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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Naidu to head panel of CMs to boost digital payment systems

New Delhi, Nov 30 (PTI) The Centre has constituted a 13 member Committee of Chief Ministers headed by Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu to promote digital payment systems to promote transparency, financial inclusion and also prepare a roadmap in this regard.

Apart from Naidu, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Sikkim CM Pawan Kumar Chamling, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis are also members of the committee along with NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya, and Amitabh Kant CEO, NITI Aayog.

Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman, UIDAI, Janmejaya Sinha, Chairman, Boston Consulting Group, Rajesh Jain, Managing Director, netCORE, Sharad Sharma, Co-founder, iSPIRIT and Jayant Varma, Professor (Finance), IIM (Ahmedabad) are special invitees.

According to officials, the terms of reference of the committee are identifying global best practices for implementing an economy primarily based on digital payment and examine the possibility of adoption of these global standards in the Indian context.

The panel will also outline measures for rapid expansion and adoption of the system of digital payments like cards (Debit, Credit and pre-paid), Digital-wallets/ E-wallets, internet banking, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), banking apps, etc and shall broadly indicate the roadmap to be implemented in one year.

It shall evolve an action plan to reach out to the public at large with the objective to create awareness and help them understand the benefits of such a switchover to digital economy and would prepare a roadmap for the administrative machineries in the States to facilitate adoption of digital modes of financial transactions.

The high level group will also identify and address bottlenecks and indicate solutions pertaining to adoption of the steps required to move towards a digital payments economy.

It will also associate the key stakeholders for implementation of the suggested steps towards a digital payments economy and delineate and adopt measures evolved by the Committee of Officers constituted for the purpose.

It will also examine and address any other associated issues which are not specifically mentioned herein. The Committee may devise its own procedures for conducting business, meetings, constitution of sub-groups, etc.

Revision of provisional pension sanctioned under Rule 69 of the CCS (Pension)rules , 1972

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Economy in use of paper - Digitisation of publication to save on stationery and expenditure

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Contribution of special donation by members of the Association

As all of you know the decision for contribution of Rs.2,000/-(Rupees Two Thousand Only)  as special donation for raising the fund position of the Association (Circle Branch)  and to donate some amount to CHQ was taken in the CWC dated 04-09-2016 at Puri. Odisha Circle Branch Association has already contributed donation to the tune of Rs.31,000/- (Thirty One Thousand only) to the CHQ on 05-11-2016.  

There are around 40 members who have not paid the amount so far. These members of the Association are requested to remit the special donation of Rs.2,000/- by 15th December, 2016.

The amount can also be credited in the SB Account No:0743253167 (Bhubaneswar GPO) in any CBS Post Office and the photocopy/scanned copy of the pay-in-slip may kindly be sent through email to and / or for issuance of receipt and proper accounting. To view the list of members who have paid as on date please Click Here.

This is the final appeal from the Circle Secretary.

Postponement of LDCE for Promotion to the cadre of P.S. Group-B scheduled to be held on 04-12-2016

Venue (Odisha Circe) for PS Group-B Examination scheduled to be held on 04-12-2016

Administrative Block, B.J.B. Autonomous College, Bhubaneswar-751014

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Standard operating procedure regarding legal cases where central vigilance Commission has been made respondent along with the organizations concerned

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Conduct of Limited Department Competitive Examination for promotion to the cadre of P.S. Group 'B' scheduled on 04th December, 2016

It has been informed by the applicants that interim order given by Hon'ble CAT Ernakulam Bench in OA No.180/953/2016 (M.A. 180/1242/2016) "to hold the examination separately for each vacancy year with a gap of minimum 40 days advance notice" is vacated by Hon'ble High Court of Kerala. The result of the examination is subject to the outcome of the OA. 

Directorate has now issued to instruction to Circles vide DE Section Letter No.A-34012/08/2016-DE dated 29th November,2016 to issue Admit Cards to the eligible candidates of the Examination scheduled on 04th December, 2016.

All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintends of Posts, Odisha Circle Branch wishes the best to its members appearing for the above Examination. 

Good Luck

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rs 32,631 cr deposited in post offices since demonetisation

New Delhi, Nov 27 (PTI) People have deposited a staggering Rs 32,631 crore in nearly 1.55 lakh post offices across the country following demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 currency notes.

The post offices have also exchanged about Rs 3,680 crore of old currency notes between November 10 and 24, Department of Posts Secretary B V Sudhakar told PTI.

"From November 10 to November 24, we have exchanged 578 lakh notes of value of about Rs 3,680 crore. If you look at the deposits, 43.48 crore old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were accepted as deposits, and their value is about Rs 32,631 crore," he said.

As many as 1.55 lakh post offices -- about 1.30 lakh in rural areas and the rest 25,000 in urban and semi-urban areas -- are playing a "prominent role" in the entire exercise, he added.

During the same period, Rs 3,583 crore was withdrawn from post offices, Sudhakar said.

Following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from midnight of November 8, people rushed to banks and post offices to deposit or exchange old currency notes. Serpentine queues were seen in front of banks, ATMs and post offices with people lining up to get valid currency notes.

Those without postal savings accounts were also permitted to exchange the old notes up to a certain limit in the post offices by producing their identity cards.

While the window of a fortnight to exchange these currency notes over-the-counter at banks and post offices ended on November 24, the old notes can be deposited in bank accounts until December 30.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Central government employees get Rs 10,000 as salary in advance

Corridors of power were abuzz with excitement on Thursday as junior officers in central government received Rs 10000 of their next month's salary in advance. 

Cash Departments of various ministries started dispensing money since Wednesday evening to the non-gazetted employees following an order by the finance ministry issued last week. 

The advance would be settled in the November salary that will be credited to the employees' accounts on the last working day of every month. 

Officers, in various ministries that the reporter spoke to, said the advance came as a relief as they would not have to stand in long queues to take out cash from ATMs and banks. However, the payment has been made in Rs 2000 notes that is not being accepted easily on purchase of vegetables and groceries. 

Senior officials in various ministries expressed happiness citing most assistants were away from work for the last two weeks to deposit or withdraw cash.

Source:-The Economic Times

CHQ News:- Hon'ble CAT Ernakulam Bench directed Department to hold examination separately for each vacancy year

CHQ News:- CAT cases filed for holding of PS Gr. B examination separately for year wise vacancies

Case filed at Madras Bench by All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents, Posts, Tamil Nadu circle branch under MA No. MA/310/00911/2016 (LTJ) listed for admission on 22nd November 2016 heard and posted on 30/11/2016 for instructions to respondents. 

Case filed at Ernakulam Bench by Shri Ajit Kurian and others under OA No. 180/953/2016 and M.A 180/1242/2016 heard on 23/11/2016. It is learnt that stay has not been granted by Hon’ble CAT and some orders are passed thereon. The copy of order passed by Hon’ble CAT Ernakulam Bench is expected on 24/11/2016. 

Till date CHQ has not received any reply from administration to the letter No. CHQ/AIAIASP/PS Gr. B Exam 12-17/2016 dated 17/11/2016. 

All Circle Secretaries and CHQ Office bearers are requested to offer their views/comments on further course of action to be taken by CHQ and also by the applicants of above two CAT cases.

Comments:- The month of December was not the ideal month for conducting the PS Group- B Examination. The Association could have interfered for shifting of the Examination before or just after the Notification for Year wise Examinations and shifting of the Examination to a later date. Except the issue of WOS Note exchange, nothing was unforeseen. Whatever actions were taken were belated actions. At this stage offering any particular view will be a conflict of interest. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Cadre Restructuring of Group 'C' employees in Department of Posts - Clarification - reg.

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Railways to introduce 'Tri-Netra' to check collisions

Railways may soon get an advanced system, called "Tri-Netra", on its trains which will help reduce train accidents by keeping a record of the track maintenance and will also provide better visibility during foggy days. Senior railway officers said Tri-Netra system is made up of a high-resolution optical video camera, high-sensitivity infrared video camera and a radar-based terrain mapping system. 

Tri-Netra stands for ­ "terrain imaging for diesel drivers infrared, enhanced optical and radar assisted system". The system provides a locomotive pilot a clear view of up to one kilometre on a straight track, even during inclement weather. This helps in maintaining high speed in poor visibility and avoid delay in arrivals. 

The new technology has been used on a trial basis and has shown good results. Senior officers said that once it is proved to be reliable, it may be brought to use this winters. The requirement for the system gained more pace after 14 bogies of the Patna-bound Indore-Rajendra Nagar Express went off the tracks near Kanpur Dehat in the early hours of Sunday.

Source:-The Economic Times

No service charge on debit card & smartphone transactions till Dec 31, says government

The government has stepped in to ease the demonetisation pain by incentivising e-payments. Today, Economics Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das announced a slew of measures to lessen cash purge blow on consumers. Here's what was announced 

1) No service charges on use of debit cards till December 31. 

2) For RUPAY cards all switching charges and other charges have been waived till December 31. 

3) No service charge will be levied on digital financial transactions using smartphones till Dec 31. 

4) New vehicles to come with Radio-Frequency Identification devices to ease e-payment of tolls at national highways. 

5) Service charge of Railway online ticketing has been waived off till 31st Dec 2016. 

6) All government organisations, have been advised to use only digital payment methods to make payment to their employees. 

7) Banks told to ensure chain of activities related crop loan sanction & flow of funds etc to be done in smooth manner. 

Das also stated that 82,000 ATMs have been re-calibrated so far. Further adding, that it is only a matter of few days by when all the ATMs will be re-calibrated.

Source:-The Economic Times

Deposit of old demonetized notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 in Small Savings Scheme

To view order of Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs (Budget Division) please Click Here.

Guidelines on treatment of effect of penalties on promotion - role of Departmental Promotion Committee.

To view Department of Personnel & Training OM No.22011_4_200-Estt.(D) dated 21-11-2016 please Click Here.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Text of Vice President's Address at the Centenary Celebrations of Biju Patnaik

There was a generation of leaders who played a role across national borders in service of good causes. ShriBijyananda Patnaik, or Biju Patnaik as he is lovingly called, was one such leader. The legendary leader had been honoured with the highest civilian award by Indonesian government for support to their independence struggle; as also by the government of Soviet Union for fighting against fascist forces. His international profile was such that, in a rare occurrence, national flags of three nations- India, Indonesia and the USSR were draped on his body at his funeral.

Biju Patnaik was not just a political leader; he was also an aeronautical engineer, an air-force pilot, an entrepreneur, a man of unimpeachable integrity and a freedom fighter. He was a true nationalist, and still the interests of his beloved Odisha always were close to his heart.

During his formative years, he was impressed by the nationalist writings of Madhusudan Das and Gopababdhu Das. He was also deeply influenced by by Mahatma Gandhi. As a student, he loved sports and adventure.

His daring was evident as he actively joined the Quit India movement in 1942 and collaborated with the underground leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan, Aruna Asif Ali and Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia, even while in the British service. He was eventually caught and imprisoned by the British Government for 3 years. 

During his stay in prison, he became close to Jawaharlal Nehru. Panditji called him ‘India’s buccaneer’ and Biju Patnaik was deeply impressed by Nehru’s commitment to democratic ideals and his vision for a new, progressive India. An understanding developed between the two that was to shape future events not only in India but in other countries as well.

The service he rendered to the nation, at the call of Pandit Nehru in flying a daring sortie to Java, to extract the Indonesian Prime Minister Sjahrir, defying the Dutch embargo, is now legendary.

Biju Patnaik was a firm believer in democracy and was a socialist at heart. He was a popular leader- serving seven terms in the Odisha Legislative Assembly and three terms in the Lok Sabha. He was twice elected the Chief Minister of Orissa. His great contribution to the country’s democracy was the role he played tenaciously and repeatedly in Orissa, and at the national level, for forging opposition unity through times of factional politics.

Biju Patnaik shared Pandit Nehru’s vision of an India steeped in scientific temper and saw technology as the key to solving India’s myriad problems. This vision led to the establishment of the Kalinga Foundation to popularize science and the prestigious Kalinga Award given by UNESCO every year.

He strongly believed in socialism and federalism.  He felt that unless the constituent States progress on equitable levels, India could not become strong. He had a vision for the growth and development of his beloved Odisha. He believed that the backbone of the country was a strong peasantry and wanted modernization of agriculture. At the same time the natural entrepreneur and founder of Kalinga Airlines and Orissa Textile Mill as he was, he wanted agrarian feudalism to be dismantled and Industrial Revolution to take place.
The Paradip port, the industrial belts of Choudwar-Barbil, the highway bridge over the Mahanadi, the airport at Bhubaneshwar, the MIG Factory at Sunabeda, the NTPC power plant at Talcher, and the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology were all the result of his visionHe was also a champion of building social capital as pivotal to bring about social change.

I join you all today as we pay respects to a great leader, a hero to his people– a visionary, an ideologist who inspired adventurous ideas. He lives on not only in the memories of people who have met him, but people who have heard of him and read about him. His legacy continues to inspire us.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Demonetisation: I-T department notices to charitable, religious organisations

The Income Tax department has issued notices to hundreds of charitable and religious organisations in the country enjoying exemptions on tax paid to inform it about their cash balances as of November 8 when the government demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes+

The notices were issued in order to keep a check on possible "accommodation" of black money of the older denomination by way of making charitable contributions or donations to these organisations.

Officials said the exercise to send such notices to hundreds of such tax-exempted institutions, including NGOs, religious organisations and educational institutions, is "precautionary" so that these entities do not become a place to park tainted funds.

The department has asked these institutions to submit their records of cash donations as of March 31 till November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation+ of the two high value currencies in the country.

The department will scrutinise these documents and details sent to it after December 30.

They said the taxman has also advised these institutions not to accept or pay "for any of your activities after November 8, 2016" in the scrapped denominations of the currency.

Source:-The Times of India

GS writes to Secretary (Posts) for postponement of LDCE for promotion to the cadre of P.S Group ‘B’ scheduled to be held on 04-12-2016

No. CHQ/AIAIASP/PS Gr. B Exam 12-17/2016               Dated :    17/11/2016

Shri B. V. Sudhakar, 
Secretary (Posts) 
Department of Posts, 
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg, 
New Delhi 110 001. 

Sub: Conduct of LDCE on 04.12.2016 for promotion to the cadre of P.S Group ‘B’ from the vacancy year 2012–13 onwards---Regarding request for its postponement thereof. 

Ref : Directorate Notification No. A-34012/8/2016-DE dated 07th October 2016

Respected Sir, 

With profound regards, All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents, Posts would like to submit following few lines for your kind consideration and favourable orders please:-

1.       Directorate vide memo no. F. No. A- 34012/8/2016- DE dated 07th October, 2016 notified for conduct of PS Group B examination on 4th December 2016, the contents of which were received/communicated to all concerned during the mid of October 2016. As you are aware, there is vast syllabus in this Exam, which needs to be covered to get through the same. Evidently, aspirants need to have thorough knowledge of all Postal Manuals / Volumes / Acts & procedures relating to Criminal and Civil cases, latest enactments, Acts / Rules governing service regulations & amendments thereto/ General Financial Rules / other Central Govt Rules on Conduct and Discipline / Financial Hand Books / Fundamental–Supplementary Rules / Various instructions issued by Directorate from time to time, current affairs etc. To prepare for it, one needs to have at least 90 days time, while the period left for preparation is only forty days. Sir, time period given for preparation is not adequate and sufficient.

2.       This competitive exam was required to be conducted every year against each vacancy year whereas it was not conducted in each year since 2012. All of sudden, Directorate has decided to conduct a single exam, for the vacancy years 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and notified the same vide letter dated 07.10.2016. All IPs/ASPs eligible for the year for the year 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 are, thus, losing their chances of appearing in the examination against respective vacancy years separately. 
In this regard, this Association has taken up the case with Hon’ble Secretary (Posts) vide letter of even number dated 19/10/2016 and also discussed the aspect during informal meeting held on 20/10/2016 with a request to conduct the exam separately for separate year but no decision has been taken and no response has been received so far.  

3.       All of sudden, on 8th November 2016, the Central Government had announced demonetization of currency by withdrawal of old series (WOS) of currency notes of higher denomination of Rs. 500/- and Rs. 1000/-.  Hon’ble Prime Minister of India had announced the scheme at 0830 p.m. and directed to involve Postal Department in the process of exchange of currency notes and accepting deposits of WOS. This war footing exercise scheme was started immediately in all the post offices with effect from 9th November 2016 and work is being carried out in all post offices upto extended hours, including Sundays and Post Office holidays.  This arduous work is being monitored in close circuit and, in addition to regular work, all Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents, Posts have been deployed and directed to;

(a)         perform duty in control room formed at all administrative offices of department daily upto 20.00 hrs towards  reporting about  exchange of WOS  and accepting deposit by old series notes, etc., 
(b)     involve in the work of exchange of notes/accepting deposits/conveyance of cash/ Providing escort for cash conveyance/ Queue Management of Public & over all monitoring etc.,

          While each and every IPs/ASPs is striving for completion of annual inspections before 31.12.2016 as per the approved inspection programme, apart from running for achievement of BD targets and other targets of this year, the work relating to demonetization of currency has overburdened more. Under these circumstances, no time has left for IPs/ASPs to prepare for PS Gr B exam which is scheduled to be held on 4th December 2016.
          In view of above, this Association earnestly requests Secretary (Posts) to kindly intervene in this matter and cause action to postpone PS Group ‘B’ examination scheduled to be held on 04th December 2016 to some other date  i.e. after end of this financial year. 

Thanking you.
Yours faithfully,

(Vilas Ingle)
                                                                             General Secretary.
Copy to :-

Shri S. V. Rao, Director (DE), Department of Posts, Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi 110 001. He is also requested to kindly look into this vital issue and arrange for postponing the PS Group B examination after end of this financial year.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Demonetisation: Now, PAN required if combined cash deposits exceed Rs 2.5 lakh till December 30

The government has announced a new rule to prevent people from making multiple cash deposits in their bank accounts without quoting the PAN. Till now, the limit for cash deposit without PAN was Rs 50,000 per transaction. A lot of people were depositing less than Rs 50,000 per day to escape the PAN provision. But a circular issued on Tuesday says deposits made between 9 Nov and 30 Dec 2016 will require a PAN if the combined sum exceeds Rs 2.5 lakh. This clarifies the misconception that one can deposit cash in multiple batches of less than Rs 50,000 each and escape mentioning the PAN. 

The CBDT has also made changes in the (AIR) Annual Information Return rules. Till now, banks and post office branches were supposed to report to the tax department if an individual made cash deposits of Rs 10 lakh in a year. During the period 9 November to 30 December, this limit has been lowered to Rs 2.5 lakh.If the cash deposits exceed this limit, the bank or post office will automatically report it to the tax department. For current accounts, the threshold limit for cash deposits between 9 November and 30 December will be Rs 12.5 lakh. 

The rule applies to all bank accounts of the individual, though it is not clear how banks will be able to capture information of cash deposited in other bank accounts. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Banks, Post offices to report cash deposits of over Rs 2.5 lakh to I-T

The government has asked banks and post offices to report to the I-T Department all deposits above Rs 2.50 lakh in savings accounts, and more than Rs 12.50 lakh in current accounts, made during the 50-day window provided to tender the scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes. 

As per a notification issued today, banks, co-operative banks and post offices will have to report to the tax department cash deposits exceeding Rs 50,000 in a single day or aggregating to more than Rs 2.5 lakh during the period November 9, to December 30, 2016. 

These entities will also have to report cash deposits during the period aggregating to Rs 12.50 lakh or more, in one or more current account of a person. 

The Finance Ministry has notified the amended Rule for filing of Annual Information Return (AIR) report by banking company, cooperative bank and post offices on account of aggregate cash deposits in one or more current account of a person. 

anks and post offices now have to file a statement of financial transaction in respect of these transactions on or before January 31, 2017, the notification said. 

Earlier, they were required to report to the I-T Department only when cash deposits in an account exceeded Rs 10 lakh in one full year. 
In view of apprehensions that large number of illegal or black money may sought to be converted into white during the window provided till December 30, the Revenue Department has issued fresh set of instructions. 

In a major assault on black money, counterfeit notes and terror financing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on November 8 announced demonetisation of high value currency notes of Rs 1000/500 and asked the public to deposit them in banks by December 30. 

Since then, seemingly unending queues of people trying to deposit and exchange their scrapped currency notes are being witnesses at banks and post offices. 

Tax department officers are of the view that the 50-day window provided to people to deposit or exchange notes should not be misused and hence the need to keep a tab on such high value deposits. 

Those depositing large amounts of unaccounted money will have to face the consequences under tax laws, which provide for a 30 per cent tax, 12 per cent interest and a 200 per cent penalty. 

"CBDT has brought two-fold amendment casting a reporting responsibility on the taxpayer as well as the bank, thereby ensuring that bank doesn't let go off the non-compliant taxpayers," Nangia & Co Managing Partner Rakesh Nangia said. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Discussion Draft on General Financial Rule-2016

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Implementation of Governments decision on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission - Revision of disability pension of pre2016 disability pensioners - clarification regarding.

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Retirement of Government Servant under Central Civil Service Pension Rules 1972 and Central Civil Service Extraordinary Pension Rules

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Date of Submission of Annual Life Certificate Extended upto 15.01.2017

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Grant of Dearness Relief to Central Government pensioners/family pensioners - Revised rate effective from 1.7.2016 on implementation of decision taken on recommendation of 7th Central Pay Commission.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Class X board exam for CBSE schools from 2017-18

The government will reintroduce compulsory class X board examination for CBSE schools from the 2017-18 academic year, Union HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said on Monday.

In an informal conversation with reporters after a meeting with the Rajasthan Education Minister, he informed about the decision to re-introduce class X board examination.

Javadekar also said state governments will be given authority to reintroduce class V and VIII board examinations, a proposal for which will be tabled in the Cabinet and then in Parliament.

"The decision to conduct class V and VIII board examinations will be left with the state," Javadekar said.

The main focus of HRD Ministry is on improving the quality of school education, specifically of government schools, he said.

Praising the initiatives taken in school education sector in Rajasthan, Javadekar said much improvement in the quality of education in government schools have been brought in the state, which was 25 years ago called "Bimaru".

He informed that enrolment in government school in Rajasthan has increased by 15 lakh where Utkarsh Adarsh schools have been opened at panchayat level.

Narendra Modi-led government is working to improve academic standard and wants the curiosity among students to grow with education, the Minister said.

Asked about suicide by several students preparing for IITJEE at coaching institutes of Kota, Javadekar said a website IIT-PAL will be introduced for free of cost on which students will get facilities like study material, guidance by experts and discussion options.

Source:-The Times of India

ATM fees waived, rural outreach bolstered as government urges caution

The government on Monday raised the current account withdrawal limiton Monday, waived surcharges on credit and debit cards, and stepped up the supply of cash to post offices as part of a string of new measures to ease fund flows across the country.

The Centre assured citizens that there was enough money in the system to meet their requirements, and urged them not to panic.

The measures were finalised at a meeting chaired by PM Narendra Modi late on Sunday, and The fresh measures come after the government eased the limits on cash withdrawal and exchange at bank branches and ATMs.

Economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das told reporters that it was decided to activate all channels to augment the flow of cash in the banking system. To ease the pain in rural areas, banks will increase the cash-holding limit of banking correspondents (see inset) to Rs 50,000 each, and allow higher limits in some cases. Banking correspondents, who carry out banking activities on behalf of banks in rural and remote areas, can replenish money from banks multiple times a day. There are 1.2 lakh banking correspondents across the country.

The government also decided to increase the supply of cash to about 1.3 lakh post offices in the country. "With 1.2 lakh banking correspondents and 1.3 lakh post offices getting further activated, a total of 2.5 lakh points in rural areas will be available to disburse cash and facilitate cash withdrawals," Das said.

To make life easier for small businesses, the government allowed business entities with current accounts operational for the last three months or more to draw Rs 50,000 per week. "This can be done in a single transaction or multiple transactions. This will enable small business entities to pay wages to their workers and make sundry payments," he said.

To promote electronic payments and ease pressure on banks, all central government departments and public sector enterprises have been told to use e-payments to a large extent. The RBI has advised the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to waive its charges on transactions settled through National Financial Switch till Dec 31.

Credit and debit card users have something to cheer about as banks have been told to waive surcharges. To step up the process of recalibration of ATMs, a task force has been set up under a deputy governor of RBI that consists of representatives of banks and the finance ministry.

Source:-The Times of India