Sunday, November 20, 2016

Interest rate on the long term saving deposits in Post Offices

Interest rate on the long term saving deposits in post offices

Interest rates on bank deposits are not uniform and vary from bank to bank. Hence, a one-on-one comparison of interest rates may not be possible.

The interest rates on term deposits are deregulated and they are determined by the banks themselves as per their Board approved policies. In contrast interest rates on Small Savings Schemes are administered interest rates linked to G-Sec rate of comparable maturity.

The percentage of savings in the savings schemes in Post Office as on 31.03.2016 is 14.84% of the deposits in the savings schemes of PSBs.

The Government has taken various steps to popularise all the existing schemes by carrying out publicity through print and electronic/Audio Visual media on an all India basis. Jan Dhan Yojana is a scheme of the Government to encourage deposits in banks and promote savings.

This was stated by Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.

PIB

A petition filed in the Supreme Court argues that a decision like demonetisation, pivotal to monetary policy, can’t be left to the whims of the Centre

People queue to deposit or exchange their old high denomination banknotes outside a bank in Allahabad, November 16, 2016. Credit: Reuters/Jitendra Prakash

One of the four petitions challenging the recent demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes, filed in the Supreme Court, invokes at least five significant legal grounds to show why it may not be legally sound.

The petition, filed by Supreme Court advocate V.K. Biju who is known for taking up public interest causes, on behalf of the petitioner Adil Alvi, also an advocate in the Supreme Court, has named the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve bank of India as the respondents. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared and argued for the petitioner on Friday.

The petition, which comes up for hearing again on November 25, claims that since the decision is of wide importance and pivotal to monetary policy in India, it cannot be left to the whims of the central government.

Excessive delegation

First and foremost, it assails the very constitutionality of section 26(2) of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, on the grounds of excessive delegation.

Section 26(2) says that on recommendation of the central board of the RBI, the central government may, by notification in the Gazette of India, declare that with effect from a date specified in the notification, any series of bank notes of any denomination shall cease to be legal tender.

According to the petition, fixing the date from which the demonetisation would come into force is the substratum of power under section 26(2) and constitutes an “essential law making function” which cannot be delegated to be fixed by the central government on its own determination. “It is settled law that essential law making function cannot be delegated,” the petition submits.

The only way to save section 26(2) from being ultra vires the constitution is to regard that the power to fix such a date contemplates a reasonable notice to the people at large, the petition suggests.

No alternative to legislation

Second, the petition argues that the precedent of 1978 – The High Denomination Bank Notes (Demonetisation) Act, 1978 repealing the High Denomination Bank Notes (Demonetisation) Ordinance 1978 – and section 26A of the RBI Act, clearly suggest that demonetisation of this scale with such draconian effect can only be done by a statute of parliament.

Section 26A – inserted in the RBI Act in 1956 by parliament – makes it clear that notwithstanding anything contained in section 26, no bank note of the denominational value of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 or Rs 10,000 issued before January 13, 1946, shall be legal tender in payment or on account.

The point here is that in 1956, the then central government found it imperative to declare the pre-1946 high denomination currency notes as ceasing to be legal tender only through an amendment to the RBI Act and not through a gazette notification as has been done now.

During the arguments in the Supreme Court on November 15, the Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi distinguished demonetisation from the declaration that currency notes of a certain denomination cease to be a legal tender, saying while the former would require amending the RBI Act, the latter could be achieved through a gazette notification.

This is because demonetisation would make even the keeping of a currency note which is not legal tender an offence and therefore, for depriving the freedom of citizens, recourse to law is a must.

Rohatgi told the court that demonetisation would take its legal form once the RBI Act is amended, in due course, after the last date for exchange of old notes is over, so as to make it an offence to keep the illegal tender.

The non-recourse to the amendment of the RBI Act was because of the need to ensure confidentiality till the decision was taken, consistent with its objects – fight corruption, black money and financing of terrorism through counterfeiting of currency notes, he explained. But the question of why the RBI Act did not envisage the need for confidentiality during demonetisation went unanswered by him.

Citing another precedent, as laid down by the Supreme Court in 1978 (Madan Mohan Pathak v Union of India), the petition suggests that wiping out of a public debt amounts to acquisition, which can be done only by an Act of parliament, according to the Constitution.

Why article 19(6) can’t come to rescue

Third, the petition argues that the November 8 notification was a hasty decision, taken without appreciating all the issues.

Citing absence of recital to “public interest”, the petition faults the notification for causing prejudice and inconvenience to the public at large.

This is an important ground of challenge, because the notification suffers from its inherent potential to violate the fundamental right (under article 19(1)(g)) to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business, because of the suddenness of its timing and its resultant consequences. It cannot be claimed even by the government that only those with black money, fake currency notes or an intent to aid terrorism are bound to suffer because of the notification.

The government, of course, would rely on article 19(6), which says that nothing in article 19(1)(g) shall affect the operation of any existing law in so far as it prevents the state from making any law imposing, in the interests of the general public, reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the rights conferred by the sub-clause.

Alvi’s petition, therefore, argues that the exception of article 19(6) is not available to the central government as the notification is beyond “police powers”. The grounds cited cannot justify the adoption of extreme measures like invalidating 86% of printed currency in circulation overnight, the petition contends.

The petition argues that issuing Rs 2000 currency notes clearly shows that it has no rational nexus with the object, sought to be achieved by the demonetisation.

Arguing that public inconvenience itself is a ground to set aside the notification, the petition alleges that the central government has not considered the current rate of inflation and the low minimum wage, which “affects everyone most severely”.

The RBI and the central government

The fourth contention of the petition is that the central board of the RBI did not give a recommendation independently after detailed consideration of all the issues, although the same was elicited by the central government. The RBI Act, the petition says, uses the phrase “recommendation” and not “consultation”, and therefore a recommendation from the RBI cannot emanate from the central government itself, Alvi’s petition has argued.

Alvi’s petition also raises the larger issue of the relationship between the central government and the RBI, which it says ought to have been maintained at an “arm’s distance”. By implication, it would mean that the central government must not just “consult” the RBI, but give it sufficient scope to deliberate and offer its independent views through a well-reasoned recommendation, initiated by itself rather than by prompting. To discharge its role as a central bank in a financial system, the RBI is assumed to be insulated from executive and political influences and is required to act independently, the petition submits.

The petition says that the RBI is under an obligation, before making such a recommendation, to consult the public and the stakeholders on the issue. The doctrine of “legitimate expectations” in a modern democracy would require the RBI to adopt such a course, the petition suggests. While the RBI can work like parens patriae, it cannot function like a patriarch, the petition comments.

The petition, therefore, requests the court to call for the complete record of the consultation before the central board of the RBI and consider whether in fact there has been effective consultation in the manner contemplated under the law.

Section 26 of the RBI Act, it argues, clearly contemplates a distinction between the central board of the RBI and the central government, and implies that the decision making process of the RBI has to be independent. The petition thus wonders whether the central board has considered all the relevant materials and the likely consequences before it made its recommendation to the central government.

Another interesting legal question the petition has raised is whether the government can withdraw, alter or restrict the promise made by the RBI governor on the bank notes to the effect, “I promise to pay the bearer the sum of five hundred/one thousand rupees”, thereby seeking to go back on the guarantee.

The central government and the RBI have an obligation to bring on record the minutes of the meetings leading to recommendation from the very inception for scrutiny by the Supreme Court, the petition has submitted. The central government cannot prevent judicial review by hiding behind the cloak of a policy decision, it argues.

Test of reasonableness

Fifth, the petition points to an interesting correlation between reasonableness of a legislation or an executive decision and its immediate effect, as held by the Supreme Court in a judgment rendered by the constitution bench in 1954. (Saghir Ahmad v State of Uttar Pradesh.)

Although the Supreme Court’s judgment pointing to such correlation was rendered in the context of a legislation, the petition argues that “the test that applies to legislation would apply more vigorously to executive decisions within the precincts of a statute”.

As examples of the immediate effects, the petition cites the central government’s failure to grant exemption to essential services such as all hospitals (including private), doctors, lawyers, court houses and so on from the demonetisation, and claims that impacts the exercise of the fundamental right to health and access to justice.

The government’s and RBI’s responses to each of these five legal contentions will be of wide interest.

Demonetisation | 10 days later, 10 things to know

Here’s a round-up of all the important developments

Ten days after demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there seems to be little respite for those thronging ATMs and banks to withdraw or exchange what is now illegal tender.

Here’s a round-up of all the important developments:

  1. On November 19, banks served only their respective customers and did not exchange old notes from customers of other banks. However, the restriction was not applicable to senior citizens.
  2. The Supreme Court on Friday warned that there “may be riots” and refused the government’s plea to stay cases filed against demonetisation in High Courts and lower courts across the country, saying “how can we shut our doors to people when there is a problem of such magnitude.”
  3. The exchange limit has been reduced to Rs. 2,000 to ease some pressure on cash demand. Families can withdraw up to Rs. 2,50,000 for weddings.
  4. The withdrawal limit from ATMs has been increased from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,500, but this will apply only to the recalibrated ATMs.
  5. Several measures were announced to ease the burden on farmers. To ensure sowing in the Rabi season, the government has allowed farmers to withdraw Rs. 25,000 a week against crop loan/kisan credit card. Traders in agricultural mandis will be permitted to draw Rs. 50,000 in cash per week to pay for sundry expenses like wages. While the time limit for payment of crop loan insurance premium has been extended by 15 days, government employees up to Group C have been given an option to draw salary advance in cash.
  6. To stop repeat money exchange with invalid currency notes, banks have started applying indelible ink mark on the right index finger of customers in select metro cities.
  7. Following the move, the Election Commission asked the Central government to continue its use of indelible ink at banks, but in keeping with the EC’s directions.
  8. The exemption deadline for all those services allowed to accept the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes was extended to November 24 midnight. These services include petrol pumps, pharmacies, and utility services amongst others.
  9. Parliament saw repeated disruptions over the issue. Both Houses ended up being adjourned on the second day of the winter session after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks comparing deaths in this period to those in the Uri attacks. MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi demanded an apology from Mr. Azad, stalling business further.
Cash seizures from across the country have increased since the demonetisation announcement.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/

India Post, Jalpaiguri launches mobile cash van to help

The India Post, Jalpaiguri branch, today rolled out a mobile cash van for helping patients' families at the district hospital exchange Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes. An official of the India Post here told PTI it was as part of the department's initiative to reach out to the people in the hour of crisis. The vehicle made it's journey from the post office to Jalpaiguri Sadar Hospital and winded up before evening. 

ONE TIME PROMOTION ISSUES OF POST MASTER GRADE-II / III

DPC STATUS :- Now all Postal staff are busy with cash exchange and cash deposit works. C.O busy with monitoring the operation. During this situation Postmaster cadre one time relaxation / regular promotions / cadre restructure issues are expected to delay and hope to start in coming year.

Door Step Cash Exchange Services by the Postal Department

Click below link to View the Postal Department services in connection exchange of WOS Currencies in your doorstep

Trade Unions want income tax exemption limit to be hiked to Rs 5 lakh

NEW DELHI: Trade Unions have pitched for an hike in personal income tax exemption limit to Rs 5 lakh and minimum wages to Rs 18,000 in the upcoming Union Budget. 

Trade union representatives gave their wish list to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that emphasized on steps in the next Budget to create more jobs and employment opportunities. 

Other suggestions include, more focus in the Budget on social security schemes for the workers, especially those working in unorganised sectors, according to a finance ministry statement on Saturday. 

Hon'ble Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that one of the major priorities of the government is to ensure that benefits of Social Security Schemes reach to every section of workers including those working in the unorganised sector. He said that the government is sensitive about the workers' welfare and would take all possible. 

7th CPC Allowances - Lok Sabha Q&A dated 18.11.2016

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
LOK SABHA
STARRED QUESTION NO: 57
ANSWERED ON: 18.11.2016
Allowances to Govt. Employees
VIJAY KUMAR S.R.
SUDHEER GUPTA

Will the Minister of FINANCE be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the Government has deferred the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations on various allowances, perks and perquisites and referred the matter to a Committee;

(b) if so, the details thereof along with the terms of reference and aims and objectives of this move;

(c) whether the Committee has submitted its report to the Government and if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons for the delay; and

(d) the timeframe drawn for the Committee to submit its report to the Government and the date from which the allowances including house rent, education and transport allowances are likely to be made effective?

ANSWER
FINANCE MINISTER (SHRI ARUN JAITLEY)

A Statement is laid on the Table of the House

Statement Annexed with the Lok Sabha Starred Question No. 57 for 18.11.2016 by Shri S. R. Vijayakumar and Shri Sudheer Gupta on Allowances to Government Employees

(a) & (b): In view of the number of representations received with regard to substantial changes with the existing provisions relating to Allowances recommended by the 7th Central Pay Commission, the Government has set up a Committee to examine the recommendations of the Commission on allowances (except Dearness Allowance). The Committee has been asked to go into the recommendations of the Commission on various allowances and, having regard to the representations made by the staff associations as also the suggestions of the concerned Ministries/Departments and to make recommendations as to whether any changes in the recommendations of the Commission are warranted and, if so, in what form. Till a final decision is taken by the Government based on the recommendations of this Committee, all allowances (except Dearness Allowance) will continue to be paid at existing rates in the existing pay structure. The Committee, constituted vide order dated 22.7.2016, is to submit its report within four months.

(c) & (d): The Committee has been interacting with various stake-holders to discuss their demands and has so far held discussions with National Council (Staff Side), Joint Consultative Machinery, representatives from staff associations and officials from Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Ministry of Home Affairs and Department of Posts. The Committee may also interact with the representatives of some other major Ministries/Departments and stakeholders with whom consultations are yet to be held before finalizing its Report. On submission of the Report, the matter pertaining to allowances will be considered by the Government and appropriate decision will be taken thereafter.

Postal a/c holders struggle as ATM at GPO remains dry since Nov 13

The scrapping of 500- and 1,000-rupee notes has posed a unique problem to post office savings bank account holders: the ATM at the General Post Office (GPO) has not been refilled for the past five days. These account holders cannot use their debit cards at bank ATMs. 

Post office savings bank account holders in Bengaluru had flocked to the ATM, located at the entrance of the GPO, following demonetisation. Each person was able to withdraw Rs 2,000, but the cash ran out at 8 pm on November 13. The closing balance in the ATM was Rs 1,800. “Due to technical glitches, cash has not been deposited again. We have tied up with AGS Transact Technologies Ltd (a multinational that provides end-to-end payment solutions). But right now, we are unsure of when the ATM will be refilled,” said a staffer at the GPO. 

The GPO has around 25,000 savings bank accounts. The Department of Posts has more than 960 ATMs across the country, including 76 in Karnataka. Thimmoji Rao, assistant superintendent, GPO, said the Postal Directorate, under the Ministry of Communications, had accepted a proposal to enable post office account holders to use bank ATMs, but that would take time. “The project is being processed and can possibly be introduced in the next financial year, though nothing has been finalised,” he added. 
The directorate has conducted workshops in the city to educate postal staff about the change. “The department is currently speeding up the accounting work of all the transactions taking place at its ATMs,” said the GPO staffer quoted earlier. 

As a result, account holders have to queue up at the eight counters set up at the GPO to swap and deposit notes and withdraw the new ones. 

In the first four days after demonetisation, at least 1,000 people had turned up at the GPO every day. Srinath, who has been an employee at the GPO for the last 15 years, said he had to queue up in the last two days. 

“Had the government released 500-rupee notes at the same time, it would have been much easier. The situation is frustrating,” he said. 

Indelible ink 

The use of indelible ink to prevent multiple exchanges of old notes is seeing mixed results. While the number of visitors has come down at some banks as well as the GPO in the last two days, crowds persist at others. 

Canara Bank’s Cantonment branch on MG Road exchanged just Rs 8-10 lakh worth of old notes on November 17 and 18. This is in stark contrast with about Rs 20 lakh worth of old notes exchanged on each previous day. Jayalakshmi M, the branch manager, said the use of indelible ink was a “positive move” that helped the bank staff work more efficiently. “Now, people hesitate to come to swap notes twice. 

Earlier, I had to enter the name in the computer to make sure that the customer was exchanging the notes for the first time. The use of ink has definitely regularised the system,” she said. At 4 pm on Friday, only a handful of people were seen at the bank. 

But the State Bank of India’s branch on Hesaraghatta Road saw a crowd of 500 even after the use of ink was made mandatory. The number of people swapping the old notes is still high. Nonetheless, a bank staffer hailed the move. 

Meanwhile, crowds are coming down at the RBI office on Nrupathunga Road. Unlike the previous days when the queue spilled over onto the road, the situation is now more organised. Vigilant guards at the gate ensure that only people with valid documents stand in the queue. At 1 pm on Friday, there were just 20 people outside the gate. 
DH News Service

‘Centre should have been better prepared’

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday said his government was not against demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes but that it has only objected to the Centre not making necessary preparations. 

“We are not against it (demonetisation). We support any measure aimed at curbing black money...And demonetisation was done in the past also. It is not the first time,” he told reporters at his home office Krishna.

People, especially farmers, are put to a lot of inconvenience due to lack of preparation. The Centre should have released new Rs 500 currency notes first instead of the Rs 2,000 ones. The common man is struggling to get change for Rs 2,000. Besides, farmers are unable to conduct banking transactions, he said, adding that he has already written two letters to Unio-n Finance Minister Arun Jaitley highlighting these problems.

Employment News : 19 - November To 25 - November - 2016

Employment News : 19 - November To 25 - November - 2016

JOB HIGHLIGHTS

INSTITUTE OF BANKING PERSONNEL SELECTION
Name Of Post : I.T. Officer, Agricultural Field Officer, Rajbhasha Adhikari, Law Officer, HR Personnel Officer, Marketing Officer
No.of Vacancies : 4122
Last Date :02.12.2016
BANK OF BARODA MUMBAI
Name Of Post : Finance Credit, Trade Finance, Risk Management, Marketing, Planning, Law, Security, Official Language, Economists etc
No.of Vacancies : 1039
Last Date :29.11.2016
RESERVE BANK OF INDIA
Name Of Post : Assistant
No.of Vacancies : 610
Last Date :28.11.2016
IDBI BANK LIMITED
Name Of Post : Executives
No.of Vacancies : 500
Last Date :30.11.2016
INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH BHOPAL
Name Of Post : Deputy Registrar, Assistant Registrar, Scientific Assistant, Hindi Officer, Lab. Technician, Senior Hindi Translator, Medical Officer etc
No.of Vacancies : 28
Last Date :30.11.2016
Source : www. employmentnews.gov.in/

My Stamp - Postage gets personalised

Want Your Face Printed on Postage Stamp?- Department of Posts Offers you.
Requirement:
Photograph, ID Proof, Fee of Rs.300/-
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RTP PRINCIPAL CAT CASE

RTP PRINCIPAL CAT CASE

Arguments held on 17.11.2016 in RTP Principle CAT case. Department seek time to file reply.

The next date of hearing is 08.02.2017.