Wednesday, 9 January 2019

10% reservation bill for general category poor - Government introduces Constitution Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha

10% reservation bill for general category poor - Government introduces Constitution Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha


Prime Minister's Office

10% reservation bill for general category poor is a historic step and a reflection of Government's commitment for the poor, says PM

PM assures people of Assam and North East that their rights will be protected

Government's drive against corruption and middlemen will continue: PM

PM dedicates Four lane Section of Solapur-Tuljapur-Osmanabad Highway- New NH-52: to the nation

Solapur-Osmanabad via Tuljapur rail line approved: PM

30,000 houses for poor to be built under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in Solapur

09 JAN 2019
The Prime Minister has said that the constitutional amendment bill providing 10% reservation for general category poor is a historic step for the uplift of the poor and a reflection of the Government’s commitment to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas. Addressing a public rally in Solapur, Maharashtra today, he said that the passage of the bill by Loksabha is a strong answer to those who were spreading falsehood in this regard and expressed hope that the bill will be passed by Rajya Sabha. The Prime Minster said, "We have passed a historic bill to provide 10% reservation to Economically Weaker Sections of the General Category in Lok Sabha yesterday. This has strengthened our resolve of Sab Ka Saath Sabka Vikas"

On the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the Prime Minister assured the people of Assam and North East that their rights and opportunities will be protected. He said, "the bill has cleared the decks for grant of Indian citizenship to the sons and daughters of Mother India residing in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. After seeing the ups and downs of history, these brothers and sisters of ours want to be a part and parcel of India."

The Prime Minister said that his Government's drive against corruption and middlemen will continue unabated despite the diatribes against him. He said that he was performing his duty courageously in the fight against corruption and middlemen backed by the support and the blessings of the people..
The Prime Minister was addressing a public rally at Indira Gandhi Stadium in Solapur after launching and laying down foundation stones of several development projects for the region.Prime Minister laid the foundation Stone of 30,000 houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. These will primarily benefit poor homeless people like rag pickers, rickshaw drivers, textile workers, beedi workers, etc at a total cost of Rs.1811.33 crores. He said," Today, we have inaugurated a project of 30000 homes meant for the family of poor, labourers. The beneficiaries of this project are those who work in factories, pull rickshaws, drive auto, etc. I ensure you that very soon you will have the keys of your home in your hands." The Prime Minister added that efforts have been made to make housing affordable for the middle class families. Now they can save up to Rs. 6 lakhs on home loans over a period of 20 years which is a reflection of the measures undertaken by the Government for Ease of Living.

In keeping with his commitment that he inaugurates the projects for which foundation stone is laid by him, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation, 98.717 kms long stretch of the New NH-52 which will help improve the connectivity of Solapur, with the important Marathwada region of Maharashtra.NH-52 is now a four laned section of Solapur - Tuljapur - OsmanabadHighway at an estimated cost of Rs.972.50 crores.PM had laid the foundation for this project in 2014. NH-52 has road safety features like 2 major and 17 minor bridges, 4 vehicular and 10 pedestrian underpasses, besides one 3.4 km bypass at Tuljapur that will help decongest the city.

Highlighting the Government's vision for expansion of highways for better connectivity and ease of living, the Prime Minister said, "Over the past 4 years, nearly 40 thousand kilometers of national highways have been added; at a cost of around 5.5 lakh crore around 52 thousand kilometers of national highways are under construction.":

Announcing a boost to rail connectivity for the region, the Prime Minister said, the government has approved Solapur-Osmanabad via Tuljapur rail line, at an estimated cost of Rs. 1000 crores. He added that efforts are on to start flights from Solapur under the Regional Air connectivity scheme- Udan Yojana.

As a part of his vision of Swachh Bharat and Swastha Bharat, the Prime Minister dedicated to the nation Underground Sewerage System, and three Sewage Treatment Plants in Solapur. This will increase the sewer coverage of the town and improve sanitation in the city.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the Combined Project of Improvement in Water Supply and Sewerage System, as part of Area Based Development in Solapur Smart City, Augmentation of Drinking Water Supply from Ujani Dam to Solapur City and Underground Sewerage System under AMRUT Mission. It will bring significant improvement in service delivery and improve public health enabled by technology as a means to create smart outcomes for citizens.
It is expected that these measures will go a long way towards giving a major push to road and transport connectivity, water supply, sanitation, employment generation etc. for the people in Solapur and the adjoining areas.


Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Telecommunications

Ministry of Communications
Year End Review 2018: Ministry of Telecommunications
09 JAN 2019
  • Six-fold increase in Government spending on telecommunications infrastructure and services in the country - from Rs. 9,900 crores between 2009-14, to Rs. 60,000 crores (actual + planned) between 2014 -19
  • Tariff reductions benefiting consumers across the country:
    - Average voice tariff declined by 67% - from an average per minute tariff of 51 paise in June 2014 to 11 paise in June 2018
    - Average data tariff declined by 96% - from Rs. 269 per GB in 2014, to Rs. 12 per GB in June 2018
  • Restoring the trust between Government and Citizens through a smooth and transparent auction of spectrum in 2015 and 2016 - more than 1382 MHz sold, realising an upfront payment of approximately Rs. 65,000 crores
  • For the spectrum auction of October, 2016, DoT received an Excellence Award from CVC in November 2017, for "Transparency in e- auction of spectrum in 2016"
  • Telecom service providers now have sufficient spectrum available to offer their sevices; the regime of spectrum shortage is a thing of the past
  • Under the BharatNet project, which is expected to trigger the era of Broadband in rural India, nearly 50% of the total 2.5 Lakh Gram Panchayats (GPs) in the country have been connected through high-speed OFC network by October 2018, as compared to 59 GPs in June 2014; plan to complete the remaining GPs by March 2019
  • Network for Spectrum (NFS) project for Defence - project approved in July 2012; no cable laid until May 2014; 51,000 km of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) laid in the last 4 years
  • Under BharatNet and NFS projects, OFC laid at a peak rate of 800 km per day, with an average of more than 200 km per day - a record of sorts
  • As a result of its' role in the BharatNet project, ITI Ltd. was able to report a net profit of Rs. 102 crores (without grants) for the year 2017-18
  • Proactive engagement, planning, and investment to leverage new technologies for the welfare of citizens - High-Level Forum (HLF) for 5G India set up which submitted its report in August 2018; 5G test beds established through Industry-Academia partnership and government support; 5G field trials to be conducted over the next 12 months

Highlights in Figures

  • Increase in overall tele-density in the country - from 75% in June 2014 to 93% in March 2018, adding 305 million new subscribers
  • Mobile Internet subscriptions more than doubled - from 233 Million in March 2014 to 491 Million in June 2018
  • Over 107% increase in internet coverage - from 251 million users in June 2014 to 512 million in June 2018
  • Number of mobile Base Transceiver Stations (BTS)more than doubled - from 7.9 lakh in May 2014 to more than20 lakh in May 2018
  • Country-wide OFCcoverage doubled - from 7 lakh km in May 2014 to 14 lakh km in May 2018
    Average mobile data usage per subscriber grew 51 times - from 62 MB per month to 3.2 GB per month
  • Cheapest data tariff globally - from Rs. 300 per GB in 2014 to Rs. 12 per GB in June 2018, tariff reduction of 96%
  • Highest mobile data consumption globally at 3.4 Billion GB per month
  • Seven times growth in broadband access - from 61 million subscribers in March 2014, to 447 million subscribers in June 2018
  • Digital payment transactions through mobile grew four times- from 168 million in November 2016 to 600 million now
  • Five times jump in FDI inflows in Telecom Sector - from USD 1.3 billion in 2015-16, to USD 6.2 billion in 2017-18
  • Connecting the Unconnected areas in the country:
  • Left-Wing Extremism Affected Areas - 2335 mobile towers installed in Phase I, at a total outlay of Rs. 4,781 crores; 4072 towers approved for installation in Phase II, with a total outlay of Rs. 7,330 crores
  • Biggest ever Telecom Spend in the North-East Region -Ongoing projects with a total outlay of more than Rs. 10,800 crores, connecting border areas, highways, and unconnected villages
  • Submarine cable connectivity to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, in addition to strengthening connectivity within the islands and in Lakshadweep - at an outlay of Rs. 2,250 crores
  • Extensive expansion of the Wi-Fi eco-system in rural areas,with an outlay of Rs. 10,000 crores - 25,000 hot-spots by BSNL in rural exchanges, 7,000 hot-spots (e-Choupals) by Common Service Centres (CSCs); Additional 1 million Hotspots planned by March 2019
  • Key reforms to facilitate the operation of a Robust, Competitive, and Sustainable Telecom Sector:
  • Spectrum sharing and trading allowed - to boost competition
  • Spectrum harmonisation - resulting in freeing up spectrum for auction
  • Sharing of passive (e.g., fibre, towers) and active (e.g., BTS) infrastructure
  • Deferred Payment Liabilities - to reduce financial stress in the sector
  • Easing of Right of Way (RoW) Rules and Charges - Ease of Doing Business
  • Full mobile number portability
  • Virtual Network Operators (VNO) license introduced - for effective infrastructure utilisation
    Input credit for VNO licensees allowed to ease tax burden
  • The National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) 2018 - summarises our Aspirations and Determination:
  • Missions - NDCP 2018
  • Connect India - Universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps
  • Propel India - Attracting investments worth USD 100 Billion
  • Secure India - A strong, flexible, and robust communications infrastructure and data protection regime
  • Objectives - NDCP 2018
  • Providing Broadband to all by 2022
  • Adding 4 million jobs in the sector
  • Digital Communications sector to grow to 8% of India's GDP by 2022 (present 6%)
  • To bring India tothe top 50 rank(from present 134) in the ICT Development Index of the International Telecom Union
  • Net positive international trade in the sector - through increased local manufacturing and exports, and lower imports
  • Ensuring Digital Sovereignty of the country

Department of Posts - Highlights and Achievements

  • Average annual Speed Post revenue more than doubled - from Rs. 788 crores between 2006-14 to an average revenue of Rs. 1,682crores between 2014-18.
  • Revenue of Rs. 415 Crores from the e-Commerce business in 2017-18, with a growth of more than 20% over the previous financial year
  • Established a separate Parcel Directorate, in order to focus on this growing business segment; 42 parcel centres and 242 nodal delivery centres have already been established to handle increased volume of consignments
  • Launched at all 650 IPPB branches co-located in District HQ Post Offices along with 1,01,173 Access Points
  • IPPB will offer a 360-degree financial services suite across multiple channels - to benefit the unbanked and under-banked
  • IPPB Stats (between 1st Sep 2018 and 1st Jan 2019):
  • Total Accounts Opened:20.11 Lacs
  • Cumulative Value of Transactions: INR 561 Crores
  • Cumulative Volume of Transactions: 12.87 Lacs
  • 995 DoP ATMs are now inter-operable with other Banks.
  • Sukanya Samridhi Scheme: Out of total 1.52 Crores enrolments, 1.31 crores done through Post Offices
  • Aadhar Enrolments & Updation Centres have been made functional in 13,352 Post Offices across the country till date; more than 8 Lakh enrolments and 29 lakh updates have already been completed in these centres
  • 254 Post Office Passport Seva Kendras (POPSKs) started across the country in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs - to provide passport services through POPSKs/PSKs in each parliamentary constituency; more than 17.5 lakh passport appointments have already been processed in these POPSKs.
  • Postal Life Insurance (PLI) and Rural Postal Life Insurance (RPLI) - insurance products from the DoP, with the unique feature of ‘low premium, high bonus'; renewed drive to extend the benefits of these products to promote financial inclusion in the country
  • Total Assets Under Management (AUM) (including GOI Special Securities/Floating Rate Bonds) in PLI and RPLI increased by 2.0 times between March 2014 and September 2018 - from Rs. 25,856 crores to Rs. 93,068 crores
  • Benefits of Postal Life Insurance (PLI) are no longer limited to Government and Semi-Government employees; this facility is now also available to professionals (teachers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, CAs) and employees of listed companies of NSE and BSE
  • Under SampoornaBima Gram Yojana, at least one person insured from each household in 2,529 villages nation-wide; 10,000 villages targeted by March 2019
  • A philately scholarship scheme called Deen Dayal SPARSH (Scholarship for Promotion of Aptitude &Research in Stamps as a Hobby) Yojana was introduced in November, 2017 to promote Philately among children; under the scheme, 920 scholarships will be given every year to school-children who demonstrate interest in philately. This year as of now 83,861 students have applied under the Scholarship Scheme.
  • Department of Posts has been issuing stamps on people centric themes. Some of the themes on which stamps have been issued recently are - Ramayana, Mahabharata, Indian Cuisine, Solar System, Safdarjung Hospital etc.
  • Circular Postage Stamps to mark the commencement of 150th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi were issued by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 2nd October 2018. This is the first time in the history of Independent India that Circular Postage Stamps have been issued.
  • Technology investments in the Department have increased from Rs. 434 crores between 2010-14 to about Rs. 1087 crore (upto Sep, 2018) between 2014-18.
  • More than 1.29 lakh SIM based handheld devices are in use by Gramin Dak Sewaks in Branch Post Offices.
  • 5.21 crore transactions have been processed successfully on National Automated Clearing House (NACH) platform since December 2016, handling more than Rs. 3,904crores
  • Postman mobile application has been introduced to update the delivery information of accountable mail, including cash on delivery, on a real time basis

Withdrawal from New Pension Scheme - Ministry of Finance

Withdrawal from New Pension Scheme - Ministry of Finance

New Pension Scheme - NPS
Government has allowed premature withdrawal from New Pension Scheme Fund. A subscriber is eligible for three partial withdrawals during the period of subscription under National Pension System (NPS), each withdrawal not exceeding twenty-five percent of the contributions made by the subscriber and excluding contributions made by the employer. There is, however, no restriction on withdrawals from the Tier-II account of the subscriber. Further, keeping in view the possibility of sudden financial needs of the subscribers, the requirement of minimum period under National Pension System (NPS) for availing the facility of partial withdrawal from the mandatory Tier-I account of the subscriber has been reduced from 10 years to 3 years from the date of joining w.e.f. 10th August, 2017. The minimum gap of 5 years between two partial withdrawals has also been removed w.e.f. 10th August, 2017.

On 06.12.2018, Government has approved the following proposals pertaining to choice of Pension Fund and investment pattern for Central Government subscribers under NPS:

Choice of Pension Fund: Central Government subscribers will be allowed to choose any one of the pension funds including Private sector pension funds.  They could change their option once in a year. However, the current provision of combination of the Public-Sector Pension Funds will be available as the default option for both existing as well as new Government subscribers.
Choice of Investment Pattern: The following options for investment choices will be offered to Central Government employees:

Government employees who prefer a fixed return with minimum amount of risk may be given an option to invest 100% of the funds in Government securities (Scheme G).

Government employees who prefer higher returns may be given the options of the following two Life Cycle based schemes.

 Conservative Life Cycle Fund with maximum exposure to equity capped at 25% at the age of 35 years and tapering off thereafter (LC-25).

Moderate Life Cycle Fund with maximum exposure to equity capped at 50% at the age of 35 years and tapering off thereafter (LC-50).

In case an employee does not submit any choice, the existing allocation of funds shall continue as the default option.

This was stated by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.


33.66 crore Accounts Opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) as on 26.12.2018 - Ministry of Finance

33.66 crore Accounts Opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY) as on 26.12.2018 - Ministry of Finance

As apprised by banks, as on 26.12.2018, there are 33.66 crore accounts under Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojana (PMJDY). Out of these accounts, 28.16 crore PMJDY accounts are operative accounts.

Accounts could be closed by banks on request of concerned customers.  Further, vide, Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s Master Circular on Know Your Customer (KYC) Norms, dated 1.7.2015, banks are permitted to close an account in phased manner in case of non-furnishing of required KYC information and /or non-cooperation by the customer, after issuing due notice to the customer.

Number of PMJDY accounts closed is not centrally monitored. However, cumulative number of existing PMJDY accounts monitored by this Department, shows that the number of these accounts has increased since launch of the scheme.

PMJDY accounts are “Basic Savings Bank Deposit Account” (BSBDA) in nature and as per extant guidelines, there is no requirement for maintaining minimum balance in such accounts.  Accordingly, no penalty is imposed on PMJDY accounts for non-maintenance of minimum balance.

This was stated by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.


Reservation Provisions for SC/ST/OBC - Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment
Reservation Provisions for SC/ST/OBC

Reservation in admission of students belonging to Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in Central Educational Institutions established, maintained or aided by the Central Government is enforced through the Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admissions) Act, 2006 as amended from time to time. At present there is no proposal under consideration of Government to enact legislation for implementing reservation in services under the Central Government and its Public Sector Undertakings.

The policy of reservation in services is administered through executive instructions. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Indira Sawhney vs. Union of India (W.P. No. 930 of 1990) has held that these instructions have the force of law.

This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Vijay Sampla in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Income limit for Creamy Layer - Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

 Income limit for Creamy Layer - Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment

The erstwhile Ministry of Welfare had constituted the Expert Committee and on its basis Department of Personnel and Training has issued Office Memorandum Vide No.36033/3/2004-Estt. (Res) dated 9th March, 2004 on the subject “Revision of Income criteria to exclude socially advanced persons/sections (Creamy Layer) from the purview of reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs)”.  In the Office Memorandum dated 08th September 1993, and for the category VI of the Schedule, the following explanations were also mentioned:-

Income from salaries or agricultural land shall not be clubbed;

The income criteria in terms of rupee will be modified taking into account the change in its value every three years. If the situation, however, so demands, the interregnum may be less.

In para 27 of the Report, the Expert Committee of 1993 had observed the following:

“In addition to the above, we have to say that the income/wealth test governs categories IV, VB and VC as stated earlier. For the remaining categories, namely I, II,III and VA, specific criteria have been laid down; however, if in these categories, any person, who is not disentitled to benefit of reservation, has income from other sources or wealth, which will bring him within the criterion under Item No.VI, then he shall be disentitled to reservation, in case his income-without clubbing his income from salaries or agricultural land – or his wealth is in excess or cut-off points prescribed under the income/wealth criteria.”

From the reading of para-27 of the Expert Committee Report, it is clear that the Explanation (i) given below to Category VI of Schedule to OM dated 08.09.1993, that income from salaries or agricultural land shall not be clubbed would be applicable only in respect of category VI(b). Hence as per provision of O.M. dated 08.09.1993, the salary of the parents of the candidates, who are working in PSUs, PSBs  etc., was taken into account for determining their Creamy Layer status, till such time the equivalence vis-à-vis Government posts is established.

The erstwhile National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) in 2011 had recommended Rs. 9 lakh for Rural and Rs. 12 lakh for Urban for income limit for creamy layer.

In the year of 2015, the erstwhile National Commission for Backward Classes had recommended Rs. 15 lakh for income limit for Creamy layer.

The Cabinet in 2004 had decided to follow the Consumer Price Index (CPI) principle which has been adopted and not the formula recommended by NCBC.

This information was given by Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Shri Krishan Pal Gurjar in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.


Finance Ministry Clarification on Air Travel on Official Tour

Finance Ministry Clarification on Air Travel on Official Tour

“Cost of Air passage is not borne by the Government of India, No Need to Obtained Relaxation from Financial Advisors of the concerned Ministry/ Department”

Air travel on official tour where the cost of air passage is not borne by the Government of India – clarification reg.

Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure

New Delhi, the 31st December, 2018

Office Memoranudm

Sub: Air travel on official tour where the cost of air passage is not borne by the Government of India – clarification reg.

The undersigned is directed to refer this Department’s O.M. dated 07.06.2016 and 26.07.2016 regarding delegation of powers to Financial Advisors (FAs) of the Ministries/Departments to accord relaxation for travel by airlines other than Air India both domestic and international including individual cases of officials of Central Government and autonomous bodies. Several references have been received in this Department seeking clarification as to whether relaxation is required in case the cost of air passage is not borne by the Government of India.

2. The matter has been examined in this Department and it is clarified that in case the cost of air passage is not borne by the Government of India, relaxation is not required to be obtained from the Financial Advisors of the concerned Ministry/ Department.

3. Further clarification, if any, in this regard may be handled by Financial Advisers of the concerned Ministry/Department.

4. This is issued with the approval of Finance Secretary.

(Nirmala Dev)
Deputy Secretary to the Government of India

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