Friday, 26 August 2016

FinMin sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments

FinMin sets up panel to suggest steps to promote card payments

New Delhi: With an aim to discourage cash transactions, the Finance Ministry has set up a high-level committee to suggest steps to promote card payments through incentives like tax rebates and cash back schemes.

The 11-member committee, headed by former Finance Secretary Ratan P Watal, will recommend various measures to “incentivise transactions through cards and digital means, e.G., through tax rebates/incentives, introduction of cash back/lottery,” the ministry said.

The panel, which will review the payments system in the country and recommend measures for encouraging digital payments, has been set up following a decision taken by the Cabinet in February.

It will also study feasibility of creating a payments history of all card/digital payments and ensure that merchants/consumers can leverage the data to access “instant, low cost micro-credit” through digital means and create necessary linkage between the payment history and credit information.

The panel will also study and recommend need for changes, if any, in the regulatory mechanism under various laws, relevant for the purpose of promotion of payments by digital modes.

“To study and recommend ways for leveraging Unique Identification Number or any other proof of identity for authentication of card/digital transactions and setting up of a centralised KYC Registry” is another key task given to it.

The committee will study introduction of single window system of payment gateway to accept all types of cards/digital payments of government receipts and enable settlements via NPCI or other agencies within specified timelines.

Another task assigned to the panel is to identify regulatory bottlenecks and suggest changes.

It will also look into the scope of integration of all government systems like Public Finance Management System, PayGov, Bharatkosh and eKuber.

The Union Cabinet in February had approved withdrawal of surcharge, service charge and convenience fee on card and digital payments.

It also approved mandating payments beyond a prescribed threshold only through a card or digital mode.

The panel has been asked to submit its report in one year.

The Watal panel will also study global best practices in payments and identify possible market failures, along with suitable interventions.

The committee members include former RBI Deputy Governor H R Khan, Chairman of Indian Banks Association, President of Nasscom and CBDT Chairperson.


7th Pay Commission – Karnataka CM hints at Setting up New Panel

7th Pay Commission – Karnataka CM hints at Setting up New Panel – The comment raised hopes of state government employees who had gone on a day-long strike on June 2 demanding pay parity with Central government staff.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah gave a strong indication to state government employees on Thursday when he hinted at setting up a pay panel to explore the possibility of salary hike that would benefit about 6.40 lakh employees.

“State government employees have been demanding salaries on a par with the Central government staff. The time has come to set up the next pay commission as the Centre is implementing the recommendations of the th pay commission,” Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald.

The chief minister spoke on the sidelines of the diamond jubilee celebration of the Karnataka Government Secretariat Employees’ Association (KGSEA) in Bengaluru.

The comment raised hopes of state government employees who had gone on a day-long strike on June 2 demanding pay parity with Central government staff.

“We are happy that the chief minister is keen on setting up a new pay commission. He also promised to look into our grievances,” KGSEA president Mahadevaiah Matapathii said. The last pay commission was set up by the state government five years ago.

Besides salary hike, the employees also want session allowance for all Vidhana Soudha employees and a site for the association’s building.

The 7th Pay Commission’s (CPC) recommendations hiking salary and allowances for Central government employees is a trigger for many state government employees to seek parity with their Central government counterparts.

The central government has accepted the recommendations pertaining to the hike in the salary component, while a decision on allowances is likely by November this year when a committee set up to examine raising allowances submits its report to the finance ministry.

The salary hike for Central government staff has also prompted employees of public sector undertakings (PSUs) to seek a similar hike for which they will be going on strike on September 2 in which state-run banks will also participate. Besides, pay hike, the strike is also in protest against “anti-labour” reforms of the government such as stake sale in PSUs.

Source: IBT

7th Pay Commission Effect – Government Employees Showered with 2 Wheeler Discounts

7th Pay Commission Effect – Govt Employees Showered – Government employees and their families comprise a large chunk of two-wheeler customers.

Two-wheeler majors, including Hero MotoCorp and Honda, have started offering exclusive discounts and offers to govt employees and pensioners to expand sales. This concessions to the govt employees comes after enhanced pay packages under the 7th Pay Commission comes into effect from January this year.

The country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp is offering cash discounts of Rs 1,500 on every product (motorcycles and scooters), irrespective of ticket size. For govt employees residing in Delhi, insurance worth Rs 1,600 is also being offered gratis. “The scheme is available to only government employees and their family,” said a Delhi-based dealer.

The second biggest player, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), is offering steep benefits of up to Rs 10,000 for govt employees on three motorcycle brands – Dream Neo, Dream Yuga and CB Shine. These include cash benefit of around Rs 2,000 and discounts on bike financing. The offers though are valid till September.

“Government employees and their families comprise a large chunk of two-wheeler customers. The disbursements before festivals accelerate purchasing power. We have seen a healthy growth in individual buys by government employees, compared to the same month last year. As benefits continue in the festive season, so do buying,” said Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior vice-president (sales & marketing), HMSI.
The domestic two-wheeler industry had grown by a paltry three per cent in FY16, as the rural economy faced challenges due to a below-normal monsoon. The two key triggers – a normal rainfall and increased salaries of government employees – are expected to drive volumes this year. In the April-July period of the current year, domestic two-wheeler sales have grown by 14 per cent.

“The increased payout is godsend for automobile companies. We expect increase in sales of two-wheelers, owing to improved purchasing power and changes in socioeconomic lifestyle. TVS Motor Company has announced various schemes targeted at these customers, which include huge savings on finance schemes, extended warranty, etc. We are offering these schemes both for existing central government employees as well as pensioners,” said a spokesperson at TVS Motor Company.

Top car makers had also announced sops for govt employees. Hyundai is giving benefits of Rs 7,000 on the Grand i10 and accent and Rs 5,000 each on the i10 and the Eon, in addition to the existing promotional offers for central government employees.

Tata Motors announced a scheme for central and state government employees, offering them benefits such as additional cash discounts or the option to buy extended warranty policy, annual maintenance packages as well as accessories on the purchase of a Tata car, except for the recently launched Tiago.

Source: BS

NPS Employees shall eligible for benefit of Retirement gratuity and Death gratuity as per CCS (Pension) Rule,1972

NPS Employees shall eligible for benefit of ‘Retirement gratuity and Death gratuity’ as per CCS (Pension) Rule,1972 – Finance Ministry issued orders on 26.8.2016

Extension of benefits of (Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity) to the Central Government employees covered by new Defined Contribution Pension System (National Pension System)- regarding.
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare

Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market,
New De1hi-110 003, Dated the 26 August, 2016.


Subject : Extension of benefits of ‘Retirement Gratuity and Death Gratuity’ to the Central Government employees covered by new Defined Contribution Pension System (National Pension System) — regarding.

The undersigned is directed to say that the pension of the Government servants appointed on or after 1.1.2004 is regulated by the new Defined Contribution Pension System (known as National Pension System), notified by the Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs) vide their OM No.5/7/2003-ECB & PR dated 22.12.2003. Orders were issued for payment of gratuity on provisional basis in respect of employees covered under National Pension System on their retirement from Government service on invalidation or death in service, vide this Department’s OM No.38/41/2006-P&PW(A) dated 5.5.2009.

2. The issue of grant of gratuity in respect government employees covered by the National Pension System has been under consideration of the Government. It has been decided that the government employees covered by National Pension System shall eligible for benefit of ‘Retirement gratuity and Death gratuity’ on the same terms and conditions, as are applicable to employees covered by Central Civil Service (Pension) Rule,1972.

3. These orders issue with the concurrence of Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure, vide their I.D. Note No.1(4)/EV/2006-II dated 29.07.2016.

4. In their application to the persons belonging to the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, these orders issue after consultation with Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

5. These orders will be applicable to those Central Civil Government employees who joined Government service on or after 1.1.2004 and are covered by National Pension System and will take effect from the same date i.e. 1.1_2004.
(Harjit Singh)
Director (Pension Policy)
Click to view the order
Authority :

Railways must implement decisions on staff transfer: CAT

Railways must implement decisions on staff transfer: CAT

Chennai: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has ruled that decisions on the transfer of 600 employees taken by a machinery, set up by Railways to settle disputes, should be implemented.

Justice G Rajasuria, judicial member of CAT, who disposed of the original applications filed by Southern Railway Mazdoor Union last week, said the minutes of the meeting did not disclose what transpired during the discussion and what points and suggestions of the union were turned down by the administration.
Pulling up the union for failing to record the minutes, the judicial member said, “When a union like SRMU participates in a discussion, it should prepare a written submission in the form of a booklet and also set out the objective facts before the railway administration for consideration.”

“I am of the view that it is for the applicant to submit their detailed suggestion in the form of dossiers to the railway administration, following which there could be fruitful discussions between them and a conclusion could be arrived at,” he observed.

However, he said the administration could hold discussions with the union and finalise on pin-pointing posts.
SRMU had approached the tribunal against the orders of the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager and Senior Divisional Personal Officer ‘unilaterally’ pin-pointing posts in the commercial department in Madras division and effecting more than 600 transfers on periodical grounds.

The union had contended that the orders were contrary to decisions taken by the Permanent Negotiating Machinery (PNM), wherein the General Manager had agreed to some norms and that his decision cannot be sidelined by the subordinate officers in the commercial department.

The tribunal which heard the application directed the railway administration to undertake the work study and after discussion with the union, finalise the ‘pin-pointing’.

PNM is a machinery set up by Railways with a view to settle disputes arising between organised labour and railway administration.


7th Pay Commission report: New panel set up, controversy hit IAS cadre under scanner

7th Pay Commission report: New panel set up, controversy hit IAS cadre under scanner

The 7th Pay Commission report is still grabbing headlines as the various permutations and combinations are still being bandied about and discussed threadbare and now it spans a big controversy that has to do with the near monopoly currently enjoyed by the IAS and how to end it, once and for all. Moving forward, as per the requirement of the report, the Narendra Modi government has set up a task force to review the cadre structure of all Organised Group A Central Services. This controversy has acquired increased urgency after the turf war between the officers of the Indian administrative and revenue services (IAS and IRS) recently reached a flashpoint after several IRS officers huddled together in Mumbai last month bringing matters to a head and this set alarm bells ringing at the highest echelons of the government. (PTI)

The 7th Pay Commission task force will be headed by Department of Personnel and Training additional secretary T Jacob and he will submit the report in 3 months. What he will have on his hands will deal with 4 basic factors that include 1) the ideal structure for posts of joint secretary and above, 2) percentage of reserves in organised Group A services, 3) ideal recruitment policy and 4) way forward in mitigating stagnation level. There are 49 Organised Group A Services ranging from the IFS, the Indian Postal Service, the five Accounts services and Indian Revenue Service (IT) to the 13 engineering services under the railways, CPWD, telecom, power, water and defence forces. (PTI)

This move comes courtesy 7th Pay Commission panel chairman, Justice (retired) A K Mathur calling for an end to the dominance of IAS officials. However, there were divergent views in the panel on ending the IAS superiority. Under the scanner especially was the joint secretary-and-above-level positions in the central staff. The 7th Pay Commission threw up the data: out of a total of 91 secretary level posts, 73 (80%) were occupied by IAS; out of 107 additional secretary level posts, 98 (92%) were with the IAS and of 391 joint secretary level posts, 249 (64%) were with the IAS. (PTI)

The 7th Pay Commission said IAS officers get two extra increments at promotion stages and it wanted to extend the same to the IPS and the Indian Forest Service. Other all-India services and central services (Group A) are not getting proper representation either. The IAS officers always had a two-year edge compared to other services. (PTI)

The solution that the 7th Pay Commission panel unveiled said that all personnel who have put in 17 years of service should be given equal opportunity for central staff. The panel was overwhelmed by the reactions of Group A Services, who demanded that the services should have equal opportunities to man the senior-most posts and it should not be the preserve of a small group. (PTI)

Clean up the employees pension scheme

Clean up the employees’ pension scheme

Though a majority of organised workers are covered under the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995, there is still very low transparency level. Many readers might not have even heard about it because EPS is not a separate scheme. It is just an add-on to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) scheme and all EPF members also automatically become EPS members.

The EPS is plagued with several problems. First, the pension provided by it is very low (i.e. minimum pension under EPS scheme now is only Rs 1,000 per month). As per the current structure, pension is fixed based on the formula given below: Average salary for the last 5 years x No of years completed in service 70 All EPF members are eligible for pension after 10 years of contribution to EPS. The pension from EPS is low because the contribution is also low. At present, employees don’t contribute towards EPS. The employer contributes 8.33% of salary ( i .e. basic + Dearness Allowance) towards EPS, the definition of salary here is restricted to Rs 15,000 for employees whose salary (i.e. basic + DA) is above this limit.So for them, the EPS contribution will be restricted to Rs 1,250 per month or Rs 15,000 per annum.

The Rs 15,000 restriction comes at the time of pension calculation as well. If your salary (basic + DA) is above that, pension will be computed only on Rs 15,000. So the maximum pension one can get now (assuming 35 year service) is Rs 7,500.There are reports about EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) allowing members to contribute more voluntarily to the EPS for getting enhanced benefits after retirement. However, EPS subscribers will be ready to increase their contribution only if the pension is based on the contribution made by the employee throughout the period and not on the number of years last drawn salary . Second, this small pension from EPS (i.e. placed now between Rs 1,000 and Rs 7,500), is not inflation linked like pension for government employees, who joined service before 2004. Since the cost of living increases due to inflation, this “small pension“ now will become “smaller“ in later years.

Third, while employees are complaining about low pension from EPS, the scheme is battling huge deficit. This is because there is no direct linkage between the contribution made by employees and the pension received by them. As of now, EPS is working on the base of new contribution -i.e. contribution from new employees are used to pay the pension for retired ones.Though this may be sustainable for some time because of the demographic dividend in India (i.e. large number of youngsters getting into work force compared to few retired ones), this will not be sustainable in long term. This is because of the expected demographic profile change and the change in employment structure (i.e. more and more companies are hiring people on contract, so they may be outside the EPS ambit). Government doesn’t reveal actuarial valuation of pension liabilities from EPS on regular basis, so only estimates are available on its deficit figures -assumed to be more than Rs 50,000 crore.In addition to cleaning up this mess, government should also release this deficit on regular basis, at least on annual basis, for the sake of transparency .

Source : ET

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