Saturday, 25 February 2017

Gratuity payment ceiling to double to Rs 20 lakh; Unions support government decision

Gratuity payment ceiling to double to Rs 20 lakh; Unions support government decision

The employees of organised sector can now be allowed to withdraw up to Rs 20 lakh from their gratuity fund. In a meeting between the labour ministry and representatives from states, employees and employers on Thursday, the decision reached to the consensus.

The central trade unions have also agreed on doubling gratuity amount ceiling as an interim measure in a tripartite meeting on the proposed amendment to Payment of Gratuity Act conducted today by the Labour Ministry.

The unions demanded the removal of conditions asking to have at least 10 employees in an establishment and minimum five years of service for payment of gratuity.

"While accepting the maximum payment limit of Rs 20 lakh as an interim measure, the unions demanded that the ceilings/ limit with respect to number of employees and years of service should be removed," the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) said in a statement.

It said, "The central trade unions have been urging the government that the ceiling in the amount of gratuity should be removed."

At present, as per the Payment of Gratuity Act, an employee is required to do minimum service of five years to become eligible for gratuity amount. Moreover, the Act applies to those establishments where the number of employees is not less than 10.

The statement said the application of amended provision regarding maximum amount should be made effective from January 1, 2016 as done in the case of central government employees.
Besides that rate of 15 days wages for each completed year of service be raised to 30 days wages, the unions demanded.

The proposed amendment to the Payment of Gratuity Act as circulated by the government along with the letter dated February 15, 2017 only deals with enhancing the ceiling of maximum amount under Section 4(3) of the Act from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, the unions said.

They pointed out during the meeting that the proposed amendment is being brought to bring the maximum ceiling amount to Rs 20 lakh in line with recommendation of 7th Central Pay Commission as accepted by the government.

The relevant amendment for central government employees was notified on July 25, 2016 and the enhanced amount ceiling was made effective from January 1, 2016.

The unions are of the view that the delay of 8 months for employees covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act should not result in adversely affecting the interest of the concerned employees.

The employers as well as state representatives also agreed to the proposal of raising the amount of gratuity to Rs 20 lakh, it said.

(With inputs from PTI)

PFRDA eyes training 64,500 employees to create mass awareness on NPS, APY

PFRDA eyes training 64,500 employees to create mass awareness on NPS, APY

NEW DELHI: Pension regulator PFRDA has appointed IL&FS Skill Development Corporation to train 64,500 government employees and other stakeholders on various aspects of flagship schemes NPS and APY.

The training institute has been appointed to create mass awareness and impart training on National Pension System (NPS) and Atal Pension Yojna (APY) to the employees of Points of Presence, APY service providers, and corporates of North-West zone.

Nodal officers of central and state governments and those at state autonomous bodies too would be trained, said Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

"It is intended to have at least 50-60 participants in each session of 3-4 hours duration and conduct approximately 1,610 training sessions and train 64,500 participants in the NW zone over the next 12 months," PFRDA said while notifying the training institute.

Participants from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli would be imparted training on various aspects of the two flagship social security programmes.

As on January 17, the overall number of NPS and APY subscribers stood at 1.42 crore, with Asset Under Management (AUM) of Rs 1.61 lakh crore. APY, which guarantees a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 - Rs 5,000, has about 43 lakh subscribers.

As on January 17, the overall number of NPS and APY subscribers stood at 1.42 crore, with Asset Under Management (AUM) of Rs 1.61 lakh crore. APY, which guarantees a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 - Rs 5,000, has about 43 lakh subscribers.

UGC: Pay panel hike for 20%

UGC: Pay panel hike for 20%

New Delhi/ Hyderabad: The University Grants Commission (UGC) at a meeting held on February 22 reportedly cleared the recommendations of the 5-member committee that looked into the pay revision for university and college teachers across the country. The report is now with the Ministry of Human Resources Development for its approval. The ministry is yet to look into the report as the elections to several state assemblies are being held.

Sources from the UGC told The Hans India that the committee has reportedly recommended a 20 per cent hike in the basic pay of university and college teachers. As the existing Dearness Allowance will be merged in the basic pay, the hike is likely to be around 25 per cent to 30 per cent, including the HRA depending on the cadre and the seniority.

Monthly salary for university/college teachers (in Rs)
PostCurrent starting payProposed pay
Associate professor1,07,0001,26,000
Assistant professor50,00059,000
*Figures include basic salary, academic grade pay and DA 

The pay commission has reportedly recommended a performance linked promotion system with an emphasis on research. There is no change in the retirement age. The present UGC panel has also recommended the retirement age of university and college teachers to be 65 years. But, several state governments have not implemented even the earlier panel's recommendation to this effect. The state governments took advantage of the fact that higher education is in the concurrent list.

The proposed hike will be applicable to around 30, 000 teachers in Central universities and over four lakh in State varsities and colleges across the country .The last pay revision took place in 2006. The panel has reportedly suggested implementation of new pay scales with retrospective effect from January 2016 as the Central pay revision takes place every ten years while the State government pay scales are revised every five years.

Similar to the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations for the Central government employees, the UGC panel has recommended that a teacher's starting package to be revised by a multiplier of 2.72, applied to the basic salary and academic grade pay (AGP). The Seventh Pay Commission, whose report was accepted last year for civil servants and other central staff, had used the 2.72 multiplier.

The 5-member UGC panel was headed by Prof V S Chauhan.Speaking to The Hans India from Patna, Prof Arun Kumar, general secretary of All India Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (AIFUCTO), urged the UGC to make the report public immediately. The teachers of the universities and colleges across India are aghast that they have been deliberately kept in the dark about such a sensitive and important issue, the AIFUCTO leader said in a recent press release.

The UGC panel reportedly urged the Central government to meet the 100 per cent additional financial requirement for the implementation of new UGC scales for university and college teachers. However, though the last pay commission in 2006 made a similar recommendation, the Central government has given only 80 per cent and asked the State governments concerned to bear the remaining 20 per cent of additional financial requirements for implementing the new scales for teachers in State universities and colleges.

Speaking to The Hans India, Prof Battu Satyanarayana, chairman, Telangana Federation of University Teachers Associations, urged the UGC to release special grants to State universities to implement the revised UGC scales.

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