Thursday, December 1, 2016

A discussion on the DoPT-specific allowances

 A discussion on the DoPT-specific allowances with the Staff-Side National Council (JCM) was held at 3.00 p.m. on 25.10.2016 under the Chairmanship of Secretary(Personnel) in Room NO.119, North Block, Delhi in compliance with the direction contained in the minutes of the 2nd meeting of the Committee on Allowances held on 01.09.2016 that every Ministry/Department should firm up its views/comments on allowances relating to the Ministry/Department after holding discussion with their Staff Associations.
2.         List of participants is at Annexure.
3.         At the outset JS(JCA) welcomed all the members of the Staff side of the National Council of JCM to the discussion on department specific allowances. JS(JCA) informed that in the second meeting of the Committee on Allowances it was decided that all the department specific allowances will be discussed with the JCM. After a brief introduction it was decided to discuss the following department specific allowances on which has received the comments for Staff-Side.
Children Education Allowance (CEA)
            The Staff-Side has stated that the benefit of Children’s Education Allowance should be extended to the Graduate and Post Graduate levels also. They have informed that the private institutions are charging exorbitantly. So, subject to a ceiling on tuition fees and hostel fees, the CEA should be extended to the Graduates and Post Graduates level. Staff-Side has informed that they had also represented to the Pay Commission for simplifying the procedure wherein they had suggested that reimbursement should be based on the bonafide certificates from the schools where the children are studying. This suggestion has been accepted by the Pay Commission and the Staff-Side has requested that it should be implemented.
On the issue of DOPT’s circular on e-receipt, Secretary, DoPT clarified that this circular had been issued before the government accepted the 7th pay Commission recommendation.
(Action: JS(Estt.)
Night Duty Allowance (NDA)
            Staff-Side has pointed out that the Night Duty Allowance (NDA) is still being paid at the 4th CPC rate. Even though there is a Board Of Arbitration award in favour of employees that from 01.01.1996 it should be given in the 5th CPC pay scale, the government did not accept the arbitration award and even today employees are getting it at the same rate as it was prevalent during the 4th CPC period. In the Ministry Of Defencc a lot of litigation had taken place and the matter went up to the Supreme Court. Hon’ble Supreme Court directed that it should be paid on the basis of the actual pay drawn and that NDA should be revised w.e.f. 01.04.2016 at the 6th CPC pay scale which has been implemented by the government. However, the audit authorities came up with an objection that there is a ceiling for it which has been objected to by the Staff-Side.
            Apart from that, the 7th pay Commission has recommended that it should be worked out with the actual pay of the employee being are criterion. However, in spite of that, except for the Ministries of Defence and Railways, employees working in other Ministries/Departments are getting it at 4th CPC rate. Thus, the absence of uniformity on this allowance across Ministries/ Departments is Very glaring which, according to the Staff-Side, is a principal source of litigation and will continue to remain so. Therefore, the Staff-Side has suggested that an early revision of the without ceiling, and on the basis of the actual basic pay, and extending it to whoever is asked to do night duty will go a long way in reducing litigations in the future.
(Action: JS(Estt.)
Over Time Allowance (OTA)
            Staff-Side has pointed out that there are two types of over time duty. One is covered under the Factories Act, 1948, and the other is for the office staff. In the first case, since it is a statutory obligation, the pay Commission has not recommended anything on it. But for those Central Government employees who are not covered under the statutory provisions of the Factories Act, OTA is paid at a single rate of Rs.15.85/- Only and, that too, fot the first hour immediately after the scheduled office Closing time, it is Nil. In case of OTA there is also an arbitration award from 01.01.1996 that it should be at par with the 5th CPC pay scale. However, neither it has been implemented not have the rates been revised.
            The Staff-Side has stated that if an employee is asked to word after office hours, the rate of OTA Should be as per 7th CPC Pay Scale. Staff-Side is of the opinion that overall means working after office hours, and asking an employee to work beyond office hours automatically entitles him/her to this allowance. The Over Time rates should also be above the normal level. It was pointed out by them that as per 7th CPC. an is paid @ Rs.75/hour; whereas overtime allowance is @ Rs.15.85/- only. Even an outsider employed on casual basis is being paid hourly wages which are more than OTA. The Staff-Side is strongly of the view that if government is deploying a person on overtime work then he has to be paid at least according to the rate of salary which he is getting.
(Action: JS(Estt.)
Cash Handling Allowance (CHA)
Staff-Side has informed that the 7th CPC recommendation on its abolition is based on the fact that in most of the offices today salary disbursement is not made in cash. It is credited to the individual bank accounts. But cash transactions do take place in certain offices like the Post Offices where cash handouts are made under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. PLI is also another example. Therefore, if it is stopped all of a sudden, no person will show interest in working as cashiers and take the additional responsibility of handling huge amounts of cash. Therefore, the Staff-Side has contended that till all cash transactions are ehminated, CHA should continue.
It was also pointed out by them that this allowance depends on the amount of cash transaction; when the volume of cash transaction comes down, the allowance also proportionately come down. 
(Action: JS(Estt.)
Uniform related allowances subsumed in a single Dress Allowance (including shoes)
Staff-Side has informed that the 7th Pay Commission has recommended that Persons Below Officers Rank (PBOR) should be given Dress Allowance @ Rs.10,000/- per month. There are 5 Ordnance Factories under Ministry of Defence where persons are exclusively deployed to produce special high altitude dresses for the combat forces of the army. 12000 employees are working in these 5 factories. Therefore, if a uniform rate like this is maintained, it will have an adverse impact on the quality of these high altitude uniforms and will thus jeopardise the safety of the army men and the nation as a whole. Staff-Side is stated to have already made a request to M/o Defence not to implement this recommendation. Army has also taken a stand that this will result in substandard or sub quality material So this recommendation on the Dress allowance for PBOR should not be implemented.
As far as Civilian employees are concerned, it has been stated that the 7th CPC has recommended four slabs of Dress Allowances for various categories. One of the categories is called ‘others’. Whereas, in the Department of Posts there are about 75,000 postmen and Multi Tasking Staff wearing uniform. There is no mention about these postmen and multi tasking staff in any of the categories shown by the Pay Commission. If it is presumed that they come under ‘Others’, then they will be getting Rs.5,000 Whereas at present they are getting around Rs.7,000 plus washing allowance. As such a separate category should be there for postmen and MTS also and the allowance should be Rs.10,000/-.
It has also been pointed out that there are many categories like canteen employees, security staff, chowkidars which have not been mentioned and who are eligible for uniform or uniform allowances. It has to be clarified whether these categories will be covered under ‘others’. Staff-Side has stated that whosoever is getting Dress Allowance as on today should continue to get that. Staff-Side has also informed that the recommendations on Dress Allowance have created a lot of discrimination among staff working in similar circumstances.
Staff-Side has also drawn attention to the Dress Allowance with respect to the Nursing Staff. It has been stated that earlier also Nursing Staff were not given normal washing allowance or dress allowance considering the importance or the peculiar conditions prevailing in hospitals. Now they have also been bracketed in the general category. They were getting Rs.750 as Uniform Allowance and Rs.450 as Washing Allowance per month. Now there is no separate category that has been given to them. For them a different dispensation was made taking into account their special requirements because they work in such an environment where their uniforms require regular washing entailing a substantial expenditure. As these have not been accounted for in the 7th CPC, the nursing staff should have a special dispensation, as is strongly felt by the Staff-Side.
JS (JCA) has requested Staff-Side to submit a note on the justification or break-up of the amount of Rs.32,400(maximum) as suggested by them and the Staff-Side has agreed to provide the same.
Secretary, DOPT summed up the demands of the Staff-Side by observing that those who were getting Dress Allowances, their allowances should not come down. And the categories of the employees which had special dispensation in the past and have not been mentioned this time or have been clubbed together with other categories need clarification. 
(Action: JS(JCA)/Staff Side)
Risk-Allowance
The Staff-Side has informed That Ministry of Defence is engaged in arms and ammunitions manufacturing etc. In the process of manufacturing them, the staff engaged for this purpose, have to handle hazardous chemicals, acids and so many Other poisonous combinations. Cabinet has approved 45 risk operations pertaining to Defence civilian employees. Apart from that, because of the technological developments taking place fast and as the requirement of the armed forces is increasing for getting modern equipments, ammunitions and explosives, new risk operations have also come into existence of which Ministry of Defence is aware and have recommended also accordingly. In spite of this, the existing Risk Allowance has been abolished by the Pay Commission. It has been pointed out by the Staff-Side that it has not been subsumed under the risk and hardship matrix. Rather it comes in the abolition list. In no matrix are the risk operations of Defcnce civilians are covered. Staff-Side has informed that they have discussed this with Defence Secretary and Defence Ministry is going to recommend in favour of its inclusion in one Of the matrix.
In response to the query of Secretary, DOPT as whether the activities which have been considered to be risky have all been identified, Staff-Side has clarified that it has been identified by a high level committee and approved by the Cabinet, 45 risk operations have been identified and approved. But within a period of 2 decades, lot of new ammunitions and new explosives have come in the arsenal, alongwith a lot of hazardous chemicals and acids. So, M/o Defence has again appointed a committee and they have identified that all these ate additional risk operations over and above the 45 identified, where Defencc Civilian employees are actively involved. But the Pay Commission has abolished Risk Allowance. So this has to be incorporated in onc of the risk matrix.
(Action: JS(Estt.)
Other Items
            Staff-Side has pointed out that in the 7th CPC report it has been stated that any allowance not mentioned and hence not reported to the Commission shall cease to exist immediately. They have requested that this recommendation should be rejected. On the contrary, the administrative Ministries should come forward and recommend for their abolition or retention.
            Staff-Side has also stated that 7th CPC has abolished all advances completely. Noting that we regularly celebrate a number of festivals like Diwali, Holi, Eid and keeping the general sentiment in mind, they are of the view that advances are very necessary. Moreover, these advances are required to be paid back to the government.
            On Family Planning Allowance, the Staff-Side has stated that since the Government has not changed its Family Planning policy, the allowance should be continued, At least in the case of those people who were getting it they should continue to get as they have fulfilled all conditions when the allowance were granted. Otherwise be drop in their emoluments.
            The Staff –Side also demanded that the 7th CPC had not revised the rate of Fixed Medical Allowance for pensioners. Therefore, the Fixed Medical Allowance  for pensioners may be revised ro Rs.2000/- from existing Rs.500/-

No Limit for Withdrawals in Post Offices as per RBI relaxation - DoP Guidelines

Instructions regading No Limit for Withdrawals in Post Offices as per RBI relaxation.

Respected Sir/Madam,
Please find attached the RBI Notification regarding relaxation in the limit of withdrawal of cash from bank deposit accounts. The instructions of RBI stipulates that withdrawals may be allowed for deposits made in current legal tender notes on or after 29.11.2016 beyond the current limits preferably, available higher denomination bank notes of Rs. 2000/- and 500/- are to be issued for such withdrawals. 

This instructions of RBI is applicable only for those depositors who deposits valid legal tender notes and seeking withdrawal, for whom the current limit of (Rs. 24000/-) is relaxed. 

The following are the procedure to be followed:-

1.The withdrawal exceeding the current limits may be allowed only in the home SOL of the account holder.
2.The Finacle application should validate the withdrawals exceeding the limit for those depositors who deposit the current legal tender notes on or after 29.11.2016. For this purpose a Patch needs to be deployed.
3.The counter PA should maintain a separate register for entering details of such deposit transactions.

The proforma of the register is as follows:-

S.No.
Date
Name of the Account Holder
SB Account Number
Amount Deposited through current legal tender notes
Deno. of legal tender notes
Counter PA Sign.
PM/SPM/ Counter Supervisor Signature, Date and amount of withdrawal, if any

4. The depositors who are depositing current legal tender notes on or after 29.11.2016 should write the denomination of currency notes on the pay in slip.
5. After acceptance of deposit by post office, the concerned PA should acknowledge the tendering of currency notes on the back side of the counterfoil of the pay in slip and write the Sl. No. of the entry in above mentioned register.
6. While allowing withdrawal the Counter PA should consult the prescribed Register and make necessary entries for the cash withdrawal from the respective account.
7. Counter PA should maintain the details of cash received and remitted to Treasurer separately for WOS Notes and Current Legal Notes.
CEPT team/FSI vendor is requested to put in place necessary validation by deploying a Patch in Finacle application. Further detail will be intimated in due course. 
In the meanwhile, necessary instructions may be issued to all concerned. 
With regards,
Sachin Kishore
Director (CBS)
Sansad Marg,
Dak Bhavan

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Withdrawal of cash from bank deposit accounts - RBI Relaxed withdrawal conditions

RBI relaxed conditions and to allow withdrawals of deposits made in current legal tender notes on or after November 29, 2016 beyond the current limits; preferably, available higher denominations bank notes of ₹ 2000 and ₹ 500 are to be issued for such withdrawals.

EDITORIAL POSTAL CRUSADER DECEMBER 2016 - DEMONETIZATION (NOTE BANDI) CAUSE OF SUFFERING FOR PUBLIC

 The object of demonetization was stated by Prime Minister to combat corruption and black money .But without making proper preparations it’s implementation has caused suffering more to the public in general and Bank and Postal Employees in particular. All Government Employees, Workers, Farmers and small & big entrepreneurs are also suffering because of this. People start standing in ques in front of ATMs since early in the night. As the ATMs were not calibrated as per  new notes of Rs.2000/- and 500/- so these notes are not being put in ATMs and 100/- Rupees  notes are exhausted within a short period and remaining persons remain standing in ques. The decision taken in hurry is being changed frequently. Firstly it was ordered that anybody can change the old notes worth Rupees 4000/- from any Bank & Post Office, after that limit raised as Rs.4500/- and now it has been reduced to Rs.2000/- from the Post Offices or Bank where account stands.
            `No employer is giving salary to his employees. Shops are being shut. The business in Mandis is getting stopped. Workshops and factories are being closed. Workers are returning back from Metro Cities to their villages.

            The problems before farmers are aggravating. Now this is season of RAVI CROPS and Farmers are not able to purchase seeds and fertilizer besides having money. If it peasants come in distress it will adversely affect the economy of nation. Agricultural products like vegetables and fruits are not being purchased in Mandis. All the small enterprises, from brick Kilns  to factories , who have  to pay cash wages to workers have stopped working or not making full payment of wages as they have been allowed to withdraw Rs.25000/- . As per the RBI directives, distinct and primary co-operative banks which cater to millions of farmers are not allowed to exchange the votes. This has paralysed the banking operations causing hardship to farmer and rural population. Workers working in transport sector have become unemployed. The goods carrier vehicles have come to halt, as to operate these there is no money and it will result shortage of food items.

             The Government has authorized all Hospitals to accept old notes but the private hospitals and Nursing Homes have not been allowed therefore people are not getting proper treatment and some have died due to lack of treatment.

            Most of the work in this country is done by cash transaction. After barring 86% currency which was in the form of notes of higher denomination has caused suffering to the common man including labourers, farmers, entrepreneurs and government employees. The way in which this has been implemented adverse effect on livelihood of common man can be noticed.

            The government is claiming GDP at the rate of 8% but now it may come down up to 5% and the economy will take more time to come up after bearing this blow.

            The Government is claiming total removal of problem of corruption and black money after demonetization but experts are saying that there is only 6% black money in the form of cash and only 0.025% currency is fake. Rest 94% black money is in real estate, Share Market, Gold and Jewellery and foreign currency and so many other activities. For marriages, orders were issued to withdraw Rs.2.5 lakh but so many conditions have been imposed and fulfillment of these conditions is impossible and the people are committing suicide being aggrieved of it. To restrict withdrawal of its own money is clear-cut violation of constitutional provisions.

            With this decision the postal employees have also been very adversely affected. There is no adequate infrastructure in Post Offices. In most of the post offices, notes counting machines and fake currency detecting machines are not available. About 10000 Post Offices are single handed and he has to do all other works besides this demonetization work. The Post Offices are being opened since 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. and being opened on holidays and Sundays and no extra remuneration is being paid in lieu of this extra duty work. 

            There are no proper security arrangements in Post Offices for cash remittance. Cash cannot be retained in Post Offices. To remit the cash from SOs to HO. The employees have to take risk. Banks are not ready to accept. The banned currency due to non availability cash from Banks. Postal employees have to bear the annoyance of public.

            NFPE has raised all these issues before Postal Administration and other officers and accordingly Directorate has issued instructions to settle these problems but still this is not sufficient. 

            If the attitude of administration does not change than NFPE along with PJCA will proceed on path of agitation.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Goa will be First State to go Cashless from December 31, 2016

Highlights
  • While cash transactions are not being banned, the move is to encourage a cashless society. 
  • People will be able to buy perishables such as fish, meat, vegetables or anything else at the press of a button on their mobile.
PANAJI: Goa is likely to become the first state in India to go cashless from December 31, as people will be able to buy perishables such as fish, meat, vegetables or anything else at the press of a button on their mobile. 

There will be no need to carry your purse for purchases and the profession of pickpocketers may become extinct soon, as all transactions will be done on the mobile. "The money on purchases will be debited to the person's bank account," chief secretary R K Srivastava told STOI. 

One has to dial *99# from their mobile phone, not necessarily a smart phone, and follow the instructions to complete the transcation. This system is being introduced to transfer money to small vendors who do not have swipe machines. Swiping of ATM and credit cards at shops and establishments will also continue. 

A drive to create awareness on how to operate the cashless transaction for vendors and small shops and the public will commence on Monday at Mapusa and Panaji, in Goa. 

While cash transactions are not being banned, the move is to encourage a cashless society. Also, there will be no minimum limit on the cashless transfer of money. Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar said no fees will be charged for any of these transactions over the mobile. 

Defence minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday held a meeting with government officials and all the major nationalized and private banks. During the meeting, Parrikar discussed the modalities to implement the cashless scheme in the state. 

Parrikar said at the Vijay Sankalp Rally at Sankhali on Friday that PM Narendra Modi had a dream about a cashless society and "they told me that Goa can become the first state to go cashless".

"One thing we decided is that whenever India becomes a cashless society, Goa will become the first. We have to support the prime minister's dream," Parrikar added saying that your mobile can become your bank and one can do anything once he/she has registered her/his mobile number with the bank under the central government unified payment interference (UPI).

Srivastava said that Goa has an added advantage to be become the first cashless society because it is a small state with about 15 lakh population and 17 lakh mobile phone connections. "We have 22 lakh bank accounts, which means that one person has more than one account," he said. Most of the people in Goa use debit or credit cards while purchasing and hence it will not be a problem to go cashless, he added.

He also said that from Monday, people will be educated on the cashless transaction and the exact plan would be finalized on Sunday. Explaining how it works, Srivastava said that every vendor who registers with the bank would be given an MMID code.

Once a person purchases fish, vegetable etc. the customer just needs to dial the designated number (*99#) and punch in details of her/his account and the amount the customer needs to transfer to the vendor and then the customer has to enter the MI code of the vendor to transfer the funds. Within no time, the money would be transferred from the customer's account to the vendor's account.

"Everybody should have an account, card and the account should have money," Srivastava said.   

All 4,041 cities/towns asked to shift to cashless transactions; Madhya Pradesh to do so by March next year

All 4,041 cities/towns asked to shift to cashless transactions; Madhya Pradesh to do so by March next year
Internet banking, Online payments and PFMS to be adopted

Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu launched cashless transaction facility of Visakhapatnam Corporation
As a part of the ongoing efforts to move towards cashless transactions of all kind, the Ministry of Urban Development has asked all the statutory 4,041 Urban Local Bodies to shift to e-payments at the earliest. These cities and towns account for about 75% of the total 40 crore urban population in the country.
Central Government’s message to the officials of these 4,041 urban local bodies was conveyed by Shri Rajiv Gauba, Secretary(Urban Development) through interactive video-conferencing. Senior officials of concerned States also participated during the half day long interaction on various aspects of ensuring cashless transactions.
State and city level officials were asked to promote internet banking (RTGS/NEFT), online banking using credit and debit cards for cashless transactions besides using Public Finance Management Systems(PFMS) developed by the Ministry of Financing for fund transfer, accounting and reconciliation up to the level of cities and towns.
Shri Gauba emphasized that all transactions relating to both income and expenditure of urban local bodies needs to be shifted to e-payment mode. These include payment of Property Tax, Professional Tax, all user charges like water and power bills, all kinds of fee and license charges, online booking of community halls, issue and renewal of birth and death certificates, registration of shops and other establishments, enrollment of library membership etc.
Expenditure to be made cashless include payment of salaries and wages to all regular and contractual employees, all contract and work relate payments, procurements, beneficiary payments like social security etc.
City governments were asked to take up necessary infrastructure and capacity building, awareness campaigns for opening of accounts for employees of all categories and their family members.
States have been asked to adopt Public Finance Management systems (PFMS) up to city level to enable transfer, accounting, reconciliation and monitoring of transfer of funds under various government schemes.
To illustrate the transaction volumes, 59 cities have collected tax revenues of Rs.1,722 cr during November so far including dues payable. These include; Ahmedabad-Rs.187 cr, Bhopal-Rs.27 cr, Chennai-Rs.80 cr, Faridabad- Rs.17 cr, Guwahaty-R.s. 14 cr, Hyderabad-Rs.208 cr, Indore-Rs.32 cr, Kakinada (AP)-Rs.20 cr, Kalyan(Maharashtra)-Rs.170 cr, Lucknow-Rs.23 cr, Raipur-Rs.17 cr, Visakhapatnam-Rs.16 cr, Amritsar-Rs.12 cr, Kanpur-Rs.30 cr, Mumbai-Rs.167 cr and New Delhi Municipal Council-Rs.84 cr.
Officials from Madhya Pradesh informed that the major 7 cities have already enabled cashless transactions and all the 378 cities and towns would do so by March next year. Uttar Pradesh and Goa have reported using PFMS up to city level and found it to be very useful.
Minister of Urban Development Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated such cashless payment system introduced by the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation and orientation camps for educating citizens on e-payment.

PIB NEWS

Rs 32,631 Crore Deposited in Post Offices Since Demonetisation - Secretary Posts told PTI

Image result for Department of Posts Secretary B V Sudhakar image

New Delhi: People have deposited a staggering Rs 32,631 crore in nearly 1.55 lakh post offices across the country following demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 currency notes.
The post offices have also exchanged about Rs 3,680 crore of old currency notes between November 10 and 24, Department of Posts Secretary B V Sudhakar told PTI.
"From November 10 to November 24, we have exchanged 578 lakh notes of value of about Rs 3,680 crore. If you look at the deposits, 43.48 crore old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were accepted as deposits, and their value is about Rs 32,631 crore," he said.
As many as 1.55 lakh post offices -- about 1.30 lakh in rural areas and the rest 25,000 in urban and semi-urban areas -- are playing a "prominent role" in the entire exercise, he added.
During the same period, Rs 3,583 crore was withdrawn from post offices, Sudhakar said.
Following demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from midnight of November 8, people rushed to banks and post offices to deposit or exchange old currency notes. Serpentine queues were seen in front of banks, ATMs and post offices with people lining up to get valid currency notes.
Those without postal savings accounts were also permitted to exchange the old notes up to a certain limit in the post offices by producing their identity cards.
While the window of a fortnight to exchange these currency notes over-the-counter at banks and post offices ended on November 24, the old notes can be deposited in bank accounts until December 30.