Ticker

Supreme Court seeks CG Govt’s views on the legality of Aadhaar – Petition filed on the ground that it violated personal liberties and privacy.

          The Supreme Court on Monday sought the government’s views on the unique identification or Aadhaar programme that was started by its predecessor as a fresh petition sought to question its legality on the ground that it violated personal liberties and privacy.

             A two-judge bench, comprising chief justice of India HL Dattu and justice AK Sikri, asked solicitor general Ranjit Kumar to revert to the top court in two weeks with the information but stopped short of issuing any formal legal notices to the government.

            “We read news reports which said the new government was doing a rethink on the issue,” Dattu observed.

The petition, filed by Bangalore-resident Mathew Thomas, a former army officer and defence missile scientist turned social activist, had accused the new government of “slyly” pushing ahead with Aadhaar. He said the government had insisted on linking bank accounts with Aadhaar for direct transfer of the LPG subsidy and it was also being used to ensure attendance by officials. He urged the court to immediately stop this.

“Our democratic constitution does not permit such state surveillance. UID is the first step towards profiling, tracking and stereotyping. Mere production of ID cards by people, upon demand by police, would neither absolve such persons from suspicion, nor would it prevent them from indulging in criminal activities,” his plea said.

Arguing for Thomas, senior advocate Gopal Subramanium contended that almost all countries such as the UK and US have scrapped such attempts following a public uproar over their intrusive nature. Aadhaar is being rolled out by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a non-statutory body. It involves collecting biometric information of all citizens and in return issuing them unique ID or Aadhaar numbers that facilitate the accurate targeting of social security and in-service benefits. Several activists had approached the top court seeking a stay.The court had clarified that Aadhaar should not be insisted upon while dispensing social security benefits.

The court is, however, yet to take a final call on its fate. The fresh PIL, filed through lawyer Aishwarya Bhatti, called upon the court to direct the Centre to destroy all biometric information collected so far. Collection of data was being undertaken by agencies with suspect credentials and cards had been issued even to illegal migrants, the PIL claimed.

The UIDAI couldn’t be set up through mere approval of the “empowered group of ministers”, it said. All acts that curtail the rights and liberties of an individual are to be necessarily backed by law, it said. The National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, was introduced in the Lok Sabha and is still pending. However, in the interim, the authority has been collecting personal information of all citizens, including army officers and government servants. Thomas said he had sought information about UIDAI-approved scanners that were used to collect biometric data but was denied this. A Right to Information (RTI) query led to the answer that there was “no way of verifying the country of origin of the companies”, he said.

In the meantime, Maharashtra has made Aadhaar mandatory to pay bills. Other states use it to record attendance in offices. Delhi has made Aadhaar necessary for solemnisation and registration of marriages and the direct transfer of LPG subsidies. There is no provision for residents to opt out of the UID project and information once given cannot be destroyed, he said. The former army officer said that possibility of “illegal residents” wrongly being issued Aadhaar cards and carrying out espionage activities could not be ruled out. The scheme would have limited use in checking illegal migration or terrorism, he said. The information collected under the UID scheme is valuable to criminals and this makes citizens vulnerable as well, he said. There are almost no checks and balances in sharing of private information, the petitioner said.

 

source: Economic Times

DoPT issues fresh guidelines regarding prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace

 

No. 11013/2/2014-Estt (A-III)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
Establishment Division

North Block, New Delhi
Dated February 2, 2015

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject : Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1964 – Guidelines regarding prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace – regarding

Following the promulgation of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 [SHWW(PPR) Act] and notification of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Rules, 2013 [SHWW(PPR) Rules] on 09.12.2013, the Government has recently, on 19.11.2014, notified the amendments to Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1964 and Classification, Control and Appeal Rules, 1965. The amendments and other salient features of the Act/Rules was brought to the notice of all concerned vide Office Memorandum of even no. dated 27.11.2014. The amendments to the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules 1964 and Classification, Control and Appeal Rules, 1965 and the Office Memorandum dated 01.12.2014 are available on the Department’s website.

2. The following guidelines, conveying the decision of the Committee of Secretaries on this subject, were issued vide this Department’s Office Memorandum No. 11013/3/2009-Estt.(A) dated 03.08.2009,
“As regards provisions for protection of women, it was suggested that the complaints committee mechanism provided under Vishakha guidelines relating to sexual harassment should be strictly in accordance with the judgment and steps should be taken to ensure that the committee is effective and functional at all times. It would also be desirable for the Committees to meet once a quarter, even if there is no live case, and review preparedness to fulfil all requirements of the Vishakha judfment in the Department/Ministry/organization concerned.”

3. As per the guidelines issued vide Office Memorandum dated 21.07.2009, it is also to be ensured that the Complaints Committee shall at all times be in existence and changes in its composition, whenever necessary, should be made promptly and adequately publicized. The composition of the Complaints Committee should also be posted on the websites of the concerned Ministries/Departments/Offices concerned.

4. Vide the Office Memorandum dated 01.12.2014, the attention of the Ministries/Departments was also invited to the reporting requirements mentioned in the SHWW(PPR) Act and SHWW(PPR) Rules.
5. All Ministries/Departments are requested to please review the progress of implementation of the existing abovementioned guidelines issued in the aftermath of the Vishakha judgment.

6. Attention of all Ministries is invited to Section 22 of the Act relating to including information in Annual Report, and to request that information relating to number of cases filed, if any, and their disposal may be included in the Annual Report of the Ministry / Department.

7. All Ministries / Departments are also requested to furnish an annual return (as on 31st March) in the enclosed proforma to this Department by 30th April every year.

(J.A. Vaidyanathan)
Director (E)

Budget 2015 – Wish List of Salaried Employees on Income Tax

Basic Income Tax Exemption Limit :

Increase of Basic Income Tax Exemption Limit to Rs. 3 lakhs to meet out inflationary Trend.

Transport Allowance:

Transport Allowance is exempted to an extent of Rs. 800 per month. However, the lowest amount of Transport Allowance of Rs. 400 (plus dearness allowance) received by the employees in the Group C and MTS cadres itself is taxable. So there is a very high need for increasing exemption limit for Transport Allowance payable Government Employees.

Children Education Allowance:

Children Education Allowance is the other allowance, which is exempted to an extent of Rs. 100 per month. Of course this exemption limit was decided more than a decade ago when tuition fees of Rs. 100 was reimbursed to Central Government Employees. On implementation of sixth Pay commission recommendations, Children Education Allowance has been raised to Rs. 1000 and incremented when DA crosses 50% each time. So, there is no point in keeping the slab on IT Exemption for CEA at this low level. It is widely expected that Childen Education Allowance is to be fully exempted from Income Tax.

Medical Reimbursement by Employer:

The present Exemption Limit of Rs.15,000 as far as medical reimbursement is concerned provided by an employer needs to revised to Rs. 50,000 considering the cost of medical treatment presently.

Health Insurance premium under Section 80 D:

Salaried Employees also expect an increase of exemption limit for Health Insurance Premium paid to Rs. 50, 000 from the current level of Rs. 35,000 (Rs. 15,000 for family and Rs. 20,000 to Parents)

Re-Introduction of Standard Deduction:

As of now, Salaried Employees are treated at part with Tax Payers who are self employed and doing business of their own, as far as Income Tax is concerned. But this was not the case 10 years ago (until 2004-05). Just like Self Employed and Business related tax payers enjoy deduction of expenses made from the income, a fixed amount was exempted from total income of Salaried Employees which was termed as Standard Deduction. One of the expectations of Salaried Employees now is re-introduction of Standard Deduction for their income tax assessment.

Exemption Limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh for Savings under Section 80 C:

Also, Salaried Employees feel that Exemption of Rs. 1.5 lakh available for Savings and Insurance Insruments as wells as retirement plans is too low considering the number of investments allowed to be exempted under this category. It is expected that this Exemption limit has to be increased to Rs. 2 lakh at least.

Exemption limit on Rent Paid when no HRA is received :

Further, Rent paid by an individual is exempted now to an extent of Rs. 2000 per month if no House Rent Allowance is received. This limit was fixed in the year 1998. Needless to say house rent cost has increased enormously since 1998. So, this exemption limit needs immediate revision to match the current rental cost.

Source:  moneycontrol.com

Govt. considering to discontinue exemption of Rs. 1.5 lakh available for Savings under Section 80 C?

It is learnt that Finance Ministry is considering to put up a proposal for discontinuing Exemption of Rs. 1.5 lakh presently available under Section 80C for Savings and Insurnace such as premium paid, investment in NSS, Mutual funds, Pension funds etc. Alternatively, the basic income tax exemption limit of Rs. 2.5 lakh would be raised to Rs. 4 lakh. Reasons behind such a bold move by Finance Ministry as per sources are:

1. Income Tax Department could not verify whether the Investments declared to be have been made to avail exemption under Section 80 C were actually made.

2. To make Income Tax Law simple by raising basic Income Tax Exemption Limit and avoid complexities involved in providing Income Tax Exemption to promote savings.

DA Likely To Be Hiked By 6% for CG employees from 1-1-2015

The central government employees have become entitled to 6 percent additional Dearness Allowance (DA) from January 1, 2015, even as the Consumer Price Index number for Industrial Workers remained stationary for the fifth month in a row.  The Consumer Price Index number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW), which is used as a basis for computation of dearness allowance for central government employees, remained stationary at 253 in December 2014, an official release said. The index was at the same level in previous month.

However, the 12-month moving average of CPI-IW moved from 240 in July to 246 in January 2015 and consequently the additional DA of employees would go up from 107 per cent to 113 per cent from January 1, 2015, labour bureau sources said here. The inflation based on CPI-IW increased to 5.86 per cent in December 2014, from 4.12 per cent in November. Food inflation based on the index too jumped to 5.73 per cent during the month, from 2.56 per cent in previous month.

 

PTI

National Council Staff Side of CG Employees JCM urges 7th Pay Commission to conduct meeting

National Council (Staff Side)

Joint Consultative Machinery for Central Government Employees

13-C, Ferozshah Road, New Delhi – 110001

E Mail: nc.jcm.np@gmail.com

 

No. NC-JCM-2015/7th CPC

2/2/2015

The Chairman

7th Central Pay Commission,

Chatrapati Shivaji Bhawan

1st Floor, B-14/A,

Qutab Institutional Area

New Delhi 110016

Post Box No. 4599,

Haus Khas P.O.

 

Respected Sir,

Sub: Holding of Hearings by 7th CPC with members of Standing Committee – National Council (JCM).

A lot of quarries are pouring in JCM Office from grass root workers ,as also from the Constituent Organization in respect of holding Hearings/Oral Evidence by 7th CPC . It may be appreciated that previous 6th CPC had held a detailed oral evidence with Members (Staff Side) of the Standing Committee of NC/JCM continuously for 3 days for better appreciation of the demands put-forth by the Staff Side.

It would, therefore, be highly appreciated if a time schedule is fixed, well in advance, so as to make necessary preparations in this regard.

Yours faithfully

sd/-

(S.G.Mishra)

 

Source: NC, Staff Side, JCM

Is Central Government mulling to replace CGHS with Insurance Based Scheme called as CGEPHIS?

The health ministry has moved a proposal for ending the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) in its current form and moving to an insurance-based scheme — the Central Government Employees and Pensioners Health Insurance Scheme (CGEPHIS) — in an apparent attempt to cut costs.

Instead of the government directly paying the medical bills of CGHS beneficiaries, the new scheme will be implemented through insurance companies registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and selected through bidding.

Currently, under CGHS, government employees pay Rs 6,000 annually as fixed medical allowance (FMA). The new FMA for beneficiaries is yet to be calculated. While the government’s actual financial commitment will depend on bids and the new FMA, the ministry is working on a presumptive figure of Rs 14,000 per family, which works out to approximately Rs 1,000 crore annually.

The scheme will cover medical expenses up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year. Beyond that, the insurer will have to get clearance from the nodal agency on a case to case basis. An additional sum insured of Rs 10 crore in each of the four zones will be provided by the insurer as buffer for such cases. The CGHS in its present form does not have any annual cap, but each procedure has a prescribed maximum limit for reimbursement. While a note for the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) was circulated last year, a fresh proposal incorporating inputs from various departments including the DoPT, erstwhile Planning Commission and Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been sent to the finance pision of the health ministry.

While existing employees can choose between CGHS and CGEPHIS, the new scheme will be made compulsory for new employees.

Sources in the health ministry said the proposal dates back to 2011, when the committee of secretaries gave its in-principle approval.  The proposal was revived after the NDA government took charge. Former Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, however, was opposed to the idea. According to sources, Vardhan was of the opinion that the change would actually mean a higher burden on the exchequer. The annual CGHS bill has increased in the past few years, rising from Rs 987.75 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 1755.62 crore in 2013-14. The average expenditure per beneficiary adds up to Rs 4,787 (which means about Rs 23,000 for a family of five) — Rs 11,955 for pensioners and Rs 2,096 for serving employees.

The total number of CGHS beneficiaries is 36,67,765. Besides serving and retired government employees, this includes former vice-presidents, former prime ministers, MPs and former MPs, sitting and retired judges of the Supreme Court, PIB accredited journalists, railway board employees, Delhi Police personnel in Delhi and employees and pensioners of 60 autonomous/ statutory bodies.

Under CGEPHIS, the OPD needs will be met by the FMA. While the CGHS covers only 25 cities, the new scheme will be pan-India. This would automatically increase the financial commitment. All diseases, including pre-existing ones, will be covered, and in case of transplants, the expenses incurred for the donor or processing of cadaver organ will also be covered. Interestingly, the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana, which was run by the labour ministry so far, will be under the health ministry from April 1, as it moves from an insurance-based scheme to a trust-based scheme.

 

Source: The Indian Express

FAQs on Recruitment Rules issued by DoPT

FAQs on Recruitment Rules issued by DoPT are published below.

Recruitment Rules – FAQs

Filing of property Returns twice a year to be relaxed – Central Government Employees to file property returns both under Lokpal Act and Conduct Rules in the year 2015

As per the existing provisions of Lokpal and Lokpal Ayuktas Act 2013 and CCS Conduct Rules for Central Government Employees, Declaration of Assets and Liabilities of an employee has to be filed separately under both these statutes.

However, once the existing provisions of Conduct rules is harmonised with filing of assets and liabilities returns under Lokpal, central government employees may be required to file property returns only once a year.

Economic Time reports on this issue as follows:

Central government employees may be exempted from filing details of their assets and liabilities twice as mandated under Lokpal Act and other service rules governing them as the Centre has suggested a way out.

As per the Lokpal Act, every public servant shall file the returns of his assets and liabilities, including that of his spouse and dependent family members. These returns are in addition to the similar ones filed by the employees under various services rules.

"The requirement of filing returns regarding assets and liabilities under the Lokpal Act is in addition to, and not in derogation or suppression of the requirement of filing of property returns under the existing conduct rules.

"In view of this, the requirement of filing of property returns under the existing conduct rules is an independent requirement under the applicable rules and the same can be dispensed with, only by amending those rules," the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

In other words, the requirement of filing returns of assets and liabilities under the applicable conduct rules has to continue, till such time as the provisions of those rules are harmonised with the relevant provisions of the Lokpal Act and the rules framed thereunder by carrying out appropriate amendments in them, it said in an order issued yesterday.

All ministries, departments and cadre controlling authorities have been asked to ensure that necessary follow-up action for harmonising the provisions of the relevant service rules is completed before July 15, the DoPT said.

The Centre had in an order issued last month revised the time limit of bringing in changes to the the relevant service rules to 18 months from the date of Lokpal Act coming into force, i.e January 16, 2014.

Till, the rules are not harmonised, all public servants have been asked to file their annual property returns as per the existing service rules and Lokpal Act.

The last date for filing the assets details under the Lokpal Act is till April this year.

As per the Lokpal Act, every public servant shall file the returns of his assets and liabilities, including that of his spouse and dependent family members, on March 31 every year on or before July 31 of that year.

For the current year, the last date for filing these returns was September 15, which was later extended to December-end and now till April 30, 2015.

All Group A, B, and C employees are supposed to file a declaration under the new rules. There are about 26,29, 913 employees in these three categories, as per the government’s latest data.

Source: The Economic Times

BENEFITS FOR CENTRAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES GROUP INSURANCE SCHEME 1980

 

No.7(1)/EV/2014
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Expenditure
New Delhi, the 22 January 2015
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Sub: Central Government Employees Group insurance Scheme 1980 — Tables of Benefits for the savings fund for the period from 01.01.2015 to 31.12.2015.
The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s O.M. No.7 (1)/E V/2013 dated 8th January, 2014 forwarding therewith Tables of Benefits under CGEGIS for the year 2014. New Tables of Benefits for the savings fund of the Scheme based on a subscription of Rs.10 per month from 1.1.1982 to 31.12.1989 and Rs. 15 per month we.f. 1.1.1990 onwards have been prepared for the year 2015 and a copy of the table is enclosed. Another Table of Benefits for the savings fund based on a subscription of Rs. 10 per month for those employees who had opted out of the revised rates of subscription w.e.f. 1.1.1990 have also been drawn up for the year 2015 and a copy of that table is also enclosed. The amounts in the Tables have been worked out on the basis of interest @ 10% per annum(compounded quarterly) for the period from 1.1.1982 to 31.12.1982. 11% per annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.i.1983 to 31.12.1986, 12% per annum(compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.1.1987 to 31.12.2000, 11% per Annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.1.2001 to 31.12.2001, 9.5% per annum(compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.1.2002 to 31.12.2002, 9.0% per annum(compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.1.2003 to 31.12.2003.8% per annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.1.2004 1030.11.2011. 8.6% per annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.12.2011 to 31.03.2012, 8.8% per annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 1.04.2012 to 31.03.2013 and 8.7 % per annum (compounded quarterly) w.e.f. 01.04.2013 onwards. The mortality rate under the Scheme has been taken as 3.75 per thousand per annum up to 31.12.1987 and 3.60 per thousand per annum thereafter in both the cases. While calculating the amount il has been assumed that the subscription has been recovered or will be recovered from the salary of the month in which a member ceases to be in service failing which it should be deducted from accumulated amounts payable.
2. In its application to the employees of Indian Audit and Accounts Department this Office Memorandum issues in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
(VIJAY KUMAR SINGH)
DIRECTOR
Download The Table: CGEGISTables23012015