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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cabinet approves Enhancement of age of superannuation of doctors other than Central Health Service (CHS) doctors to 65 years

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the enhancement of age of superannuation of doctors other than Central Health Service (CHS) doctors to 65 years in the following manner:

 i.  Ex-post facto approval to enhance the superannuation age of doctors of Indian Railways Medical Service to 65 years. 
 ii. Ex-post facto approval to enhance the superannuation age to 65 years for doctors working in Central Universities and IITs (Autonomous Bodies) under Department of Higher Education and doctors in Major Port Trusts (Autonomous Bodies) under Ministry of Shipping. 
iii. The superannuation age has been enhanced to 65 years in respect of doctors under their administrative control of the respective Ministries/Departments [M/o of AYUSH (AYUSH Doctors), Department of Defence (civilian doctors under Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Service), Department of Defence Production (Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service Medical Officers), Dental Doctors under D/o Health & Family Welfare, Dental doctors under Ministry of Railways and of doctors working in Higher Education and Technical Institutions under Department of Higher Education]. 
iv. The Union Cabinet has further approved that doctors shall hold the administrative posts till the date of attaining the age of 62 years and thereafter their services shall be placed in Non-Administrative positions. 

The decision would help in better patient care, proper academic activities in Medical colleges as also in effective implementation of National Health Programmes for delivery of health care services. 
Around 1445 doctors of various Ministries/Departments of the Central Government would be benefitted.
The decision will not have much financial implications as large number of posts are lying vacant and the present incumbents would continue to work in their existing capacity against sanctioned posts.

Background :

         The age of superannuation of doctors of Central Health Service was enhanced to 65 years w.e.f 31st May, 2016. 
         The doctors other than Central Health Service including doctors of other systems of Medicine of Central Government requested for enhancement of age of superannuation on the ground of parity with CHS and shortage.

Source:-PIB (Release ID :171197)

Centre, states to fill up 2 million vacancies

The government is looking to address unemployment by ensuring that about 2 million vacancies at state and central level, including public sector enterprises, are filled. To begin, with it’s looking to fill vacancies in central ministries and 244 public sector enterprises, with the Indian Railways alone having more than 200,000 posts to be filled.

The move, initiated by the labour ministry, will help ward off criticism about jobless growth. The ministry will assess vacancies in all central government departments and organisations and, based on the number, arrive at a plan that can be rolled out with timelines to fill posts on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, a senior government official told ET.

Successive governments have put the brakes on hiring to curb administrative costs. The latest move, which will be rolled out over the next few months, will see a reversal in that trend at a time when the government is looking to keep its fiscal deficit on target.

It is estimated that there are over 600,000 vacant central ministry posts and the exercise, if successful, could be replicated at the state level, which may lead to 2 million people getting employed.

“Labour ministry will soon write to all ministries and CPSEs (central public sector enterprises) to share a list of vacancies across their division, following which it will set up a daily target for itself to provide employment to the large number of youth entering the workforce every year,” the official said.

The exercise will help the Central government assess the total number of jobs that the government itself can provide on a daily and monthly basis.

The government is under pressure to create jobs with about 1 million people said to be entering the workforce every month. Industry estimates that in FY12-16, India created 3.65 million new jobs a year.

India had a workforce of 473.6 million in FY12. Of these, 230 million were in agriculture and 240 million in industry and services.

The labour ministry is entering this area for the first time, to ensure that the government takes the first big step towards job creation. Traditionally, the ministry has acted as a facilitator between job seekers and job providers, for which it has set up a national career portal.

Source:-The Economic Times

Contempt Petition regarding upgradation of Grade Pay of Inspector Posts w.e.f 01.01.2006 ..... Updates

Contempt Petition filed by our Association bearing No. C.P/180/00137/2016 before Hon'ble CAT Ernakulam Bench in OA No.  180/00289/2013 regarding up-gradation of Grade Pay of Inspector Posts w.e.f. 1/1/2006 was heard on 25/9/2017. 

After hearing the case, Hon'ble Tribunal has rejected all the three affidavits filed on behalf of the Respondent and directed the Respondent i.e Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, to file fresh affidavit within 30 days complying the Tribunal Order. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Government will not change financial year for now

The government will not change the fiscal year for now but the issue remains under "examination" and the Budget for 2018-19 will be presented in early February, senior government sources have said. 

There are several reasons behind the government not going for an overhaul of the fiscal year from April-March to January-December. There is a view within the government that it would be better to get a sense of revenue receipts after the rollout of the goods and services tax (GST) before going for any major change. The government wants to ensure the system stabilises after GST implementation and a clearer picture of revenue collection appears. 

The fact that the economy is emerging from the impact of two large-scale reforms such as GST and demonetisation is also weighing on the minds of policymakers before they embark on another major change. 

Changing the financial year would mean a major overhaul of all financial practices that follow the April-March fiscal year and including the tax payments calendar. It would also mean changes for companies and the manner in which they file their results. "The change in fiscal year will not happen this year. The issue is still under examination. 

We will see," said a senior government source. He said that after the presentation of the Budget in early February, the government will examine the issue in detail and arrive at a decision.

The government changed the date for presenting the Budget this year from the last day of February to the first week this year. A panel headed by former chief economic adviser Shankar Acharya was set up to examine the possibility of changing the financial year, which begins on April 1. 

Source:-The Economic Times

UPU News:- Technology can create single global postal network

 UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein has said that technology, the one single factor that has profoundly impacted the Post, must be harnessed to the sector’s advantage.

“At the UPU, we believe that this can be done by using technology to address deficiencies in global supply chains,” said Hussein in his opening remarks to UPU World Postal Business Forum participants. 
He explained that while the uptake of the internet has accelerated mail substitution, it has also fuelled the growth of e-commerce, which is one of the greatest opportunities facing the sector. He noted that the Post’s adoption of technology would be critical to ensuring the cross-border transfer of e-commerce items.
“As an intergovernmental organization tasked with postal development in the world, the UPU is very much concerned with the linkages between national physical and digital infrastructures,” he said. “We strive to have all the 192 national networks of our member countries to act as one and the changes in technology allow us to do just that.”
Also present to open the forum was UPU Council of Administration Chairman and PTT Turkish Post CEO Kenan Bozgeyik, who echoed the UPU Director General’s message, adding that, “Some gaps that are present [in the postal network] will be filled in with technological products and help us become an even stronger sector.”

Supply chain focus

The annual UPU World Postal Business Forum brings together industry experts to discuss the latest trends, products, services, technologies and processes facing the postal sector. This year’s forum is focused on the global e-commerce supply chain.
Experts from the UPU’s Postal Technology Centre, the Post and the private sector will take the stage, leading discussions under the theme, “Connecting the dots: e-commerce, technology and the postal network”. They will discuss the Post’s role in the global e-commerce value chain, overcoming customs-related challenges, e-commerce payment solutions and the impact of cloud and mobile technologies on the digital economy.
The annual conference, which continues until tomorrow, is taking place at the POST-EXPO postal and parcel industry exhibition in Geneva. The UPU will also be available to answer any questions about its technical solutions between 26 to 28 September at its stand (#6095) in the POST-EXPO exhibition hall.

Rate of Dearness Allowance applicable w.e.f. 01.07.2017 to employees of Central Government and Central Autonomous Bodies continues to draw their pay in the pre-revised pay scales as per 6th Central Pay Commission

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Rate of Dearness Allowance applicable w.e.f. 01.07.2017 to employees of Central Government and Central Autonomous Bodies continues to draw their pay in the pre-revised pay scales as per 5th Central Pay Commission

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Snapshots of Circle Working Committee Meeting held at Sambalpur on 24-09-2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

SBI revises service charges on maintaining monthly average balance

The country’s largest lender State Bank of India has brought down service charges on not maintaining monthly average (MAB) balance by a whopping 20-50%. 

The bank has also decided to treat the metro and urban centres in the same category and the requirement of MAB in metro centres stands reduced to Rs 3000 from Rs 5000 earlier. The above revision is likely to benefit another 5 crore account holders. 

The charges at semi-urban and rural centres range from Rs 20 to Rs 40 and at urban and metro centres from Rs 30 to Rs 50. The revised MAB requirement and charges will become applicable from the month of October 2017. 

“We would like to state that financial inclusion including JAN DHAN Accounts have never been subject to any charges," SBI said in a statement. "It has now been decided to exempt the pensioners, beneficiaries of social benefits from the Government and accounts of Minors.” 

Accounts which are exempt from MAB are financial inclusion Accounts, Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account, Small Accounts, Phela Kadam and Pheli Udaan accounts. Minors up to the age group of 18 (Primary Account Holder) and pensioners, all categories, including recipients of social welfare benefits are also exempt. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:-The Economic Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:-The Economic Times

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

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

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

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

Screenshot of a banking app pop-up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:-The Times of India

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

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Centre to launch mobile app for retiring govt staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:-The Times of India

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source:-The Times of India

UPU News:-Second UPU World CEO Forum starts in Moscow

Some 60 postal chief executives have gathered at the exclusive UPU event, where they will discuss leading multidimensional growth and promising postal business strategies.

The forum, organized by the UPU and hosted by Russian Post, will guide CEOs through the process of diagnosing the environment in which Posts operate before having them determine the exact business models they can implement to progress with changing global dynamics.
UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein thanked Russia for their gracious hosting in his opening remarks and encouraged all CEOs to take an active role in discussions.
“We want you to embrace this forum as a critical space where your views, ideas and inputs into the UPU can be harnessed and channelled,” said the Director General.
For his part, Russian Post CEO Nikolay Podguzov added that forum participants should not only keep in mind, but also take advantage of the Post’s unique role as a public-facing organization in all reaches of the world. 
“This is why Posts need to diversify to create more sustainable and profitable business opportunities,” he explained. 

High-level support

Also present to welcome CEOs were several high-level guests from the Russian Federation, including Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Mass Media Rashid Ismailov. Both stressed the postal sector’s critical role as a public infrastructure network.
“The digital economy is characterized by growth rates and will become the main driver for growth of the global market and inclusion of populations, which means there needs to be development in infrastructure to match this,” explained Dvorkovich.
“The Post is something that exists in some places where there is nothing else, we cannot live without the Post,” he said.
Ismailov reiterated the importance of the Post as an intermediary for public services, adding that the forum would “play a positive role in the development of the postal industry by facilitating [Posts’] cooperation”.

Second edition

The 2017 event is the second edition of the forum, which was designed by the UPU as an exclusive space for CEOs to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities facing the industry.
Their first day of deliberations focused on the sector’s current challenges in a changing global environment before examining how postal operators are meeting the needs of two important stakeholders: governments and customers.
Tomorrow, forum participants will examine the gap between customer expectations and what the Posts are doing about it, finishing with business strategies they can take back to their organizations.
Tune into #UPUCEOs on Twitter to follow along with the discussions.

Grant of Non-Productivity Linked Bonus (Ad-hoc Bonus) to the Central Government Employees for the year 2016-17

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Dharna Notice for 19th September, 2017 and 17th October, 2017 - Instructions under CCS(Conduct Rules), 1964 - Regarding.

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