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Friday, August 1, 2014

Changes made in labour laws, trade unions criticise

As part of labour reforms, the government has amended three archaic laws to provide for doubling of the overtime hours from 50 per quarter and enabling women to work in night shifts among other changes which evoked sharp critism from labour unions. 

The amendments to the Factories Act, the Apprentices Act and the Labour Laws (exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Act were approved by Cabinet last night. 

"The Cabinet has given its approval (for the amendments). The amendments would be beneficial for the labourers," Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said here today. "We expect that it will be tabled in the present session of Parliament," he added. 

Among the changes made in the laws are relaxing of certain norms to enable women to work in night shifts, doubling the provision of overtime from 50 hours per quarter to 100 hours in some cases and from 75 hours to 125 hours in other work of public interest and others. 

According to Minister of State Labour and Employment Vishnu Deo Sai, the amendment to theFactories Act was to make it more compatible to the requirement of the present scenario in industrial sector. However, trade unions critisized the "hasty, employer-friendly amendments" in the name of development and are likely to meet soon to decide action programme against it. 

"Under the cover of so-called gender parity, the amendments said that women can work in night shifts. We feel that in the Indian context, the time has not come for us that we can leave our sisters and daughters so that they work in night shifts. We are against that. Congenial atmosphere is still not there so as to let women work the night shifts," said AITUC Secretary D L Sachdev. 

Talking about the provision for doubling the overtime hours from 50 per quarter, he said that through this, more liberty is being given to the employer. 

"While AITUC is not opposed to simplification process per se in maintaining registers and sending returns for each Act for small and medium enterprises, it opposes increasing the ambit of such industries from 10 to 40 workers. It should have been done gradually," he said. 

On Apprentice Act, no provision has been made for monitoring breach by provisions of the employers, he said. 

According to an amendment proposed in the Apprentices Act, it will now not be compulsory for an employer to absorb 50 per cent of the apprentices as permanent employees. 

Another amendment to the Act will enable to add 500 new skills and vocations in the industry, including those related to the IT sector. One of the amendments to the Factories Act states that now employees can avail leave with pay after completing 90 days in job. The earlier stipulation was 240 days. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Retirement on Superannuation

Shri Khageswar Mahant, SPOs, Kalahandi Division, Bhawanipatna and Shri Sukadev Sahu, ASP(HQ), RMS 'N' Division, Cuttack retired from Govt. Service today the 31st July, 2014 (A/N) on superannuation.

On the occasion of their retirement from Govt. Service, All India Association of Inspectors and Assistant Superintendents of Posts , Odisha Circle Branch bids them a respectful farewell and wishes them a good-health and peaceful life in their post-retirement days.

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 - Submission of declaration of assets and liabilities by the public servants.

To view Department of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions No.21/2/2014-C.S.I (PR) dated 31-07-2014 please Click Here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Income tax department to taxpayers: Save our official email id in inbox

After asking taxpayers to validate their personal email ids and mobile phone numbers for online filing of Income Tax returns, the I-T department has now urged them to include its official email address in the 'safe list' of their inboxes. 

The department has suggested taxpayers to validate and include in the 'white/safe list' of their respective inboxes the official handle of the department-- '', so that it does not land in the spam or junkfolder of the taxpayer. 

"What a taxpayer needs to do is to include this email id in the safe list of his or her email recipients. Once an online tax filer validates his or her email id and mobile phone on the department's online portal, the system sends an auto-generated PIN to complete the secure process and hence this email should not land into the spam folder which can be easily missed by the individual," a senior I-T officer said. 

The department has issued the advisory after it found instances of this validation email landing into the spam or junk folder of taxpayer's inboxes thereby leading to trouble in e-filing

The online tax filing season is on and as of now the last date is July 31. 

Once the email is received from this official handle, the taxpayers can use the PIN to go further with the online filing procedures of their Income Tax Return (ITR). 

The Central Board of Direct Taxes, the apex authority of the I-T, has recently notified new rules for online filing of ITRs saying taxpayers filing their returns this year (assessment year 2014-15) will have to mandatorily share their personal email ids and mobile numbers with the department. 

The aim behind this latest move was to update and stay in touch with the taxpayer each and every time their is a tax related issue. 

The CBDT also recently notified taxpayers that the I-T department does not send any communication from private email addresses such as gmail, yahoo etc to them. 

"Taxpayers are cautioned that they should not respond to such phishing mails and avoid downloading any attachment, which may contain virus or malicious software," the CBDT had said.

Source:-The Economic Times

Introduction of Single Window System in DOPT for receiving proposals for Sanction for prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 - regarding.

To view please Click Here.

Publishing of Compendium of Best Practices on RTI-Volume.II

To view please Click Here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Website name booking in Hindi proposed from August 15 for Rs 350

 Individuals of companies which are interested in owning a website with domain name in Hindi language would be able to book the name in Hindi script from next month. 

"Domain (website) name booking in Hindi script is proposed to be launched from August 15 subject to approval from higher authorities. Each domain name will cost Rs 350 and the TLD(top level domain) will be .bharat (in Hindi script)," National Internet Exchange of India CEO Govind told PTI. 

The name would have '.bharat' in Hindi script as its extension instead of commonly top level domains such as .com, .net or .in. 

He said that companies involved in booking of domain names can facilitate booking of website name in Hindi script as well. 

"First two months, we will open it for companies having trademark or copyright on names likebrands, government organisations, reputed commercial firms. After two months, the service will be opened for all," Govind said. 

He said that people will be able to book sub-domain name for Rs 250 each. 

At present, people can book name of websites using English script or letters. Government is of the view that websites in Hindi will give push to creation of website content in local language as well.

Source:-The Economic Times

Government asks babus to file revised property returns by Sep 15

The Centre has asked all its staff to file their revised property returns by September 15 as part of a mandatory obligation under the Lokpal Act. 

As per Lokpal rules, public servants who have filed declarations, information and annual returns of property, shall file the revised details of their movable and immovable assets as on August 1, 2014, to the competent authority on or before September 15 this year, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said in a directive. 

The directive asked all Ministries and Departments of the Centre to bring the provisions of Public Servants (Furnishing of Information and Annual Return of Assets and Liabilities and the Limits of Exemption of Assets in Filing Returns) Rules, 2014, to the notice of all concerned for compliance. 

The directive covers all central government servants which comes to a total of about 50 lakh and includes IAS, IFS and IPS officers, and employees of Groups A, B and C. 

The DoPT has developed an online system named PRISM for IAS officers to file their property returns under the Lokpal Act, and asked IAS officers to file information related to assets and liabilities online. 

"An application, namely, Property Related Information System (PRISM) has been designed and would become operational w.e.f. August 1, 2014 to enable the officer to file the information and declaration online," the DoPT said. 

The Centre has issued new forms for filing returns which have fields to fill details of cash in hand, bank deposits, investment in bonds, debentures, shares and units in companies or mutual funds, insurance policies, provident fund, personal loans and advance given to a person or any entity, among others. 

The employees also need to declare motor vehicles, aircraft, yachts or ships, gold and silver jewellery and bullion possessed by them, their spouses and dependent children, according to the form. 

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, were notified by the DoPT recently. 

As per the rules, notified under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, every public servant shall file declaration, information and annual returns of his assets and liabilities as on March 31 every year, on or before July 31 of that year. 

These declarations are in addition to such returns being filed by the government employees under various services rules. 

According to the Lokpal Act, a public servant shall furnish to the competent authority information relating to the assets of which he, his spouse and his dependent children, jointly or severally, own. 

Source:-The Economic Times

Friday, July 25, 2014

No proposal to integrate Aadhaar & NPR: Government

Government is not considering any proposal to integrate the UID (Aadhaar) project with National Population Register (NPR), Parliament was informed today. 

"There is no such proposal under consideration of the government at this stage," Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha, when asked whether it proposes to integrate UID with NPR. 

On giving statutory status to Aadhaar, Singh said: "A notice for introduction of the bill (for the purpose) alongwith official amendments was moved in the Parliament during Winter Session, 2013. However the same could not be taken up for consideration." 

The National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December 2010 and was thereafter referred to the Standing Committee on Finance. 

The UPA government had to suspend Aadhaar-based direct benefit transfers in view of reservations over certain issues. 

Giving indications that the new government will continue Aadhaar enrolments, Rs 2,039.64 crore has been provided in the budget for the Aadhaar for the current fiscal, as against Rs 1,550 crore released in 2013-14. 

As per latest information available, as many as 73.71 crore Aadhaar enrolments have been done till mid-July, with 8.45 crore rejections by the Unique Identification Authority of India implementing the project. 

UIDAI has generated 64.05 crore Aadhaars and incurred an expenditure of Rs 4,620.61 crore so far since its inception. 

The minister informed the House that Aadhaar enrolments are being carried out in all districts of 22 states and union territories allocated to the project. 

The authority was mandated to collect biometrics of 60 crore residents and rest of India's population was to be covered under the NPR project.

It was decided by the Cabinet Committee on UIDAI during UPA regime that all residents would be issued National Multi-purpose Identity Cards under NPR, and UIDAI would generate Unique identification number for entire population. 

Both UIDAI and NPR were to share the biometric data collected by them for issuing NMIC and generating unique identification number. 

The NPR is a comprehensive identity database maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India under the Home Ministry.

Source:-The Economic Times

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act,2013-Submission of declaration of assets and liabilities by the public servants for each year and placing the same in public domain on the websites of the Ministries/Departments.

To view Department of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions No.11013/3/2014-Estt(A) dated 23-07-2014 please Click Here.