Monday, February 15, 2016

Get ‘theertham,’ ‘prasadams’ from post offices

India Post has entered into a tie-up arrangement with the Department of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment to make available Mahamaham ‘theertham’ and ‘prasadams’ to devotees through post offices all over India.

Mahamaham - 2016 packets, containing the Mahamaham theertham, vibuthi, kumkum of 12 Siva temples and 5 Vaishavaite temples located in and around Kumbakonam, sugar candies and a book on the history of Kumbakonam temples would be made available to the devotees under the arrangement, according to a press release from Suvendu Swain, Postmaster General, Central Region, Tiruchi

The prasadam would be from the following temples: Sri Aadhi Kumbeswarar Temple, Sri Banapureeswarar Temple, Sri Sarangapani Temple, Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple, Sri Aadhi Kambattaviswanathar Temple, Sri Nageswarar Temple, Sri Ekambareswarar Temple, Sri Ramasamy Temple, Sri Someswarar Temple, Sri Kodeeswarar Temple, Sri Rajagopalaswamy Temple, Sri Gowthameswarar Temple, Sri Kalahastheeswarar Temple, Sri Varagaperumal Temple, Sri Abimukeswarar Temple and Sri Amirthakalasanathan Temple.

Devotees can register their names and address for getting the packets through post offices by remitting Rs. 150 in any post office having e-payment facility all over India up to February 29.

The prasadams would be despatched to the devotees, through registered parcel from February 23 onwards.
Registration through post offices is open.
More details can be had from the post offices or from the Kumbakonam Head Post Office by dialling 0435-2420411 or the Superintendent of Post Offices, Kumbakonam Division, Kumbakonam, by dialling 0435-2421710 or 2421296.

How to open a PPF acount

With the financial year 2015-16 coming to a close, it may be time to think of tax-saving investments. The Public Provident Fund that can be opened at post offices across the country and with select banks, is among the safest instruments to park your money.

Investing with the post office

PPF investment in the post office involves filling up a simple two-page application form called ‘Form A’ and affixing your recent passport size photograph. The form can either be downloaded from the India Post website at http://www.indiapost.gov.in/pdfForms/PPFActOpening.pdf or picked up across the counter from any post office. The form requires your name, PAN, address and the details as to how much you are investing (minimum ₹500).

You can either invest in cash or by tendering a cheque. If you are investing in the name of your minor child, his/her date of birth must be mentioned. You may also need to submit a copy of the birth certificate for verification purposes; ditto with your address proof and PAN card copy.

These apart, you need to sign a declaration related to other PPF accounts that you may be holding as the total investment for all accounts put together is capped at ₹1.5 lakh. ‘Form E’ for nomination details with the signature of one/two witnesses can also be submitted with the account opening form.

Once submitted, an account will be opened and you will be allotted an account number and a passbook.

Every time you put in money after that, a deposit form called ‘Form B’ needs to be filled, giving the subscriber account number, name, address and payment mode. You will get a counterfoil for this deposit, which can be submitted in your offices as proof of investment in this tax-saving scheme.

Investing online with banks

The paperwork and procedures are largely the same for banks, if you want to invest the traditional way. But banks such as ICICI Bank and SBI allow you to open and maintain your PPF account online.

You can transfer funds online into this PPF account from a linked savings account with the same bank or from any other savings account. Besides, as PPF allows investment in instalments (maximum 12 in a year), you can also issue auto-debit instructions instead of filling up a deposit form every time you want to invest.

Also, you can view the credits to the PPF account online anytime just like how you see your bank statements. Print-outs can be submitted to your office for tax calculation purposes.

Book Kumbakonam - Mahamaham 2016 Prasadam thro all Post Offices

Book Kumbakonam Mahamaham 2016 Prasadam thro Post Office


Secretaries Panel on 7th CPC Poised to hike the Minimum basic pay

There is good news for the central government employees who are waiting for the implementation of Seventh Pay Commission.

Empowered Committee of Secretaries processing the recommendations of 7th Pay Commission(7thCPC) in an overall perspective, are likely to double the percentage of pay hike recommended by the pay commission.
As per reports, central government employees are likely to expect basic pay hike of around 30%, which will be effective January 1, 2016.
The 7th central pay commission in its report submitted in November 2015 had recommended a pay hike of 23.55% for central government employees, with the highest basic salary at Rs 250,000 and the lowest at Rs 18,000.

The employees have been protesting that the hike in totality is only 14.27%, the lowest in 70 years., and are mulling over to go on an indefinite strike from 11 April.

Reportedly, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered officials to speed up review process so that it could be implemented soon. Modi has asked Committee of Secretaries to provide maximum benefits to central staff.

Arguably, even the 6th CPC had recommended a 20 percent hike on the basic pay, which was revised to 40 percent at the time of implementation in 2008.

Recently, the Defence Ministry also sought a fresh analysis of the concerns raised by the Army, Navy and the Air force- over the recommendations of the seventh pay commission.

The government has studied representations from the armed forces vis-a-vis the 7th Pay Commission and their concerns will be addressed “in the near future”, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.

The notification to announce the pay commission award is expected in the budget.

Source: Zee News

Strike ballot result: More than 95% railwaymen cast their votes in favour of strike from 11.04.2015

Opposing the “retrograde” recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission, railway unions will go on an indefinite strike from April 11.

The decision was taken after a strike ballot was held on February 11 and 12 in which “more than 95 per cent of railwaymen cast their votes in favour of strike,” said the All India Railwaymen’s Federation (IRF), the largest trade union in the Indian Railways, in a statement here.

The Indian Railways is the second highest employer in the country, after the Army, with 13.1 lakh members.

“There is serious resentment among the Central government employees in general and the railwaymen in particular against the retrograde recommendations of the VII CPC and non-settlement of their long-pending genuine demands,” said AIRF general secretary Shiva Gopal Mishra.

A notice for going on indefinite strike from 6 a.m. on April 11 will be served to all general managers of the Indian Railways on March 11 “in case the government does not resolve the genuine demands of the employees.”

The unions feel that recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission will reduce the “take home” salary of 90 per cent of the railway workers.

Among their other demands are: addressing the 11-point charter of demands of the Central government employees, settling issues it objected to in the Seventh Pay Commission report, scrapping the Bibek Debroy report on restructuring and the National Pension Scheme and filling up all vacant posts in railways, among others

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Frequently Asked Questions On Procurement of High Value PLI Policies

FAQ on Procurement of High Value PLI Policies

Frequently Asked Questions on procuring High Value Policies in PLI issue by CPMG TN Circle

01.   What is High Value Policy in PLI?

If Sum assured is more than 20 Lakhs in PLI, It is called High value policy.

02.   Who is the accepting authority for High value policies?

For Single proposals more than 20 lakhs and up to 50 lakhs, the accepting authority would be the Chief Postmaster General.

New proposals of existing policy holders whose aggregate exceeds Rs 20 lakhs and up to 30 lakhs, the accepting authority would be DPS (HQ). 

New proposals exceeding Rs 20 lakhs  up to  50 lakhs and new proposals of existing  policy holders whose aggregate exceeds Rs  30 lakhs  and  up to  50 lakhs, the accepting authority would be the Chief Postmaster General.

03.   Who are all eligible for the enhanced coverage?

All existing policy holders as well as new insurants from the eligible clientele of  PLI can be given enhanced coverage within maximum or aggregate sum of Rs 50 Lakhs.

04.   What is the limit on age for taking High Value Policy?

The age limit will be the same as applicable at present for various plans.
(i)   Whole Life Assurance (Suraksha)  19-55
(ii)  Endowment Assurance (Santhosh)  19-55
(iii)  Convertible Whole Life Assurance(Suvidha)  19-50 
(iv)  Anticipated Endowment Assurance(Sumangal)
AEA 15 19-45
AEA 20  19-40 
(v)  Joint Life Assurance (Yugal Suraksha)  21-45

05.   What is financial eligibility for High Value Policies?

The maximum sum assured will be restricted as under:
(i)  Till 40 years of Age at entry: Sum Assured should be 10 times of Annual income (Gross) subject to total aggregate of maximum of 50 lakhs. 
(ii)  For 41 years and  above:  Sum Assured should be 7 times of Annual income (Gross) subject to total aggregate of maximum of 50 lakhs.

06.   What is the proposal form to be used for High Value Policies?

Combined proposal form circulated by Directorate is to be used for High Value Policies.

07.    Is there any special medical report to be enclosed for High Value Policies?

Yes. Apart from medical examination, the following Special Medical Reports are to be enclosed for all policies of sum assured above 20 lakhs (New policy & existing policies put together). Details of the test should be annexed to the proposal form as Sl no 29(f)
1  Age up to 35 years  ECG, Routine Urine Analysis, SBT 13 & Hb%
2  Age  between  36 to 45 years ECG, Routine Urine Analysis, SBT 13, CTMT  &Hemogram
3  Age between 46 to 55 years ECG, Routine Urine Analysis, SBT13, CTMT, Hemogram & HbA1c
4  56  years & above (for Revival Cases) ECG, Routine Urine Analysis, SBT 13, CTMT, Hemogram, HbA1c & X ray of chest
For SBT13 Proforma is in last page.

08.   Where these tests are to be conducted?

The tests shall be conducted and special medical reports obtained from Hospitals/Laboratories/Renowned Private Hospitals/Central State Medical Institutes.  The medical officer signing the proposal form shall countersign the medical reports also.

09.  Is any other item to be attached with the proposal form?

(i)  Information on gross salary drawn by the proposer during the last three months should be inserted as Item No 7(a) of Proposal form (to be obtained from the Pay drawing officer)
(ii)  A declaration by the proponent countersigned by Head of office  in proforma should be obtained and inserted as  item no 31(a) of proposal form (Proforma is in last page)

10.  Who will bear the cost for obtaining special medical reports? 

The fees will be initially paid for by the insurant and on acceptance of the proposal the rates as approved by CGHS for the tests would be reimbursed to the insurant and the expenditure will be debited to PLI fund.

11.  State whether special reports are required for revival of policies?

Yes.  The Special reports would be  obtained afresh if the policy had lapsed and is coming up for revival after 3 years and the total sum assured of all policies taken or revived within 3 years from the date of application of revival is more than 20 lakhs.

12.  Who can conduct medical examination for High Value Proposals?

Status of Medical Officer conducting medical examination of proposer(s) based special medical reports should be as under:
(i)  Civil Surgeon, Medical Officers in the employment of Government enjoying the status not lower than  that of a Civil Surgeon or Chief Medical Officer, nearest to the place of duty of the proponent. CMO Grade I/Specialist Grade II shall also be considered as equivalent to the rent of Civil Surgeon.
(ii)  Medical Officer (Allopathic) equivalent to Civil Surgeon employed in Central and State Government, Public Sector undertaking both State and Centre with at least 10 years’ experience, nearest to the place of duty of the proponent.
(iii)  Retired Civil Surgeon, CMO Grade I and Specialist Grade II.

13.  Is there any separate  premium table/Policy Bond  for High Value Policies?

No. The existing premium tables as applicable to EA/AEA/Whole Life etc will be used for High value policies. Similarly, the existing policy bond will be used for sum assured up to 50 lakhs

7th Pay Commission Matrix Calculator from 01.01.2016

New Basic Pay - 7th CPC news


7th Pay Commission Pay & Allowance Calculator

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Calculation on 7th CPC Recommendations as on 1.1.2016

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Central Government to waive PF deduction to boost Take Home Salary: The Hindu report

The Union Budget 2016-17 is likely to announce measures to put more money into the hands of employees with a monthly income up to a certain threshold, like Rs.10,000, for instance, by doing away with their mandatory 12 per cent contribution for Provident Fund (PF) savings, a government official said on condition of anonymity.

“We are in favour of waiving the employees’ contribution altogether up to a certain level of income. This will boost the take-home salary of such employees rather than force them to park so much of their monthly income into their EPF account for retirement,” said the official, who had participated in the deliberations of a Committee of Secretaries, set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that has endorsed the idea. 
Presently, 24 per cent of salaries of all employees in the formal sector earning up to Rs.15,000 a month, are deducted towards the employees’ PF account — with 12 per cent counted as employer’s share and 12 per cent as employee’s contribution.

Employers would continue to pay their 12 per cent share towards employees’ retirement savings account and other administrative charges, including those related to the employees’ deposit-linked insurance scheme that EPF account holders are automatically enrolled into. EPF contributions are mandatory for all firms employing twenty persons or more.

If the employees’ contribution is waived for those earning up to Rs.15,000 a month or Rs.1.8 lakh a year, the current ceiling for statutory EPF contributions, it would increase take home salaries for such employees by Rs.1,800 a month or Rs.21,600 a year. Officials said this would be the equivalent of a tax break to such beneficiaries as they are anyway not liable to pay any income tax. Personal income upto Rs.2.5 lakh a year is exempt from income tax.

While the government hopes this could spur domestic consumption and demand and play a part in reviving the investment cycle, it is also keen on doing away with the system of imposing high forced savings on low income workers through the statutory EPF contributions. The labour ministry as well as the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation that administers the scheme have been consulted over the proposal and have concurred with it.

An analyst said this could also help arrest the trend of higher job creation in the informal sector and jobs of informal nature in the formal sector.

“In a formal sector job, if you earn Rs.15,000 a month, 44.3 per cent of your salary is deducted towards statutory benefits like EPF and employees’ State insurance. For someone earning Rs.55,000 a month, the same number is just 8 per cent,” said Rituparna Chakraborty, Senior Vice-President at Teamlease.

A lot of young entrants into the workforce prefer to opt for informal work contracts with no benefits in order to ensure that their take-home salaries remain high.

“Employers can’t raise their cost to company for employees, while the young workers starting their careers want more money in hand to take care of rent, commuting costs and daily meals. And once they start their career informally, it is difficult to change track,” said Ms. Chakraborty, adding that the reduction in statutory contributions for EPF would incentivise the creation of more formal jobs.

Source: The Hindu

Implementation of 7th CPC to impact govt's fiscal math: Deutsche Bank

Implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission recommendations is likely to exert pressure on the government's fiscal finances and inflation trajectory going forward, says a Deutsche Bank report.

According to the global financial services firm, the government is likely to meet its fiscal deficit target for the fiscal but may settle for a higher fiscal deficit target of 3.8 per cent for 2016-17.

"It will be difficult for the government to absorb the likely 0.5 per cent of GDP worth incremental increase in wage bill and also attempt to bring the fiscal deficit down to 3.5 per cent of GDP in FY17, as per the revised medium-term fiscal consolidation plan," Deutsche Bank said in a research note.

According to the global brokerage firm, the government is expected to settle for a higher fiscal deficit target of 3.8 per cent of GDP in FY17, lower than the 3.9 per cent likely out-turn in fiscal year 2015-16.
Moreover, the 7th Pay Commission would boost consumption but not "materially".
However, Pay Commission would boost household savings in the next couple of years, which will help to support domestic investment needs, without having to rely excessively on foreign savings (or current account deficit).

On inflation, the report said the inflation trajectory will likely get affected by 30-50 bps, due to the Pay Commission impact, which should still leave room for the central bank to cut the policy rate by at least 25 bps.

Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan on February 2 left key interest rate unchanged citing inflation risks and growth concerns, while pegging further easing of monetary policy on government's budget proposals.

Rajan said RBI "continues to be accommodative" but would look forward to the government's budget proposals on February 29 as also the inflation trend.

According to Deutsche Bank, beyond the 25 bps rate cut, scope of further easing would be strictly data dependent and would hinge on the likelihood of RBI's meeting the 5 per cent CPI target by early next year.

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