Sunday, 25 August 2019

DoPT - Exemption from payment of examination fee and application fee in respect of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities

DoPT Orders 2019

Exemption from payment of examination fee and application fee in respect of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities
No.36035/2/2017 -Estt.(Res)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training

OFFICE MEMORANDUM
North Block, New Delhi
Dated: August 23, 2019

Subject: Exemption from payment of examination fee and application fee in respect of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities. -reg.

The undersigned is directed to say that in a w.P. (Civil) No. 521/2008 with Civil Appeal No. 5389/2016, the Hon'ble Supreme Court, vide Judgment, dated 30.06.2016, inter alia, declared the Office Memorandum No. 36035/3/2004 - Estt.(Res) dated 29.12.2005, as illegal and inconsistence with the Persons with Disability (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995. This OM, among other, contained a provision for exemption from payment of application fee and examination fee in respect of Persons with Disabilities.

Thereafter, with the enactment of 'THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, 2016' and issue of notification titled 'THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES RULES, 2017', this Department has issued an Office Memorandum No. 36035/2/2017-Estt. (Res), dated 15.01.2018, regarding reservation for Persons with Benchmark Disabilities, in the posts and services of the Central Government. The said Office Memorandum dated 15.01.2018, however, does not contain any provision for exemption from payment of examination and application fee in respect of Persons with Benchmark Disabilities.

The issue has been deliberated upon at length in the Department and it has, now, been decided that the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities shall continue to be exempted from payment of application fee and examination fee, prescribed in respect of competitive examinations held by the Staff Selection Commission, the Union Public Service Commission, etc. for recruitment to various posts. This exemption shall be available only to such persons who would otherwise be eligible for appointment to the post on the basis of standards of medical fitness prescribed for that post (including any concession specifically extended to the Persons with Benchmark Disabilities) and who enclose with the application form, necessary certificate from a competent authority in support of their claim of disability.
(Debabrata Das)
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Ph. 23093307
To,
(i) All Ministries/Departments of the Govt. of India.
(ii) Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Jeevan Deep Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi.
(iii) Department of Public Enterprises, CGO Complex, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
(iv) Railway Board, Rail Bhavan, Delhi.
(v) Union Public Service Commission/Supreme Court of India/ Election Commission of India/ Lok Sabha Secretariat / Rajya Sabha Secretariat / Cabinet Secretariat! Central Vigilance Commission/ President's Secretariat / Prime Minister's Office/ Planning Commission.
(vi) Staff Selection Commission, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, New Delhi.
(vii) Office of the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities, Sarojini House, 6, Bhagwan Das Road,New Delhi -110001.
(viii) Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India, 10, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi.
(ix) All Officers and Sections in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and all attached/subordinate offices of this Ministry.
(x) Hindi Section for providing a Hindi translation.
Copy to: Director, NIC, DOPT - with the request to immediately place this OM on the website of this Department ("what's new" tab) for information of all concerned.

Source: DoPT Orders 2019

Defence - Ordnance Factories strike called off

Defence

Ministry of Defence
Ordnance Factories strike called off
24 AUG 2019
Continuing the process of dialogue which had started from 14 August 2019, the fourth meeting was held yesterday with the office bearers of AIDEF, INDWF, BPMS and CDRA under the Chairmanship of Secretary, DDP. While reaffirming that the proposed corporatisation of OFB is under examination of the Government, Secretary, DDP patiently listened to the concerns expressed by the Employees Federations regarding how the benefits/interests of employees in terms of wages, health facilities and other service matters may be affected due to corporatisation of OFB. The Employees Federations inter-alia suggested that their views should be considered while preparing the roadmap for increasing the turnover of the proposed entity from the current levels. After detailed deliberations, it was agreed to recommend to the Government, the setting up of a High Level Official Committee to interact with Employees Federations to examine their concerns and other aspects of the proposed new entity. The Federations on their part have agreed to withdraw the ongoing strike and continue with the process of dialogue. With this, employees will now be resuming their duties with effect from Monday, 26th August, 2019.

PIB

Saturday, 24 August 2019

CBDT issues clarification on eligibility of small Start-ups to avail tax holiday


Ministry of Finance
CBDT issues clarification on eligibility of small Start-ups to avail tax holiday
22 AUG 2019

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has clarified today that small start-ups with turnover upto Rs. 25 crore will continue to get the promised tax holiday as specified in Section 80-IAC of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the ‘Act’), which provides deduction for 100 per cent of income of an eligible start-up for 3 years out of 7 years from the year of its incorporation.

CBDT further clarified that all the start-ups recognised by DPIIT which fulfilled the conditions specified in the DPIIT notification did not automatically become eligible for deduction under Section 80-IAC of the Act. A start-up has to fulfil the conditions specified in Section 80-IAC for claiming this deduction. Therefore, the turnover limit for small start-ups claiming deduction is to be determined by the provisions of Section 80-IAC of theAct and not from the DPIIT notification.
CBDT dispelled the confusion created by some media report claiming discrepancy that the I-T law was yet to reflect DPIIT’s higher turnover threshold of Rs. 100 crore. CBDT said thatthere was no contradiction in DPIIT’s notification dated 19.02.2019 and Section 80-IAC of the I.T. Act, 1961 because in para 3 of the said notification, it has clearly been mentioned that a start-up shall be eligible to apply for the certificate from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification for claiming deduction under Section 80-IAC of the Act, only if the start-up fulfils the conditions specified in sub-clause (i) and sub-clause (ii) of the Explanation of Section 80-IAC. Therefore, the turnover limit for eligibility for deduction under section 80-IAC of the Act, as per the DPIIT’s notification is also Rs. 25 crore.
It is further stated that Section 80-IAC contains a detailed definition of the eligible start-up which, interalia, provides that a start-up which is engaged in the eligible business shall be eligible for deduction, if (i) it is incorporated on or after 1st April 2016, (ii) its turnover does not exceed Rs. 25 crore in the year of deduction, and (iii) it holds a certificate from the Inter-Ministerial Board of Certification.

It was explained that this was the major reason as to why there was a wide difference between the number of start-ups recognised by the DPIIT and the start-ups eligible for deduction under section 80-IAC of the Act. It is pertinent to state that Section 80-IAC was inserted vide Finance Act, 2016 as an exception to the Government’s stated policy of phasing out profit-linked deduction for promoting small start-ups during their initial year of operation. Since the intention was to support the small start-ups, the turnover limit of Rs. 25 crore was considered reasonable for granting profit linking deduction.

PIB

EPFO - Central Board of Trustees (CBT) approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995

EPFO

Central Board of Trustees (CBT) approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995

Ministry of Labour & Employment

CBT Approved Proposal to Recommend Amendment in EPS 1995
225th meeting of CBT held on 21st august, 2019 at Hyderabad

22 AUG 2019
In a major decision, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) EPF in a meeting held at Hyderabad on 21 August 2019, approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 for restoration of commuted value of pension to the Pensioners after 15 years of drawing commutation which will benefit approx. 6.3 lakhs pensioners. This was a long pending demand of the pensioners.

The Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar whose also Chairman CBT, while addressing the CBT expressed satisfaction that Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is settling more than 91 % claims of EPF members in online mode and lauded the efforts made to improve services for settlement of claims of family of deceased members and EPF call centre function 24 by 7.

He also appreciated the good governance strategy adopted by EPFO in saving of Rs.22 crores p.a. due to negotiating reduced OD charges increased FD interest and waiver of collection charges by SBI and further savings of Rs.50 lakhs p.a. due to reduction in collection charges by three banks and achievement of highest yield (8.55%) by Portfolio Managers since July 2015.

The Minister released the educative booklet on seasonal employees regarding special provision in EPS’1995 regarding eligibility of seasonal employees for pension. The contents of booklet brings out the Scheme provision that contributory service in any year, even if contributory period is less than a year is treated as full year of eligible service for seasonal employee and this will help dispel doubts in minds of members/employers.

The Chairman CBT also launched the revamped EPFIGMS 2.0 version which will benefit more than 5 crores subscribers and lakhs of employers by speedy and smooth resolution of grievances.

The Board approved the proposal for Selection and Performance Evaluation of next Custodian by the new Consultant which will be appointed on the basis of Report of Five Members’ Committee constituted by the CBT for the purpose.

In the matter of coupon default of IL&FS Ltd, the Board nominated three officers of Investment Division of EPFO to attend the Debenture - Holders’ Meeting that may be held in future and if need be, vote on behalf of the Central Board, EPF.

Selection of ETF Manufacturers: The Board approved the decision to choose the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) manufacturers through public bidding by 30/10/2019, extension of the term of the present ETF manufacturers (SBI MF and UTI MF) till then and also to authorized the Finance Investment & Audit Committee (FIAC) to conduct the exercise of choosing ETF manufacturers.

Allocation of investment in Nifty 50 and Sensex: The Board approved the proposal that the fund allocation between Nifty 50 and Sensex ETFs be divided evenly, i.e. in the ratio of 50% to 50%.
Appointment of a Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL Ltd: The Board approved the nomination of members from employer’s and employee side in a Committee constituted to select and appoint a separate Agency/Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL limited, inter-alia to review the working of the Portfolio Managers (PMs), assist the investment Committee in redemption of ETFs, etc.
Appointment of Portfolio Managers for managing funds of Central Board, EPF: The Central Board approved Request for Proposal (RFP) document for appointment of Portfolio Managers and recommendation of the FIAC on appointment of Portfolio Managers.

Exercise of early redemption options available in DHFL Bonds: The Board approved for early redemption option in DHFL bonds recommended by FIAC.

Consent for Transfer of Non- Convertible Debentures (NCDs) of GSPC to GSIL: EPFO has total investment of Rs.2300 Cr in GSPC NCDs. The Board approved the transfer of NCDs of GSPC to GSIL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Govt. of Gujarat and a better rated company which had made an offer to take over debt of GSPC with budgetary support of Government of Gujarat
Legal Entity Identifier Code (LEI) for participation in non- derivative markets by EPFO: In Nov’18, the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) issued advisory to all eligible market participants in the Financial Markets to obtain LEI Code. The Board approved the nomination of the EPFO Officers as the authorized Officials to obtain LEI Code.

Withholding Investments in bonds of private sector companies: The CBT approved the decision to withhold any further investment in Private Sector Companies Bonds and to compulsorily consider one of the two required ratings necessarily from CRISIL, CARE, ICRA & India Ratings for investments in PSU Bonds category.

The Board ratified the decision of put option in NCDs of Tamil Nadu Power Finance Corporation and also approved put option in bond issued Kerala Finance Corporation & Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Dev. Corp. Ltd.

Shri Raghunathan, Employees' Representative on the Central Board, EPF appreciated the efforts of the Finance Investment & Audit Committee chaired by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner in finalizing the new Portfolio Managers for investing EPFO's corpus through a very transparent procedure. He further informed the Board that while SBI's Fund Management Arm has quoted 94% lesser than SBI PMS in the last mandate, UTI AMC has quoted 28% lesser. This would result in huge savings in portfolio management fees by EPFO.

PIB

Railways - FACILITIES EXTENDED TO SENIOR CITIZENS

Railways

50% Concession for Male senior citizens and 40% Concession for Lady senior citizens

FACILITIES EXTENDED TO SENIOR CITIZENS

The following facilities have been extended from time to time to Senior citizens:
(i) As per rules, male senior citizens of minimum 60 years and lady senior citizens of minimum 58 years are granted concession in the fares of all classes of Mail/ Express/ Rajdhani/ Shatabdi/ , Jan Shatabdi/ Duronto group of trains. The element of concession is 40% for men and 50% for women.

No proof of age is required at the time of purchasing tickets. However, they are required to carry some documentary proof as prescribed showing their age or date of birth and have to produce it if demanded by on-board ticket checking staff. Senior citizens can book reserved tickets across the reservation counters as well as through internet.

(ii) In the computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) there is a provision to allot lower berths to Senior Citizens, Female passengers of 45 years and above automatically, even if no choice is given, subject to availability of accommodation at the time of booking.

(iii) A combined quota of six to seven lower berths per coach in Sleeper class, four to five lower berths per coach each in Air Conditioned 3 tier (3AC) and three to four lower berths per coach in Air Conditioned 2 tier (2AC) classes (depending on the number of coaches of that class in the train) has been earmarked for senior citizens, female passengers 45 years of age and above and pregnant women.

(iv) Accommodation is also earmarked for senior citizens during specified hours on suburban sections by Central & Western Railways.

(v) Instructions exist for provision of wheel chairs at stations. This facility is provided, duly escorted by coolies (on payment) as per present practice. Moreover, Zonal Railways have also been advised to provide ‘Battery Operated Vehicles for persons with disability and Old Aged Passengers’ at Railway Stations on merit - whether free of cost through commercial publicity route or through ‘user pays’ route. In addition, passenger can book e-wheel chairs online through IRCTC portal www.irctc.co.in.

(vi) To help old and disabled passengers requiring assistance at the stations and to strengthen the existing services, ‘Yatri Mitra Sewa’ is being provided through IRCTC at major stations for enabling passengers to book wheel chair services cum porter services etc.

(vii) After departure of the train, if there are vacant lower berths available in the train and if any person with disability booked on the authority of handicapped concession or a senior citizen or a pregnant woman, who has been allotted upper/ middle berth, approaches for allotment of vacant lower berths, the on board Ticket Checking Staff has been authorized to allot the vacant lower berth to them making necessary entries in the chart.

(viii) Separate counters are earmarked at various Passenger Reservation System (PRS) centers for dealing with the reservation requisitions received from persons with disability, Senior Citizens, Ex. MPs, MLAs, accredited journalists and freedom fighters, if the average demand per shift not less than 120 tickets.
In case there is no justification for earmarking of an exclusive counter for any of these categories of persons including persons with disability or senior citizens, one or two counters depending upon the total demand are earmarked for dealing with the reservation requests for all these categories of persons.

Source: Indian Railways

Flash News

Cabinet approves release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019

Cabinet approves release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019   ...