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Government to amend Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act to address deficiencies in the Act. Time Limit of 18 months provided under Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014, to amend Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act

Last date for filing declaration assets and liabilities by Central Government Employees under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act 2013 has been extended till 30th April 2015 under Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the Limits for exemption of assets in filing Returns) Rules, 2014.

 Government has planned to amend Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act on the basis of apprehensions  of Employees on the safety and security of Children and spouse when their property information is published online. To accomplish this process of amending Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014 has been amended now to the effect that the Act can be amended with in the period of 18 months from the date the Act came in to effect (i.e 16th January 2014)

MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL, PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS

(Department of Personnel and Training)

                                                                                                                                            ORDER

New Delhi, the 26th December, 2014

S.O. 3272(E).- Whereas the Central Government, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 62 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (1 of 2014) (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), made the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014 (hereinafter referred to as the said Order) with effect from the 15th February. 2014 for the purpose of carrying out modifications and amendments in all existing rules regulating the filing of property returns and making of declaration of assets by public servants so as to bring them in conformity with the provisions of the said Act. within a period not exceeding one hundred and eighty days from the date on which the provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 came into force, i.e., the 16th January, 2014;

And whereas, the central Government initiated the process of modifications and amendments of all existing rules dealing with the subject matter of filing of annual returns and making of declaration of assets by public servants in consultation with various authorities, such as, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the Election Commission, the Lok Sabha Secretariat, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, the Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department), the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Public Enterprises and the State Governments;

And whereas, the comments and suggestions received from above said authorities had been under consideration of the Central Government and the completion of the procedure of finalising the rules under the said Act was likely to take some more time and the process of harmonisation of the existing rules with the provisions of the said Act and the rules made thereunder was taking time beyond the period notified under the said Order, and, therefore, the Central  Government amended the said Order on 14th July, 2014, extending the said period of one hundred and eighty days to a period of two hundred and seventy days;

And whereas, the Central Government, after consulting the Ministries/Departments. including the Department of Financial Services, the Department of Public Enterprises, the Ministry of Law and Justice and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, made the Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the Limits for Exemption of Assets in Filing Returns) Rules, 2014 (hereinafter referred to as the said rules), in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) read with clause (k) and clause (l) of sub-section (2) of section 59 read with section 44 and section 45 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, and notified the said rules on 14th July, 2014, prescribing therein the forms in which information and annual returns are to be filed by every public servant;

And whereas, the Central Government forwarded the Copies of the notification containing the said rules to all Ministries and Departments of the Central Government requesting them to take the follow-up action in terms of the said rules. and for ensuring compliance with the said rules by all officers and staff in the respective Ministries, Departments and organisations and public sector undertakings under their control;

And whereas. the Central Government also forwarded the copies of the notification containing the said rules to the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments and Union territories, requesting them to take the follow-up action in terms of the said rules requiring all officers of the All India Services working in connection with the affairs of the State Governments and the officers and staff working in various organisations and public sector undertakings under their control so as to ensure due compliance with the said rules by all of them;

And whereas, concerns and apprehensions were raised by some Ministries and Departments, Organisations and inpiduals about the posting of every information provided by the public servant on public domain and the complexities involved in posting such details in the prescribed formats and also about exacerbation of vulnerabilities of the public servantsafter filing such details. specifically of movable property and their publication on the websites of respective Ministries and Departments giving rise to the apprehension of the safety and security of the members particularly children of the public servant;

And whereas, keeping in view the genuine concerns and apprehensions aforesaid, the Central Government constituted a Committee on 28th August, 2014 to simplify the forms and the process in which public servants shall make declaration of assets and liabilities as required under the said Act and the rules made thereunder and the Committee was required to examine the forms prescribed under the said rules and suggest changes therein as may be considered necessary within a period of forty-five days;

And whereas, the exercise of reviewing the existing rules relating to various services and posts with the provisions of the said Act and the rules made thereunder, the process of completion of follow-up action by various Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and the State Governments and the exercise of simplification of forms and the process in which public servants shall make declarations of assets and liabilities, was likely to take time beyond the period of two hundred and seventy days as specified in the said Order (as amended by the Order, dated 14th July, 2014), it had become necessary to extend the said period of two hundred and seventy days and, accordingly, the Central Government amended the said Order on 8th September, 2014. extending the said period of two hundred and seventy days to a period of three hundred and sixty days for the purposes of section 44 of the said Act;

And whereas, the Committee constituted by the Central Government on 28th August, 2014 to simplify the forms and the process in which public servants shall make declaration of assets and liabilities as required under the said Act and the rules made thereunder, submitted its first Report to the Government on 1st October, 2014, wherein the Committee suggested simplification of form prescribed for submission of statement regarding movable assets and the form prescribed for submission of statement regarding debts and liabilities by public servants, under the aforesaid rules;

And whereas, the processing of necessary amendments to the aforesaid rules so as to incorporate the revised forms for filing statement regarding movable properties and the statement regarding debts and liabilities and the circulation of the revised formats, after their due notification in the Official Gazette, to all Ministries and Departments of the Central Government and the Chief Secretaries of all State Governments and Union territory administrations and the further process of follow-up action in terms of the said rules requiring all officers of the All India Services working in a connection with the affairs of the State Governments and the Offices and Staff working in various Organisations and Public Sector Undertakings under their control so as to ensure due compliance with the revised rules by all of them, is a time consuming process and as such the said process cannot be completed within the limit of three hundred and sixty days as contemplated in the principal order as amended by the order dated 8th September, 2014;

And whereas, Central Government has decided to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, to address various deficiencies noticed in the said Act and, in that context, a need has also been felt to amend the provisions of section 44 of the said Act so as to harmonise the provisions of the said section with the relevant provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and rules framed thereunder, the All India Services Act, 1951 and rules framed thereunder, the rules framed by the Central Government in pursuance of article 148 and article 309 of the Constitution and also various statutes setting up autonomous bodies and Public Sector Undertakings and the rules framed thereunder;

And whereas, the introduction of a Bill to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, and its passing by Parliament and enforcement is also likely to take time; and hence it has become necessary to extend the said period of three hundred and sixty days to a period of eighteen months and the Central Government has accordingly decided to extend the period to complete this process;

New. therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 62 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 (l of 2014). the Central Government hereby makes the following amendment further to amend the Lokpal and Lokayuktas (Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2014, namely-

In the said Order, in paragraph 2, in sub-paragraph (1), for the words “within a period not exceeding three hundred and sixty days”, the words “within a period not exceeding eighteen months” shall be substituted.

 

[R No. 407/ 12/2014-AVD-1V(B) l]

List of General Holidays for Central Government Offices in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States

Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley asks the Indian Revenue Service (IRS-Customs & Central Excise) Officer Trainees to be Both Firm and Fair in Their Dealing with the Tax Assesses.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley asked the Indian Revenue Service (IRS-Customs & Central Excise) officer trainees to be both firm and fair in their dealing with the tax assesses. He said that they have to maintain a fine balance between what taxes are to be charged and what not to be charged. The Finance Minister said that those officers who are the face of Government before the public have to be acceptable. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking after inaugurating the Professional Training Programme of 66th Batch of Officer Trainees of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) (Customs &Central Excise) here today. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further asked the officer trainees to abreast themselves during the 18-month long training programme with the new regime of indirect taxes especially after implementation of Goods & Service Tax (GST). He asked the trainees to maintain high level of ethics, morality and credibility in public life.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of State for Finance Shri Jayant Sinha asked the IRS officer trainees to work hard with integrity and have a mind set of serving the people with integrity. They must keep in mind that they are public servant and try to provide best possible costumer service to make the life easier for people at large. He asked them to use latest tools of technology in efficient discharge of their duties. He called for the need of raising the tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio in the country which is quite low at 15.5% while in case of developed countries, it is above 30%. He asked the officer trainees to remove the bottlenecks at the structure level in order to improve the overall system in the Government rather than doing fire fighting and fixing the problems all the time.

Earlier, the Chairman Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Shri Kaushal Srivastava administrative the oath to newly recruited IRS trainees. He said that the Government has approved the setting-up of the new campus of National Academy of Customs, Central Excise and Narcotics (NACEN) in  Andhra Pradesh.

Among others present on the occasion include Shri Shakti Kanta Das, Revenue Secretary, Members of CBEC, Shri G. Sreekumar Menon, DG, NACEN and the senior officers of Department of Revenue.

Source:pib.nic.in

Govt. extends Lokpal Annual declarations file date to 30-4-2015

Government has extended the last date for filing of Declarations under Lokpal Act from 31-12-2014 to 30-4-2015. 

It is also proposed to change the formats for statements regarding movable properties (Form-II) and debts and liabilities (Form-IV). New formats will be notified accordingly. 

LTC 80 for non entitled Government Servants

 

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF PERSONNEL,PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS
RAJYA SABHA
QUESTION NO 2907
ANSWERED ON 18.12.2014

LTC 80 for non entitled Government Servants

2907 SHRIMATI BIMLA KASHYAP SOOD

Will the Minister of PERSONNEL,PUBLIC GRIEVANCES AND PENSIONS be pleased to satate :-

(a) whether travel by air under LTC 80 fare is allowed to non-entitled Government Servants in certain sectors;

(b) if so, whether they are permitted to travel by air from their headquarters, if not, the reasons therefor;

(c) whether split journey from headquarters to Kolkata, Chennai, or Bhubaneswar by train in entitled class and thereafter by air in economy class from Air India burden more on the exchequer than the direct flight through flexi fare from Air India; and

(d) whether Government proposes to allow such employees to travel by air from headquarters in economy class on flexi fare by Air India?

ANSWER

Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions and Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office. (DR. JITENDRA SINGH)

(a): Yes, Sir.

(b): Government servants not entitled to travel by air may be permitted to travel by air in Economy class in the following sectors between:

(i) Kolkata/Guwahati and any place in NER

(ii) Kolkata/Chennai/Bhubaneswar and Port Blair

(iii) Delhi/Amritsar and anyplace in J&K

(c): It is not possible to quantify in exact terms as this would depend on multiple factors like distance between the Headquarters and Kolkata/Chennai/Bhubaneswar, entitlement of class of journey by train, i.e. II Tier AC or III Tier AC etc.

(d): There is no such proposal at present.

Source: Rajyasbha.nic.in

GST Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

The much-awaited GST Bill, which provides for an overhaul of the taxation system, was introduced in the Lok Sabha today i.e. Monday  with government saying concerns of all the states have been taken care of and they would benefit from the “win-win” measure.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill will be taken up in the next session of Parliament and that he will be open to all suggestions “till the very last minute”. Introducing the bill which was cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, he said, “We have made sure that no state will lose a rupee of revenue. It will be a win-win situation.” He said states would be compensated on account of CST and the first installment would be made before March 31 next year.

Seeking to allay apprehensions of states, Jaitley, who spoke on the bill in Rajya Sabha also, said their interests are more than adequately protected and he did not foresee a situation where states would be the losers. The GST will incorporate indirect taxes like excise duty and service tax on the central front and VAT on the states level, besides local levies. There are differences between the Centre and states on some issues with regard to the implementation of GST that includes the revenue neutral rate and keeping petroleum,alcohol out of the ambit.

He said the government would give “constitutional assurance” in terms of compensating the possible losses incurred by states. GST reform would strengthen the principle of “co-operative federalism” as Centre and state would need to work together to take decisions which would require 75 per cent majority approval, the Finance Minister said. As some members questioned the hurry and wanted the crucial legislation to be sent to the Standing Committee, Jaitley contended that the government’s intention was not to “push” or “rush” the bill through.

“Let there be no tax on tax. If you have multiple taxation imposed, the burden and procedural complication increase. One legitimate fear is there and therefore I am not going to rush through with this, though the Standing committee has cleared it and I have discussed it repeatedly and Mr Chidambaram has discussed it repeatedly,” he said.

 

PTI

Alteration of date of birth of a Government Servant

F.No.19017/1/2014-Estt (A-IV)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
North Block, New Delhi-110 001
Dated : 16th December, 2014
 
OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject : Alteration of date of birth of a Government Servant — reiteration of the instructions.

Rule 56 of Fundamental Rules states that except as otherwise provided in the rule, every Government servant will retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the month in which he attains the age of sixty years.

Provided that a Government servant whose date of birth is the first of a month shall retire from service on the afternoon of the last day of the preceding month on attaining the age of sixty years.

 
2.  As per Note 6 below the aforesaid Rule, the date of on which a Government servant attains the age of fifty-eight years or sixty years, as the case may be, shall be determined with reference to the date of birth declared by the Government servant at the time of appointment and accepted by the Appropriate Authority on production, as far as possible, of confirmatory documentary evidence such as High School or Higher Secondary or Secondary School Certificate or extracts from Birth Register. The date of birth so declared by the Government servant and accepted by the Appropriate Authority shall not be subject to any alteration except as specified in this note. An alteration of date of birth of a Government servant can be made, with the sanction of a Ministry or Department of the Central Government, or the Comptroller and Auditor-General in regard to persons serving in the Indian Audit and Accounts Department, or an Administrator of a Union Territory under which the Government servant is serving, if —
 
(a) a request in this regard is made within five years of his entry into Government service;
 
(b) it is clearly established that a genuine bona fide mistake has occurred; and
 
(c) the date of birth so altered would not make him ineligible to appear in any School or University of Union Public Service Commission examination in which he had appeared, or for entry into Government service on the date on which he first appeared at such examination or on the date on which he entered Government service.
 
3. The Supreme Court of India in Civil Appeal No.502 of 1993 — Union of India Vs. Harnam Singh — Judgement dated 9th February, 1993 had observed that :
“Inordinate and unexplained delay or laches on the part of the respondent to seek the necessary correction would in any case have justified the refusal of relief to him. His inaction for all this period of about thirty five years from the date of joining service, therefore precludes him from showing that the entry of his date of birth in service record was not correct”.
 
The observations of the Apex Court was also circulated to all Ministries and Departments of the Government of India vide OM No.19017/2/92-Estt.(A) dated 19-5-1993.
 
4. All the Ministries and Departments are requested to keep the above in view while processing cases of requests for changes of date of birth.

5. Hindi version follows.

sd/-
(B.Bandyopadhyay)
Under Secretary to the Government of India

AIACEGEO-Guntur Circle formed – New body elected

AIACEGEO, Guntur Circle comprising Guntur, Nellore and Customs Preventive Commissionerate, Vijayawada has been formed and a new body has been elected in the General Body meeting held  on 20-12-2014 . This GBM was attended by Federation President Shri R.Chandra Mouli and Secretary General Shri Ravi Malik.

Shri G.V.B.Tilak is elected as President and Shri M.Nagraju is elected as General Secretary of Guntur Circle.  

Shri C.P.Rao, Commissioner, Guntur Commissionerate was the chief guest. 

We wish the new team all the best. Hope Team Guntur will serve the cadre, overcome all the CR related problems and do justice to all.

Snapshots of Shri C.P.Rao being felicitated and Team Guntur are published below. 

Central Government makes it clear that there is no proposal to reduce the retirement age of CG employees from 60 to 58 years

There is no proposal under consideration of Government to reduce the retirement age from 60 to 58 years for its employees.

The retirement age for Central Government employees was revised from 58 to 60 years in 1997 on the basis of recommendations of the 5th Central Pay Commission.

The Centre’s total wages and salaries bill for its employees for the year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 is Rs. 85,963.50 crore, Rs. 92,264.88 crore and Rs. 1,04,759.71 crore, respectively.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Dr. Jitendra Singh in a written reply to Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Dr. T Subbarami Reddy and Smt. Ambika Soni in Rajya Sabha, today.

Source: Press Information Bureau

Press Release of Ministry of Home Affairs

Attention of the Government has been drawn to some news items appearing in a section of the press regarding proposal of the Central Government to reduce the retirement age of Central Government employees from 60 years to 58 years.

It is clarified that Government has no proposal to reduce the age of Central Government employees from 60 years to 58 years.

Source : Press Information Bureau

Central Government makes it clear that there is no proposal to reduce the retirement age of CG employees from 60 to 58

The Narendra modi Govt. had to field its crisis managers on Thursday to end what it called a "sttrong misinformation campaign" which it feared could hurt the ruling BJPs electroal interests in the Deklhi electiond due soon. 

The trouble caused by a WhatsApp message that was being circulated fast and furious. It purported to reproduce a government reply in parliament on whether it was planning to lower the retirement age of CG employees from 60 to 58 years.

The message alleged that the government had said in the Rajya Sabh a that iw would be tabling a bill proposing a cut in the retirmenet age in the Budget Session in March 2015.

Three ministers issued strong denials in quick succession, even as the government ordered an investigation into the origins of the message. FM Arun jaitley told NDTV, "These are all baseless rumours and thre is no question of altering the retirement age of CG employees. It is 60 years and will remain 60."

Parliamentary Affairs Minister m Venkaiah Naidu and Miniser of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh too denied any such proposal. 

A study of the message circulated on WhatsApp confirmed that someone has altered the question posed by a Rajya Sabh MP on December 11 and the Ministers reply, meticulously keeping the format of a written reply in Parliament intact. 

To ensure a quick burial for what could have burgeoned into a major headache for the government, the department of persoonel and training also posted the   governments actual reply online and issued a press release to say that there was no proposal to lower the retirement age. 

The sources called it "an act of forgery by an expert". They alleged that it was a "political conspriacy" intended to enrage the large population of CG employees in Delhi. "CG employees had contributed to the rise of AAP fairly successful debut in the 2013; six months later the same voters voted for Modi and dumped AAP," said a senior Minister. 

NDTV