to be like that of some public authorities like the Reserve Bank of India. The offers are purportedly signed by top executives/senior officials of such authorities. While the names of the officials might be correct, their signatures are fake," noted RBI's caution to the public at large. Fictitious offers have been made even in the name of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, International Monetary Fund (IMF), income tax authorities and so on. 

3) Fake Reserve Bank website for online transactions Another fraud perpetrated in RBI's name, this came to light when RBI issued an alert last year. It sought to draw customers' attention to fake websites with URL address similar to RBI's that had sprung up. "It has come to the notice of the Reserve Bank of India today that a fake website has been created at www .rbi-inonline.org/savings.html by some unknown persons offering various banking facilities and asking members of public to apply on-line for opening 'RBI Savings Account'," the cautionary note pointed out. The objective of creating such links is to steal your sensitive bank and credit card details and misuse the same to siphon off your funds. Remember, RBI's only website goes by the URL www .rbi.org.in 

4) Calls for customer verification This is perhaps the most commonly used trick to elicit personal information from unsuspecting users. Typically, emails sent from fraudulent IDs masquerading as official ones from banks seek such information from accountholders. The purpose stated is 'customer verification'. Once you provide the information, it is used to make purchases on your behalf or withdraw funds from your account. Such emails have been sent by fraudsters posing as RBI, too. 

A few months ago, the central bank had advised customers against responding to mails from no-reply@rbi.com which attempted to trick them into revealing sensitive data. The email claimed that the RBI was offering online security protection to reduce frauds in the system. Again, the purpose was to misuse the information. Merely clicking on the link would result in identity theft. 

5) Frauds at POS terminals While the introduction of chip-based cards and additional PIN for debit card transactions has made card-present transactions more secure, negligence at your end can bring these security measures to a naught. "If you hand over your card to the attendant at a restaurant with your CVV number, you are putting your card security at risk.

In fact, I have come across cases where the cardholders had even divulged the second factor authentication (PIN required to be keyed in on the swipe machine)," says Kumar Karpe, CEO, Techprocess, payment processing company. Your information can easily be misused to duplicate your card. According to Karpe, frauds also take place in organisations when employees are not at their desk. 

"Cards get stolen from the wallets and also replaced later after duplicating them. Many users tend to store their PIN in their mobile phones or maintain passwords that are easy to crack like birthdays, mother's name and so on, making the task easier for fraudsters," he says. 

Be Alert Fraudsters rely on gullibility of banking customers to extract sensitive information that can compromise their accounts or lure them into depositing money into accounts where the holder's name sounds authentic. In case of both 'RBI' card and money transfer offers, remember, RBI will never contact you for such schemes. It neither issues a credit card nor asks for fee to facilitate any transaction. The central bank or any other regulator will never contact you asking for fees or any personal, account or card-related information, neither will your bank. The RBI, too, will never contact the public via unsolicited phone calls or emails asking for money or any other type of personal information. It does not maintain individuals' accounts or extend loans to them. Similarly, no bank will ask for such sensitive information. 

Besides, you need to follow basic hygiene during both card-present and card-not-present transactions. Wherever available, use the one-time-password (OTP) option for second factor authentication. "When you are transacting at POS terminals, wipe the keypad after you are done, if possible," says Karpe.
In case of online transactions, register your number with the card issuer. Similarly, use the virtual keypad facility to prevent capturing of keystrokes on compromised computers. Look for secure websites starting with 'https' and avoid carrying out transactions while using free
Wi-Fi. Make sure your passwords are not your date of birth, pincode or close relatives' or pets' names.

Source:-The Economic Times

Rajdhani, Shatabdi trains to have paperless ticketing system

Stepping up efforts to reduce usage of paper, Railways has decided to introduce paperless mobile ticketing system in premium trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdiservices.

Currently, the paperless ticketing system is operational in unreserved ticketing for commuters in Egmore and Tambram suburban section in Chennai on a pilot basis.

"Our aim is to extend the paperless ticketing system in both reserved and unreserved segment in phases. While the system is at present operational in a suburban section in Chennai, we will cover all suburban services soon and then it will be extended to reserved segment also," Railway Board Member (Traffic) Ajay Shukla said here today.

He said passengers of the premier trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi will be the first to have this paperless mobile ticketing facility.

This system is available through a mobile application developed by the Centre for Railway Information Systems ( CRIS), Railways' software wing.

The reason for choosing Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains first for paperless ticketing system is that all passengers of premier trains are likely to have mobile phones, he said.

Shukla said, however, before introducing the system in the reserved ticketing segment, refund rules will be rationalised so that passenger will not have any problem in getting their money back if a ticket is being cancelled.

Railways consume about 600 tonnes paper for printing tickets and reservation charts in a year. The national transporter expect to earn carbon credit, if printing of tickets is eliminated completely.

Railways is also planning to launch multi-lingual portals for reservation of tickets. "Currently, it is in English and Hindi and we want the portals to be in all regional languages," he said.

In order to accommodate more passengers, Shukla said the number of coaches of certain popular trains will be increased to 24.

Source:-The Economic Times

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

UPU News:- 44th international letter-writing contest: vying for gold

The UPU has received entries from 61 countries for the 44th edition of its International Letter-Writing Competition for Young People.


Youngsters were invited to write a letter describing the world they want to grow up in

Globally, more than one million pupils took part in the UPU competition at the national level.
From Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, participating countries have finalized their national competitions and chosen the letters that will represent them at the international level.
A jury of worldwide experts is now selecting the best compositions in the world, with the top three winners to receive gold, silver and bronze medals. This year’s jury includes Mitchell Toomey, director of the Millennium Campaign, Caroline Naddeo, who won the UPU competition in 1989 and today works in the banking sector in Marseille, Konstantinos Berdos, who sits on the European Year for Development task force at the European Commission, Dimitrios Fatouros, from the United Nations Regional Information Centre in Brussels, and Jorge Aldana, in charge of international relations at the Mexican Post.
This year’s contest, which asks young people to write about the world they want to grow up in, links to the post-2015 sustainable development goals. The winners will be announced just before a UN special summit in September, where member states are expected to formally adopt new goals to further progress achieved with the 2000-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
According to UPU figures, over 14,000 schools worldwide were involved in this year’s contest. The highest number of participants come from Vietnam (968,216), which annually generates the largest participation among all UPU member countries, Azerbaijan (60,595 pupils) and China (33,274).
And this year saw newcomers like Mongolia, which is taking part for the very first time in the contest’s history. Some 4,000 pupils from 200 schools competed nationally.
The UPU’s letter-writing competition is an opportunity to promote literacy and good writing skills among young people and raise their awareness of global issues and the role of postal services in today’s society.

Transfer and Posting in IP Cadre in Sambalpur Region

A)  The following Postal Assistants declared qualified from Odisha Circle in IP Examination 2014 held on 22nd & 23rd November, 2014 and allotted to Sambalpur Region vide Circle Office Memo No.ST/20-9/2015 dated 15/05/2015 are posted against the posts as mentioned against each below vide RO, Sambalpur Memo No.ST/RO/150-6(B)/2015 dated 26-05-2015.

Sl. No.
Name
Present Postal Division where working
Posting on Promotion
1.
Manabhanjan Naik
PA, Bolangir Division
IP, Sundargarh North Sub-Division
2.
Sanjib Kumar Pradhan
PA, Cuttack City Division
IP, Angul West Sub-Division

B)   Shri Girish Chandra Sahu, IP, Bhanupratappur Sub-Division, under Bastar Division of Chhatisgarh Circle whose inter Circle transfer under Rule-38 of Postal Manual Volume- IV of was approved and allotted to Sambalpur Region vide Odisha Circle Memo No.ST/45-Rule-38/IP/2012 dated 15/18-05-2015 is posted as IP (Tech), RO, Sambalpur Region vide RO, Sambalpur Memo No.ST/RO/150-6(B)/2015 dated 26-05-2015.   

C)   Shri Bijay Ku. Pradhan, IP, Rourkela West Sub-Division under orders of posting as  IP(Tech), RO, Sambalpur Region  is now posted as IRM, K 1st Sub-Division,  Sambalpur vide RO, Sambalpur Memo No.ST/RO/150-6(B)/2015 dated 26-05-  2015.     

Celebration of International Yoga Day on 21st June, 2015

To view the website please Click Here.

Grant of Dearness Relief to CPF beneficiaries in receipt of ex-gratia payment w.e.f 01.01.2015.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Heatwave: Five things you must know

As several states across India continue to reel under heatwave conditions, with more than 500 killed so far, here are five facts you need to know about the deadly phenomemon:

1. Heatwave criteria

The National Disaster Management Authority website says heatwave condition is declared when the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40 degree Celcius for plains and 30 degree Celcius for hilly regions.

2. Worst recorded heatwave in world history

The worst recorded heatwave in world history killed more than 50,000 people in Russia, a country usually associated with a frigid climate, in 2010. India's worst yet was witnessed in 2003, with a toll of at least 1,900.

3. India: Highest recorded temperature

Highest temperature ever recorded in India is 50.6 degree Celcius, in Alwar, Rajasthan, on May 10, 1956.

4. Earliest recorded heatwave

One of the earliest recorded heatwaves killed around 1,500 people in the US in August 1896.

5. Impact of heatwave on health

Heatwave can severely impact your health, its effects manifesting as ederna (swelling) & syncope (fainting) generally accompanied by fever below 102 degrees F; fatigue, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps; and in extreme cases, heat stroke, whose symptoms include delirium, seizures or coma. This is a potentially fatal condition.

Source:-The Economic Times

Induction Training of Inspector Posts(Departmental Candidates) at PTC Darbhanga from 29/06/2015 to 26/09/2015


AIIMS proposes 20-30% fee hike

Treatment at AIIMS is likely to get costlier. The institute, in its latest proposal to the standing finance committee which meets on Tuesday, has proposed a hike of nearly 20-30% on its charges for various tests and procedures, including all heart surgeries.

For example, according to the proposed changes, closure of atrial septal defect, a birth defect, would cost Rs 46,000 for general ward patients and Rs 70,000 for patients admitted in the private ward. The existing package rate for ASD closure is Rs 40,000 and Rs 57,000 respectively for the two categories.

AIIMS spokesperson Dr Amit Gupta said the package rates are meant only for patients who do not fall in Below Poverty Line category. "Those who can afford should pay. We are not charging anywhere near market rate," he said.

AIIMS has also proposed to revise the package rates for various treatment and procedures conducted at its dental centre and it has proposed to include new tests in department of paediatrics on chargeable basis. A faculty member, who did not want to be named, termed the move regressive. "In a poor country like India, where most people cannot afford treatment at private hospitals, how can the state absolve itself of the responsibility to provide health facilities? If AIIMS becomes even half as costly as the private hospitals, 90% of patients will not be able to afford treatment," said a doctor.

Some faculty members also questioned the legitimacy of the standing finance committee to consider the agenda. "The standing finance committee mostly comprises ex-officio members," said a senior faculty member.

Sources said the idea to make AIIMS self-reliant or run it on a revenue generation model had been proposed in 2005 and 2010 but was shot down by members of parliament and doctors, who felt it would affect poor. In 2010, AIIMS initiated a study to determine user charges for various services. The circular asked for the list of all procedures with respect to which user charges could be fixed.

The SFC meet on Tuesday will also discuss award of work of Rs 505 crore for National Cancer Institute in Jhajjar, setting up of burns and plastic surgery unit at the trauma centre and procurement of MRI machines. The proposals will then be sent to the institute body and governing body, for final nod.

Source:-The Times of India

Monday, May 25, 2015

Connecting rural India- Network-connected handheld devices for postal delivery soon

The Department of Posts is likely to soon start a Rs 1,370-crore mega project that will allow India's 1.3 lakh postmen in rural regions to use network-connected handheld terminals for postal delivery.

The project, awarded last year to a consortium that includes state-run Telecom Consultants of India (TCIL), system integrator Ricoh India and Hyderabad-based VisionTek, which provides handheld devices, was delayed due to unavailability of components. 

Big IT companies such as HP and Wipro were also in the running for the contract rolled out by the ministry of communications & information technology. 

"Based on terminal devices on network, the DoP initiative is likely to happen later this month. The project was delayed as the private company took time to deliver the components," TCIL's chairman and managing director Vimal Wakhlu told ET. 

The devices will have a biometric module to authenticate an individual's identity using the Aadhaar number, solar-powered panel for charging terminals and a thermal printer to instantly print receipts. "This is completely an indigenous project, including devices and components, and strengthens the concept of `Make in India'," said Wakhlu. 

The initiative is aimed at preventing postal losses and minimizing procedural delays. The service will require a digital signature of the addressee that can be automatically transferred to a central server and an acknowledgement sent to the person. 

TCIL is roping in state-owned telecom operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for providing network connectivity. 

The movement of postmen can be tracked using GPS on this device. It will help monitor the entire system and ensure more efficiency as post offices play a vital role in India's rural economy, Wakhlu said. "This programme is a step towards financial inclusion of the people of rural India as it will facilitate financial transactions. Money can be delivered and accepted through this device, with proper bank account and receipts delivery," he said. 

Ricoh will act as the systems integrator, managing installations, maintaining hardware and supplying peripheral devices for the project. 

"We have won the Rs 1,370-crore contract from DoP for the supply of hardware solutions under the department's modernization initiatives. Ricoh will be providing maintenance services for rural ICT devices for a period of five years," said Ricoh India's managing director Manoj Kumar.


Source:-The Times of India

Suggestions invited on Land Acquisition Bill, 2015 by 8th June

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment Bill, 2015) pending in the Lok Sabha has been referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee of both the Houses under the Chairmanship of Shri S.S.Ahluwalia, M.P. for examination and presenting a Report to the Parliament.
It has been decided to seek the views and suggestions from various public bodies, organizations, associations, individuals and other stakeholders. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Second Amendment Bill, 2015) have been uploaded on the Lok Sabha Website (http://164.100.47.134/committee/other commiittees.aspx).
All those desirous of submitting their views/suggestions to the Committee may send two copies of their written Memoranda/suggestions either in English or Hindi on the subject to Joint Secretary(RS), Lok Sabha Secretariat, Room No. 328, Third Floor, Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi-110001 or Fax at 23018865 or e-mail them at jc.landbill@sansad.nic.in by 8th June, 2015.
The Memoranda submitted to the Committee would form part of the records of the Committee and would be treated as Confidential and would enjoy privilege of the Committee. Those who wish to appear before the Committee, besides submitting Memoranda, are also requested to specifically indicate so. However, the Committee’s decision in this regard shall be final.

(Release ID :121961)

Source:-PIB

CHQ News:-Notification of Central Working Committee Meeting at Trivandrum on 25/7/2015 and 26/7/2015

No. CHQ/AIAIPASP/CWC/TRV/2015                          Dated :          22/5/2015. 

NOTIFICATION

Under the provisions of the Article 30 of the Constitution of the Association, it is hereby notified that the Central Working Committee meeting of the Association will be held at Trivandrum (Kerala) on 25th July and 26th July 2015.

Venue : Hotel The Capital, Near Trivandrum GPO,  Pulimood Junction, Trivandrum 695001.

Agenda :

1.    Confirmation of the minutes of the last CWC held at Ahmedabad on 7/2/2014.
2.    Cadre restructuring of Inspector Posts cadre and merger of ASP cadre in to PS Gr. B cadre.
3.    Meeting with Hon’ble Chairman 7CPC and submission of Memorandum.
4.    Organizational review.
5.    Ernakulam CAT case - Up-gradation of GP of Inspector Posts from Rs. 4200/- to Rs. 4600/- w.e.f. 1/1/2006.
6.    Senior Postmaster examination CAT cases.
7.    DPC for promotion to the cadre of PS Gr. B.
8.    Inter-circle transfer of Inspector Posts under Rule 38 of Postal Manual Vol. IV.
9.    Combined Seniority list of Inspector Posts cadre.
10. Revised Recruitment Rules of PS Gr. B cadre / Asst. Manager MMS.
11. LDCE for promotion to the cadre of Sr. PM and PS Gr. B.
12. Financial review of CHQ.
13. Any other item with the permission of chairs.

All the CHQ office bearers and Circle Secretaries are requested to attend the meeting at scheduled date and time.

Special invitees :

1.    Shri Roop Chand, Ex-GS and Sr. PM, Sansad Marg HO, New Delhi 110001
2.    Shri Permanand Kumar, ASP (PMU), Postal Directorate, New Delhi 110001

Sd/-
 (Vilas Ingale)
General Secretary

Copy forwarded for information and necessary action to : -

1.    The Director General (SR Division), Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 11001.
2.    All Chief PMsG (through concerned Circle Secretaries)
3.    Sri Amrendra Kumar, President & ASP (Inv) % the CPMG, Bihar Circle, Patna 800001
4.    All CHQ Office Bearers / Circle Secretaries
5.    Special invitees

To view signed copy of above notification, please Click Here.  

Notification for Result of the Stamp Design Competition on the theme "Women Empowerment"

To view please Click Here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Trade unions question TDS on PF withdrawals, want order on hold

Opposing the government's decision to deduct tax at source on pre-mature PF withdrawals, trade unions today said they will ask the Labour Ministry to put the EPFO order in this regard on hold. 

In a notification issued yesterday, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said it will deduct TDS from June 1 on PF withdrawals where accumulations are over Rs 30,000 and the employee has worked for less than five years. 

"We will oppose the government's move of deducting TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) at PF withdrawals. We have decided to write to the Labour Minister for keeping this notification in abeyance," All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev told PTI. 

Another EPFO trustee and Hind Mazdoor Sabha Secretary A D Nagpal said, "We had opposed this move earlier also. Even the EPFO had proposed to exempt cases where accumulations were less than Rs 2,00,000. PF withdrawals should not be taxed." 

In the current scenario, the PF withdrawals are treated as taxable income if the cumulative service period of a subscriber with present as well as former employers is less than 5 years. 

"Earlier, many regional heads were not deducting the tax on such PF withdrawals where service period was less than five year. Thus, EPFO got notice of tax demand to many field offices in these cases. The limit of Rs 30,000 is provided under the notification to provide some relief to marginalised people," a senior official said. 

"Earlier, there was no exempted slab for PF withdrawals for subscribers with less than five years of service. But now, it's provided in the notification," the official added. 

Centre of Indian Trade Unions President A K Padmanabhan, an EPFO trustee too, said, "While the government is giving so many concessions to investors and industrialists, it is injustice to workers. It's wrong to tax PF withdrawals." 

According to the EPFO circular, TDS will be deducted at 10 per cent provided PAN is submitted. 

However, Forms 15G or 15H if submitted won't entail TDS. These are declaration that the income won't be taxable after receiving payment of PF accumulations from the EPFO.

Source:-The Economic Times

No cumbersome disclosures! Simplified tax return forms to be notified by next week

The Finance Ministry will come out with simplified Income Tax Return (ITR) forms by the next week, replacing the controversial ones that have been put on hold. 

"We will notify the new simplified ITR forms in a week," a top government official said. 

The ITR forms were put on hold by the Ministry last month after the industry, assessees and Members of Parliament voiced their reservations because of the cumbersome disclosure requirements. 

Talking to reporters, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said 3-4 additions were made in the ITRs.

"On matters of taxation, the government and my position is very clear, and that is simplification. Earlier, there were 12 and a half pages. According to me, 12 and a half pages are excessive. I called up and put on hold the ITR forms," Jaitley said. 

The Minister was in Washington last month when the ITR forms were notified. 

Jaitley termed the simplification as "a good step". The salaried individuals and those persons who do not have business/professional income are required to file returns in either ITR-1 or ITR-2 by July 31. 

The ITR forms notified for the current assessment year sought details of bank accounts and foreign visits. These had specific columns for bank accounts, IFSC code, names of joint account holders and foreign visits, including the ones paid by companies.

Source:-The Times of India