Thursday, January 29, 2015

Medical bill rising, ministry plans to shift to health insurance scheme for central govt employees.

The health ministry has moved a proposal for ending the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in its current form and moving to an insurance-based scheme — the Central Government Employees and Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme (CGEPHIS) — in an apparent attempt to cut costs.

Instead of the government directly paying the medical bills of CGHS beneficiaries, the new scheme will be implemented through insurance companies registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and selected through bidding.

Currently, under CGHS, government employees pay Rs 6,000 annually as fixed medical allowance (FMA). The new FMA for beneficiaries is yet to be calculated. While the government’s actual financial commitment will depend on bids and the new FMA, the ministry is working on a presumptive figure of Rs 14,000 per family, which works out to approximately Rs 1,000 crore annually.

The scheme will cover medical expenses up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Beyond that, the insurer will have to get clearance from the nodal agency on a case to case basis. An additional sum insured of Rs 10 crore in each of the four zones will be provided by the insurer as buffer for such cases. The CGHS in its present form does not have any annual cap, but each procedure has a prescribed maximum limit for reimbursement. While a note for the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) was circulated last year, a fresh proposal incorporating inputs from various departments including the DoPT, erstwhile Planning Commission and Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been sent to the finance pision of the health ministry.

While existing employees can choose between CGHS and CGEPHIS, the new scheme will be made compulsory for new employees.

Sources in the health ministry said the proposal dates back to 2011, when the committee of secretaries gave its in-principle approval.  The proposal was revived after the NDA government took charge. Former Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, however, was opposed to the idea. According to sources, Vardhan was of the opinion that the change would actually mean a higher burden on the exchequer. The annual CGHS bill has increased in the past few years, rising from Rs 987.75 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 1755.62 crore in 2013-14. The average expenditure per beneficiary adds up to Rs 4,787 (which means about Rs 23,000 for a family of five) — Rs 11,955 for pensioners and Rs 2,096 for serving employees.

The total number of CGHS beneficiaries is 36,67,765. Besides serving and retired government employees, this includes former vice-presidents, former prime ministers, MPs and former MPs, sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court, PIB accredited journalists, railway board employees, Delhi Police personnel in Delhi and employees and pensioners of 60 autonomous/ statutory bodies.

Under CGEPHIS, the OPD needs will be met by the FMA. While the CGHS covers only 25 cities, the new scheme will be pan-India. This would automatically increase the financial commitment. All diseases, including pre-existing ones, will be covered, and in case of transplants, the expenses incurred for the donor or processing of cadaver organ will also be covered. Interestingly, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which was run by the labour ministry so far, will be under the health ministry from April 1, as it moves from an insurance-based scheme to a trust-based scheme.
Source: The Indian Express

Source:http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/medical-bill-rising-ministry-plans-to-shift-to-health-insurance-scheme/2/
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Clarification Regarding Purchase of air tickets from authorized travel agents

Controller General of Defence Accounts,
Ulan Batar Road, Palam , Delhi Cantt-110010
IMPORTANT CIRCULAR

No.AN/XIV/14162/TA/DA/LTC/Deviation/Vol-IV
Dated: 27/01/2015

To
All PCsDA/CsDAleav
(through CGDA Mail Server)

Subject: Purchase of air tickets from authorized travel agents – Reg

Of late, this HQrs office has been receiving requests from officers / staff of this department to relax the guidelines laid down under DoP&T OM dated and take up their case for according regularization sanction Ministry.

2. In this connection, it is intimated that Ministry of Finance had granted time relaxation to the guidelines on air travel to purchase air tickets from authorized travel agents to officials who had undertaken air journey before 24.08.2011.However, Ministry while granting such sanction had clarified that journeys undertaken after the specified date i.e 24.08.2011 will not be considered for granting regularization sanction.

3. Inspite of clear instruction issued by this HQrs from time to time to adhere to the guidelines laid down in DoP&T OM dated 16.9.2010, receipt of requests from officers/staff through Controllers for condonation of non compliance to these instructions is not understood. In this regard, a recent circular bearing No. AN/XIV/ 19015/Govt orders/2014 dated 25/05/2014 also refers vide which content of DoP&T OM No. 31011/4/2014-Estt (A.IV) dated 19/06/2014 has been circulated stressing on the fact that the employees may be made aware of the modes in which air tickets are to be booked so as to avoid breach of any LTC rules.

4. In view of the foregoing, it is enjoined upon all, that the contents of this circular may be brought to the notice of all concerned to ensure strict compliancy and adherence.

Sd/-
(S.J.Bajaj)
AO(AN)

Source: http://cgda.nic.in/adm/circular/purchase%20air%20ticket%20280115.pdf
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Introduction of AADHAR enabled bio-metric attendance system-DOPT

F. No. 11013/9/2014-Estt.A-III
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, PG & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
Estt.A-III Desk
North Block, New Delhi.
Dated:28th January, 2015

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Sub: Introduction of AADHAR enabled bio-metric attendance system.

The undersigned is directed to refer to Secretary, DEITY’s DO letter no. SSD/DeitY/BAS/2014-74 dated 23.12.2014 (copy enclosed), observing that in many offices there is a large difference between the number of registered employees and the number of employees marking their attendance in the Biometric attendance system (BAS). The Secretaries of all Ministries / Departments have been requested to issue directions to all employees to mark their attendance in BAS Portal on regular basis.

2. As per the Guidelines issued vide O.M. No. 11013/9/2014-Estt.A-III dated 21.11.2014, it has been decided to use an AADHAR Enabled Bio-metric Attendance System (AEBAS) in all offices of the Central Government, including attached / subordinate Offices, in India. All employees are, therefore, required to register themselves in the system and mark their attendance. Instructions already exist for dealing with cases of late attendance/ unauthorized absence, which may be followed.

3. It is requested that necessary directions may be issued to all employees to mark their attendance in BAS portal on regular basis.

Sd/-
(J.A. Vaidyanathan)
Director (Establishment)

Source :http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02est/11013_9_2014-Estt.A-III-28012015.pdf
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

IMPLEMENTATION INSTRUCTON: ISSUE OF MEDICAL EQPT PRESCRIBED FOR ECHS MEMBERS

Central Organisation ECHS
Adjutant General Branch
Integrated HQ of MoD (Army)
Maude Lines
Delhi Cantt-110010
Bl49761/AG/ECHS/ Policy
19 Jan 2015

IMPLEMENTATION INSTR: ISSUE OF MEDICAL EQPT PRESCRIBED FOR ECHS MEMBERS

1. Ref
(a) GOl/MoD letter No 24(8)/ 03/ US(WE)/ D(Res) dated 19 Dec 03.
(b) Cent Org ECHS Letter No B/49773/AG/ECHS dated 05 Apr 04.
(c) CGHS OM No 81 101 1/ 4/ 2014-CGHS(P) dated 05 Mar 14.

2. The issue of medical equipment prescribed for ECHS members is governed by GOI/MoD letter under reference 1(a). The procedure for issue has been implemented vide Central Org ECHS letter under reference 1(b). MH& FW OM No 24-2/ 96/R&H/CGHS/ Part-ll CGHS(P) dt 26 Jun 01 governs the type of equipment to be issued and its ceiling rates. This OM has been updated by CGHS OM under reference 1(c). However, this OM has authorized additional types of equipment without formulating the prescription criteria for the same. The matter has been considered by this Central Org in consultation with O/o DGAFMS and Consultant, Respiratory Medicine. AH R&R and this implementation letter is being issued suitably modified to cater for the needs and procedures of ECHS and its members.

3. The following guidelines have been framed for issue of Oxygen Concentrator/BlPAP/CPAP etc. to ECHS beneficiaries:

(a) The items will be procured by Polyclinic and issued to beneficiary as per procedure and conditions outlined in Central Org letter under reference 1(b)

(b) Statement of case should be accompanied with the relevant Proforma for the machine, duly filled up by the treating physician (specimen copy of Proforma attached). The treating physician should carefully read the laid down guidelines before filling up the respective columns of the Proforma. Actual value of the parameters mentioned in Proforma should invariably be entered and complete basic investigation reports must be attached.

(c) The maximum ceiling limit for procurement will be as following:

(i) Oxygen Concentrator Rs. 60,000/-
(ii) CPAP Rs. 50,000/-
(iii) Bi-level CPAP Rs. 80.000/-
(iv) Bi-level Ventilatory system Rs.1,20.000/-

(d) The above ceiling limits include cost of maintenance with spare parts for a period of five years. Humidifiers, if prescribed should be an integral part of the PAP system rather than being supplied separately.

4. Reimbursement is NOT permitted as of date. Instr for reimbursement are being issued separately. This office letter No B/ 49761/AG/ ECHS/ Policy dated 27 Jan14 maybe treated as cancelled.

5. These instructions and rates shall take effect from the date of issue of this letter. This letter is issued with approval of competent authority empowered vide GOI/Mod letter No.22(1)/ 01/ US(WE)/ D(Res) dated 30 Dec 02 amended vide GOI/Mod letter No.22(1)/ 01/ US(WE)/ D(Res) dated 29May 03.

Encl: 1. Proforma for prescription
2. Notes to Prescribers

sd/-
(Vijay Anand)
Col
Dir (Med)
For MD ECHS

Source:http://echs.gov.in/images/pdf/med/med127.pdf
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Clarification Regarding Travel by Premium Trains on LTC

No. 31011/ 2/ 2015-Estt.(A-IV)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training

North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Dated: 27th January, 2015
OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Travel by Premium Trains on LTC- Clarification reg.

The undersigned is directed to say that several references are received by this Department from various Ministry/ Departments seeking clarification regarding admissibility of travel by Premium Trains run by Indian Railways while availing of LTC.

2.   The matter has been examined in consultation with Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance and it has been decided that travel by Premium Trains is not permissible on LTC. Hence, the fare charged by the Indian Railways for the journey(s) performed by Premium trains shall not be reimbursable for the purpose of LTC. Cases where LTC travel in such Premium Trains has already been undertaken by the Central Government Employees, the train fare may be reimbursed restricting it to the admissible normal fare for the entitled class of train travel or the actual fare paid, whichever is less.

sd\-
(B. Bandyopadhyay)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India

Source: http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02est/31011_2_2015-Estt.A-IV-27012015.pdf
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brief summary of the meeting of AIRF and Minister for Railways

AIRF
All India Railwaymen’s Federation
(Estd. 1924)

No.AIRF/24(C)

Dated: January 24, 2015

The General Secretaries,
All Affiliated Unions,
Dear Comrades,

Sub: Brief of the meeting held with Hon’ble Minister for Railways

Yesterday I met Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, and had discussion on various issues, right from 14:00 to 14:45 hrs.

Once again I tried my level best that the FDI should not be brought in the Railways.

I also expressed my fear that, by taking lot of money, there will be over-capitalization, and since we do not have commercial viable projects, it will be difficult to pay back the liabilities to the investors. Though Hon’ble MR has assured that there will not be any privatization in the Railways, he was still of the view that, for expansion of the railway network, money is required. He also told that, he is trying to take interest-free repayable loan for 35-40 years from the countries, like Australia, China, Japan, Canada or the World Bank.

I handed him over a copy of representation, containing suggestions for Rail Budget 2015-16, not to introduce FDI in the Indian Railways, implementation of various Welfare Schemes announced by the then Hon’ble Minister for Railways, viz. establishing of Medical Colleges and opening of Nursing Colleges and Central Schools and Technical Institutions, “Own Your House Scheme” and provision of Mobile Medical Van for treatment of Railway Staff and their families posted on roadside station, extension of scope of the LARSGESS, improvement in the condition of Railway Colonies, Roads and Running/Rest Rooms, improvement in medical facilities, filling up of Safety Category Posts, extension of facilities of Privilege/Complimentary Passes to both the parents of the Railwaymen,replacement of National Pension Scheme(NPS) with “Old Guaranteed Pension Scheme, absorption of quasi-administrative staff in the Railways, provision of proper infrastructure and manpower while introducing new trains, implementation of recommendations of High Power Committee, appointed by the Ministry of Railways, under the chairmanship of Shri D.P. Tripathi, to review duty hours of the Running and other Safety related categories of staff and also provision of proper Pathway for the Trackmen for performing their duties efficiently and safely.

I also handed him over a copy of our suggestions to increase productivity of the Indian Railways as also copies of our letters handed over to High Level Railway Restructuring Committee, constituted under the chairmanship of Shri Bibek Debroy and High Level Committee, constituted to identify the factors, issues and avenues for improving financial health of the Indian Railways, under the chairmanship of Shri D.K. Mittal.

Chairman, Railway Board was also present during course of meeting, and the Hon’ble MR told him that, the important issues raised by the Federation(AIRF) for inclusion in Rail Budget 2015-16 should be kept in view, particularly provision of proper budget for maintenance of Railway Colonies.

He also promised for better and proper communication with the organized labour in all the times to come, and also instructed the CRB to ask the MS to regularly have meetings with the federations in the committee.

Comradely yours,

sd/-
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)

Source:http://www.airfindia.com/AIRF%202015/Feedback.pdf
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Govt. planning to corporatise ordnance factories

The plan is to initially corporatise about 10 ordnance factories and turn them into Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) to make them more accountable and increase their capabilities, sources in Defence Ministry said.

Those under consideration are the cloth making and equipment factories in the Kanpur belt. A note on this matter has already been circulated in the highest echelons of the government and the proposal is likely to get the government nod by April, the sources added.

These factories are into manufacturing personnel clothing, parachute material, small arms, metallurgical equipment, shells and other such equipment.

The move comes close on the heels of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar promising a major overhaul of the DRDO and defence production units.

This is not for the first time though that corporatisation of ordnance factories is being considered. In the UPA I regime too, the government mooted such a proposal in accordance with the recommendations of the Vijay Kelkar committee towards increasing self-reliance in defence preparedness. However, the proposal did not go through due to opposition from trade unions.

In the blog of the Indian National Defence Workers Federation, its General Secretary, R. Srinivasan has stated that in a meeting with the Chairman, Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) at Kolkata, they learnt that the government was against further expansion of the ordnance equipment factories.

Mr. Parrikar had asked the OFB Chairman to focus on core-competency areas namely ammunition, hardware, armoured vehicles and artillery and in future ordnance factories have to compete with other firms for supplying equipment to the armed forces.

Source:
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Clarification on Revision of Investment Guidelines for NPS Scheme issued on 29.01.2014

CIRCULAR
PFRDA/2015/05/PFM/03
Date: 22nd Jan. 2015
To,
All Pension Funds,
Subject: Clarification on Revision of Investment Guidelines for NPS Scheme issued on 29.01.2014

This is with reference to the Circular No. PFRDA/2014/02/PFM/1 for Revision of Investment Guidelines for NPS Schemes issued by PFRDA on 29.01.2014.

2. Pursuant to above mentioned circular, the Pension Funds were expected to realign their portfolios in accordance with the revised guidelines.

3. However in the interest of the subscribers the following was stipulated in clause 5.

“Pension Funds to ensure that the interest of the subscribers is safeguarded and that they should not incur any loss while exiting the existing investments to comply with the revised guidelines. However, all future investments should be made strictly in compliance with the above guidelines’

4. It is to clarify that the above clause was only intended to protect the subscriber any loss on exiting any existing security merely to comply with revised investment pattern

5. However this does not imply that Pension Funds cannot exit from existing investments at a loss, if it is so required as a measure of portfolio management by the Pension Funds within the parameters of their internal Investment Management/Risk Management/ Stop loss policy and within the overall framework of guidelines issued by PFRDA.

6. A case in the point is when there is downgrade of any security, it is for the Pension Funds to determine the point of exit from it. The guidelines do not bar any such exit even if there is a loss, if the exit is so determined by the policy of Pension Funds within the overall framework of PFRDA guidelines.

sd/-
ac
Sumeet Maur Kapoor
(General Manager)

Source:http://www.pfrda.org.in/MyAuth/Admin/showimg.cshtml?ID=575
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Remuneration payable to Full Time Casual Labour (Other than Temporary Status)/Part Time Casual Labour/Workers engaged on contingency basis.

No. 2-53/201 l-PCC
Government of India
Ministry of Communication & IT
Department of Posts
Dak Bhavan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi- 110001
Dated: 22 Jan 2015

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Sub:- Remuneration payable to Full Time Casual Labour (Other than Temporary Status)/Part Time Casual Labour/Workers engaged on contingency basis.

The issue of remuneration payable to Full Time Casual Labourers (Other than Temporary Status) and Part Time Casual Labourers has been under consideration of the Department for quite some time. The matter has been examined in consultation with the Nodal Ministries/Departments and it has been decided, that the remuneration payable to casual labourers would be as under:-

(i) The wages of Full Time Casual Labourers (Other than Temporary Status) would be calculated at the minimum of Pay Band-1 (Rs. 5200-20200) i.e. Rs.5200 plus a Grade Pay of Rs. 1300/- and Dearness Allowance as admissible from time to time. In addition, the benefit of merger of 50% of dearness allowance would also be admissible in terms of DoPT OM No. 49014/5/2004-Estt (C) dated 31.05.2004.

(ii) So far as Part Time Casual Labourers are concerned, their wages would be calculated on pro-rata basis, in terms of hours of duty put in, with respect to the minimum of Pay Band-1 (Rs. 5200-20200) i.e. Rs.5200 plus a Grade Pay of Rs. 1300/- and Dearness Allowance as admissible from time to time. In addition, the benefit of merger of 50% of dearness allowance would also be admissible in terms of DoPT OM No. 49014/5/2004-Estt (C) dated 31.05.2004.

2. The revision as aforesaid in sub paras (i) to (ii) will take effect from 01.01.2006.

3. For the Full Time Casual Labourers covered by Para 1(v) of DoPT OM No. 49014/2/86 Estt. (C) dated 07.06.1988 i.e. the full time casual labourers, who are engaged to perform work different from the work performed by regular employee, will continue to be remunerated based on the minimum wages prescribed by Central or State Government, Whichever is higher.

4. This issues with concurrence of Integrated Finance Wing Vide Diary No.343/FA/2015/CS dated 22.01.2015. MA,

(Surendra Kumar)
Asstt. Director General
(GDS/PCC)

Source: http://www.indiapost.gov.in/DOP/Pdf%5CCirculars%5CRenu_FTC_Pub_Upload.pdf
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Shortage of staff in the grades of Assistants and Section Officers-modification to the channel of submission till staff position improves

No.7/4/2013-CS.I(A)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievences and Pensions,
Department of Personnel and Tarining
CS.I Division

2nd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan,
Khan Market, New Delhi-110003
dated 23.1.2015
OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Shortage of staff in the grades of Assistants and Section Officers-modification to the channel of submission till staff position improves regarding.

The undersigned is directed to refer to the various requests received from Ministries/Departments for posting of officers in the grades of Assistant and Section Officer and to say that as on date about 2500 vacancies exist in the Assistants grade alone. The vacancies could not be filled up on account of litigation relating to Combined Graduate Level Examination-2013, The CGLE-2013 has to be conducted again and its results are expected shortly. Selected candidates would be first required to undergo the Foundational Training and only thereafter, they could be nominated to Ministries/Departments. In view of this, it would take few more months before DR Assistants could be posted.

The same procedure will be followed in respect of Assistants recruited through CGLE-2014 for which Tier-I of the examination has already been conducted. In the meanwhile, vacancies in the grade of Assistant will continue to remain. As regards. SO grade, the position has improved considerably and this Department will shortly issue the zone for promotion against seniority quota for the Select List year 2014. The remaining vacancies will also be filled up once UPSC declares results of Limited Departmental Competitive Examination-2014.

2. The undersigned is directed to circulate herewith the vacancy position in the grades of Assistant and SO as per Annexure. It may be seen that the combined strength of officers in-position in these grades in almost all the Ministries/Departments is more than the sanctioned strength of Assistants. Ministries)/Departments may reconcile the data and inform this Department if there is any discrepancy. They may also reconcile the actual position of officers in these grades with the data in the web based cadre management system. Till vacancies in the grade of Assistants are filled up, as advised earlier, Ministries/Departments may suitably adjust the channel of submission at SO/Assistant levels, keeping in view Chapter 6 of e-Office procedure i.e. Assistants and SOs may submit files directly to  Under Secretary.

3. Cooperation of Ministries/ Departments is requested till the position in the grade of Assistants is improved.

Source: http://ccis.nic.in/WriteReadData/CircularPortal/D2/D02csd/Shortage_of_Assistants.pdf
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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Bank Unions meet Jayant Sinha to press for early wage revision

A section of public sector bank employees unions yesterday met Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha to press for early wage revision.

A meeting comes two day after the unions deferred their four-day strike that was to begin today as Indian Banks' Association (IBA) assured that wage issue will be resolved by the first week of February.

National Organisation of Bank Workers and National Organisation of Bank Officers, under the leadership of Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh .(BMS), met Sinha and submitted the memorandum on the demands of the bank employees, said a statement by the unions.

In a representation to Sinha, it said honest negotiations which could break any stalemate. There was a rise of 17.5 per cent (Rs 4,816.00 crore) on total establishment expenses during the last 9th Bi-partite settlement.

"We request you to kindly intervene and advise IBA to keep above at least the level of last wage revision. If our demand of 19.5 per cent on pay slip component is considered, it may cost (Rs 6,143 crore). So far IBA has offered only Rs 3,937 crore and gap is Rs 2,206 crore," it said

Banking Service Recruitment Board (BSRB) should be reconstituted and all the recruitments in banks must be channelised through BSRB and state or region wise. Working of the IBPS is neither satisfactory nor transparent, it suggested.

Besides, minimum qulification for the post of clerk should be 12th pass instead of graduation. This will bring down the rate of exodus and after 5-6 years of service and banks can get trained and loyal officers, it recommended.

Delegation was represented by Pawan Kumar, Virender Kumar from BMS, Ashwani Rana and Manmohan Gupta from NOBW, S U Deshpandey and Bhale Rao from NOBO.

Source:http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-21/news/58305869_1_wage-revision-bank-workers-nobw
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Friday, January 23, 2015

REDUCING RETIREMENT AGE IS RIGHT-HC

Saurabh Malik, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, January 20

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today ruled that the decision to enhance the employees’ retirement age from 58 to 60 by the previous Congress government led by Bhupinder Singh Hooda was an attempt to garner votes just before the Assembly elections; and was not an honest decision.

The scathing observations on the previous government’s conduct came as Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa upheld the Khattar government’s decision of reducing the age from 60 to 58.

Justice Dhindsa ruled: “The timing of such decision cannot be lost on this court. The state Assembly elections were around the corner. The Model Code of Conduct was on the verge of being imposed. The decision to enhance the age of retirement and that too in derogation of the relevant rule can only be seen as an attempt to garner a particular vote bank…

“This court would have no hesitation in holding that the action of the state government in reversing the earlier decision of enhancing the age of retirement from 58 years to 60 years by terming the same to be not honest is well founded”, he said.

The Hooda Government had last year increased the retirement age of the employees by two years to 60, shortly before the October 15 Assembly election.

Lashing out at the previous regime, the Khattar Government had claimed that the decision was taken to gain political mileage.

In an affidavit submitted before the high court, the government had claimed that the decision was “not honest” and was taken even though no such demand or representation was received from any association or union of Haryana Government employees.

The affidavit by Secretary to Haryana Government D Suresh said the Council of Ministers on its own decided that the age was to be increased. The issue was not even placed before the Finance Department for consideration, it was added.

The ruling came on a bunch of petitions by Baljit Kaur and other employees. Among other things, they had raised questions on the legality of council of ministers to take such decisions.

The petitioners argued that the council of ministers, headed by Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, was unconstitutional as it lacked required minimum numbers. The petitioners claimed that the total strength of council of ministers was 10, including the Chief Minister. But, in terms of Article 164(1-A) of the Constitution, the number of ministers, including the Chief Minister, was not to be less than 12.

Dealing one by one with the issues raised by the petitioners, Justice Dhindsa asserted the provisions of Article 164 (1-A) were mandatory to the extent that the strength of the council of ministers, including the Chief Minister, was not to exceed 15 per cent of the total Members of the Legislative Assembly. It was not with regard to a minimum number of ministers.

Justice Dhindsa added the decision contained in the instructions dated August 26, 2014, for enhancing the age of superannuation from 58 years to 60 years “would not acquire the character of a statutory rule”. “Such executive instructions cannot be accepted to be a statutory amendment of the existing Rule governing the age of retirement….. Accordingly, it is held that there is no right that had come to vest in the petitioners to continue in service till the age of 60 years on the strength of instructions, which are in derogation of the relevant statutory rule.

Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa asserted that the relationship between the government and its employees was not “like an ordinary contract of service between a master and servant”. Once appointed to a post or office, an employee’s rights and obligations were determined by the statute, which may be framed by the government.

Justice Dhindsa added that the language of the relevant rule was “clear and unambiguous”. “Every government employee shall retire upon attaining 58 years of age and must not be retained in service thereafter except in exceptional circumstances. Such rule has not been amended till date”.

“This court does not find any infirmity in the decision of the state government in reducing the age of retirement of the petitioners from 60 years to 58 years,” Justice Dhindsa concluded.

The state Assembly elections were around the corner. The Model Code of Conduct was on the verge of being imposed. The decision to enhance the age of retirement and that too in derogation of the relevant rule can only be seen as an attempt to garner a particular vote bank…. — HC Bench

Source:http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/courts/reducing-retirement-age-is-right-hc/32641.html
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3-year bank FDs may get tax exemption-ET

The government may consider the demand of banks to make fixed deposits for three years and more tax-free instead of the five-year lock-in period at present, providing these lenders a level-playing field with mutual funds and tax-free bonds that have been weaning away a large chunk of investors.

Indicating this possibility, officials said bank executives and heads of financial institutions also requested finance minister Arun Jaitley in a pre-budget meeting to consider separate tax slabs for corporate entities on the lines of different tax slabs for individuals.

"The view from the pre-budget meeting is that FDs of lower maturity should be considered for tax benefits," said a person present in the meeting.


Bankers say this will discourage people from opting for other instruments like mutual funds, which have a lock-in period of three years. The terms of schemes eligible for tax rebate under Section 80 C are not uniform; while public provident fund has a lock-in period of 15 years, it is six years in the case of national savings certificate and three years in equitylinked savings schemes (ELSS).

"Largely, it will bring flexibility to people in terms of lock-in and lower lock-in will make it (the sum invested) available after three years," said Suresh Sadagopan, founder of Ladder 7 Financial Advisories. "This will bring bank FD in direct competition with ELSS."

Financial saving as a percentage of gross domestic saving fell to 7.1% in 2012-13 from 7.2% in the previous year. Gross domestic saving fell to 30.1% from 31.3% during this period.

At present, investment up to Rs 1.5 lakh in certain instruments including various post office schemes, public provident fund, bank deposit, life insurance and principal paid on housing loan is eligible for a tax rebate.

Source:http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/savings-centre/savings-news/3-year-bank-fds-may-get-tax-exemption/articleshow/45972678.cms
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Combined Defence Services Examination (I) – 2015 -UPSC

Union Public Service Commission will be conducting the Combined Defence Services Examination (I) -2015 on 15/02/2015 (Sunday) at 41 Centres all over India as per notification dated November 08, 2014.  e-Admission Certificates are available on the Union Public Service Commission web-site http://www.upsc.gov.in Candidates are advised to download and check their e-Admission Certificates carefully and bring discrepancy, if any, to the notice of the Commission immediately.  Rejection Letters citing the ground(s) for rejection have been issued through e-mails and also put on Commission’s web-site http://www.upsc.gov.in.  In case any difficulty faced by the candidates in downloading e-Admission Certificates, they may contact the UPSC Facilitation Counter on Telephone Nos.  011-23385271, 011-23381125 & 011-23098543 on any working days between 10.00 AM to 5.00 PM.  The candidates can also send FAX message on FAX No. 011-23387310.  No Admission Certificate will be sent by post.

 In case the photograph is not printed clear on the e-Admission Certificates,  candidates are advised to carry three (3) photographs (one identical photograph for each session) alongwith proof of Identity such as Aadhar Card or Identity Card or Voter Identity Card or Passport or Driving License and printout of e-Admission Certificate at the venue of the Examination.

                                    MOBILE PHONES BANNED
(a)    Mobile Phones, Pagers or any other communication devices are not allowed inside the premises, where UPSC Examination is being conducted.  Any infringement of these instructions shall entail disciplinary action including ban from future examination.

(b)   Candidates are advised in their own interest not to bring any of the banned items including mobile phones/pagers to the venue of the examination, as arrangements for safekeeping can not be assured.

Source:http://www.pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=0
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