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Monday, February 28, 2011

IT Initiatives: E-Filing and E-Payment of Taxes, Web-based facility for tax Payers to track Resolution of Refunds

CBDT to Set up Eight more Aaykar Seva Kendras in 2011-12
          Various tax initiatives have been taken in the Union Budget 2011-12 for efficient tax administration. Presenting the Budget in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee highlighted the initiatives including e-filing and e-payment of taxes, adoption of ‘Sevottam’ concept by CBEC and CBDT, web based facility for tax payers track the resolution of refunds and credit for pre-paid taxes and augmentation of processing capacity.
          The on-line preparation and e-filing of income tax returns, e-payment of taxes through 32 agency banks, ECS facility for electronic clearing of refunds directly in taxpayers’ bank accounts and electronic filing of TDS returns are now available throughout the country.
            The ‘Sevottam’ concept has been adopted by both Boards i.e. CBDT and CBEC. The pilot projects of Aaykar Seva Kendras (ASKs) under CBDT have come of age. CBDT will commission eight more such centres this year. In 2011-12, another fifty ASKs will be set up across the country. CBEC has also launched a similar initiative and four of their pilot projects have been commissioned.
            The Centralized Processing Centre (CPC) at Bengaluru has increased its daily processing capacity from 20,000 to 1.5 lakh returns in 2010-11. Two more CPCs will become operational in Manesar and Pune by May 2011 and a fourth CPC will come up in Kolkata in 2011-12.
             The electronic filing of tax deduction at source (TDS) statements has stabilized and  soon there will be provision for salary tax payers to not file income tax returns as their tax liability is being discharged by their employer through TDS.
              As a measure to increase the level of service CBDT will provide a web-based facility to enable tax payers to report and track the resolution of the refunds and credit for pre-paid taxes.

PIB Press Release, February 28, 2011


All india Consumer Price index Numbers for industrial workers on base 2001=100 for the month of January, 2010

All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100 for the month of  January, 2011 increased by 3 points and stood at 188 (one hundred and eighty eight).
            During January, 2011, the index recorded an increase of 11 points each in Bhopal and Jamshedpur centres, 10 points each in Amritsar, Bangalore and Chandigarh centres, 8 points in Haldia centre, 7 points each in Nasik, Kodarma and Ghaziabad centres, 6 points in 2 centres, 5 points in 4 centres, 4 points in 12 centres, 3 points in 15 centres, 2 points in 8 centres and 1 point in 7 centres. The index decreased by 4 points in Godavarikhani centre, 1 point in 9 centres, while in the remaining 11 centres the index remained stationary.
            The maximum increase of 11 points each in Bhopal and Jamshedpur centres is mainly on account of Housing Index and increase in the prices of Rice, Wheat Atta, Milk, Goat Meat, Onion, Vegetable & Fruit items, Petrol, etc. The increase of 10 points in Amritsar, Banglore and Chandigarh centres is due to Housing Index and increase in the prices of Rice, Wheat, Wheat Atta, Onion, Vegetable & Fruit items, Electricity Charges, Petrol, etc. The increase of 8 points in Haldia centre is due to Housing Index and increase in the prices of Eggs, Onion, etc. However, the decrease of 4 points in Godavarikhani centre is the outcome of decrease in the prices of Rice, Vegetable & Fruit items, etc.
            The indices in respect of the six major centres are as follows :
1. Ahmedabad

4. Delhi
2. Bangalore

5. Kolkata
3. Chennai

6. Mumbai

            The All-India (General) point to point rate of inflation for the month of January, 2011 is 9.30% as compared to 9.47% in December, 2010. Inflation based on Food Index is 10.22% in January, 2011 as compared to 7.98% in December, 2010.
PIB Press Release, February 28, 2011

Discontinuation of 'Certificate of Posting'.

Sub: Discontinuation of 'Certificate of Posting'.
D.G. Posts No.2-4/2008-PO dated 23.02.2011.
            Under the provisions of Rule 195 of the Indian Post Office Rules , 1933 'Certificate of Posting' is granted to the public to afford an assurance that letters and other articles for which no receipts are granted by the Post Office and entrusted to servants or messengers for posting have actually been posted.
            It has since been decided that' Certificate of Posting' may be discontinued immediately.
            A copy of Gazette Notification No. 58(E) dated 31.1.2011 deleting rule 195 of the Indian Post Office Rules, 1933 regarding 'Certificate of Posting' is enclosed for information and necessary action.
            This may kindly be brought to the notice of all concerned for strict compliance.
            The receipt of this communication may also be acknowledged.
                                                                                        (NIRAJ KUMAR)
                                                                                          Director (PO&I)


New Delhi, the 31st January, 2011
            GSR.58(E)- In exercise of the powers conferred by clause (d) of sub-section (2) of Section 21 read with section 74 of the Indian Post Office Act, 1898 (6 of 1898), the Central Government  hereby makes the following rules further to amend the Indian Post Office Rules, 1933, namely:-
1.         (1) These rules may be called the Indian Post Office (Third Amendment )  Rules, 2011.
            (2) They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the      Official  Gazette.
2.         In the Indian Post Office Rules, 1933, in part VIII relating to "General Rules", the heading "III-Certificate of Posting "and rule 195 shall be omitted.
 [F. No.2-4/2008-PO)

                                                       MEERA HANDA
                                          Dy. Director General (PO &CP)

Highlights of Union Budget 2011-2012

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday presented to Parliament India's budget for the coming financial year beginning in April.

Following are the highlights of the budget:

TAXES ( Read full story on taxes )
* Standard rate of excise duty held at 10 percent; no change in CENVAT rates
* Personal income tax exemption limit raised to Rs 180,000 from Rs 160,000 for individual tax payers
*For senior citizens, the qualifying age reduced to 60 years and exemption limit raised to Rs 2.50 lakh.
*Citizens over 80 years to have exemption limit of Rs 5 lakh.
* To reduce surcharge on domestic companies to 5 percent from 7.5 percent.
* A new revised income tax return form 'Sugam' to be introduced for small tax papers.
* To raise minimum alternate tax to 18.5 percent from 18 percent ( Read story )
* Direct tax proposals to cause 115 billion rupees in revenue loss
* Service tax rate kept at 10 percent
* Customs and excise proposals to result in net revenue gain of 73 billion rupees
* Iron ore export duty raised to 20 percent
*Nominal one per cent central excise duty on 130 items entering the tax net. Basic food and fuel and precious stones, gold and silver jewellery will be exempted.
*Peak rate of customs duty maintained at 10 per cent in view of the global economic situation.
*Basic customs duty on agricultural machinery reduced to 4.5 per cent from 5 per cent.
*Service tax widened to cover hotel accommodation above Rs 1,000 per day, A/C restaurants serving liquor, some category of hospitals, diagnostic tests.
*Service tax on air travel increased by Rs 50 for domestic travel and Rs 250 for international travel in economy class. On higher classes, it will be ten per cent flat.
* Electronic filing of TDS returns at source stabilised; simplified forms to be introduced for small taxpayers.
* Works of art exempt from customs when imported for exhibition in state-run institutions; this now extended to private institutions.

SUBSIDIES ( Read: Direct cash subsidy on fuel, fertilizers by March, 2012 )
* Subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 1.44 trillion rupees
* Food subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 605.7 billion rupees
* Revised food subsidy bill for 2010-11 at 606 billion rupees
* Fertiliser subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 500 billion rupees
* Revised fertiliser subsidy bill for 2010-11 at 550 billion rupees
* Petroleum subsidy bill in 2011-12 seen at 236.4 billion rupees
* Revised petroleum subsidy bill in 2010-11 at 384 billion rupees
* State-run oil retailers to be provided with 200 billion rupee cash subsidy in 2011-12

FISCAL DEFICIT ( Read full story )
* Fiscal deficit seen at 5.1 percent of GDP in 2010-11
* Fiscal deficit seen at 4.6 percent of GDP in 2011-12
* Fiscal deficit seen at 3.5 percent of GDP in 2013-14

SPENDING * Total expenditure in 2011-12 seen at 12.58 trillion rupees
* Plan expenditure seen at 4.41 trillion rupees in 2011-12, up 18.3 percent

* Gross tax receipts seen at 9.32 trillion rupees in 2011-12
* Non-tax revenue seen at 1.25 trillion rupees in 2011-12
* Corporate tax receipts seen at 3.6 trillion rupees in 2011-12
* Tax-to-GDP ratio seen at 10.4 percent in 2011-12; seen at 10.8 percent in 2012-13
* Customs revenue seen at 1.52 trillion rupees in 2011-12
* Factory gate duties seen at 1.64 trillion rupees in 2011-12
*Service tax receipts seen at 820 billion rupees in 2011-12
* Revenue gain from indirect tax proposals seen at 113 billion rupees in 2011-12
* Service tax proposals to result in net revenue gain of 40 billion rupees in 2011-12

GROWTH, INFLATION EXPECTATIONS ( Read: Inflation remains principal concern )
* Economy expected to grow at 9 percent in 2012, plus or minus 0.25 percent
* Inflation seen lower in the financial year 2011-12

DISINVESTMENT * Disinvestment in 2011-12 seen at 400 billion rupees
* Government committed to retaining 51 percent stake in public sector enterprises.

BORROWING * Net market borrowing for 2011-12 seen at 3.43 trillion rupees, down from 3.45 trillion rupees in 2010-11
* Gross market borrowing for 2011-12 seen at 4.17 trillion rupees
* Revised gross market borrowing for 2010-11 at 4.47 trillion rupees

POLICY REFORMS * To create infrastructure debt funds
* FDI policy being liberalised.
* To boost infrastructure development with tax-free bonds of 300 billion rupees
* Food security bill to be introduced this year
* To permit SEBI registered mutual funds to access subscriptions from foreign investments
* Raised foreign institutional investor limit in 5-year corporate bonds for investment in infrastructure by $20 billion
* Setting up independent debt management office; Public debt bill to be introduced in parliament soon
* Bills on insurance, pension funds, banking to be introduced.
*Constitution Amendment Bill for introduction of GST regime in this session.
*New Companies Bill to be introduced in current session

SECTOR SPENDING * To allocate more than 1.64 trillion rupees to defence sector in 2011-12 (Read: 11% hike in defence allocation )
* Corpus of rural infrastructure development fund raised to 180 billion rupees in 2011-12
* To provide 201.5 billion rupees capital infusion in state-run banks in 2011-12
* To allocate 520.5 billion rupees for the education sector. Rs.21,000 crore for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. ( Read full story )
* To raise health sector allocation to 267.6 billion rupees (Read: 20% hike in health budget )
* Rs.500 crore more for national skill development fund.
* Rs.54 crore each for AMU (Aligarh Muslim University) centres at Murshidabad and Mallapuram.
* Rs.58,000 crore for Bharat Nirman; increase of Rs.10,000 crore.
* Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wage rates linked to consumer price index; will rise from existing Rs.100 per day.
* Increased outlay on social sector schemes. ( Read: Social sector allocation up by 17%)
* Infrastructure critical for development; 23 percent higher allocation in 2011-12. ( Read: Rs 2,14,000 cr allocated for infrastructure sector )

AGRICULTURE ( Read: Farm loans at 4 per cent )
* Removal of supply bottlenecks in the food sector will be in focus in 2011-12
* Agriculture growth key to development: Green Revolution waiting to happen in eastern region.
* To raise target of credit flow to agriculture sector to 4.75 trillion rupees
* Gives 3 percent interest subsidy to farmers in 2011-12
* Cold storage chains to be given infrastructure status
* Capitalisation of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) of 30 billion rupees in a phased manner
* To provide 3 billion rupees for 60,000 hectares under palm oil plantation
* Actively considering new fertiliser policy for urea
* Food storage capacity to be augmented - 15 more mega food parks to be set up in 2011-12; of 30 sanctioned in previous fiscal, 15 set up.
* Comprehensive policy on further developing PPP (public-private-partnership) model.
* Farmers need access to affordable credit.
* Moving to improve nutritional security.
* Necessary to accelerate production of fodder.

ON THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY ( Read: Pranab on economy )
* "Fiscal consolidation has been impressive. This year has also seen significant progress in those critical institutional reforms that will pave the way for double digit growth in the near future."
* "At times the biggest reforms are not the ones that make headlines, but the ones concerned with details of governance which affect the everyday life of aam aadmi (common man). In preparing this year's budget, I have been deeply conscious of this fact."
* Food inflation remains a concern
* Current account deficit situation poses some concern
* Must ensure that private investment is sustained
* "The economy has shown remarkable resilience."
* Setting tone for newer, vibrant economy.
* Economy back to pre-crisis trajectory.
* Development needs to be more inclusive.

ON GOVERNANCE * "Certain events in the past few months may have created an impression of drift in governance and a gap in public accountability ... such an impression is misplaced."
* Corruption is a problem, must fight it collectively

MORE *Govt to move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy for kerosene, LPG and fertilisers.
*Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission, to be headed by former Supreme Court judge B Srikrishna, to complete its work in 24 months; to overhaul financial regulations.
* Five-fold strategy against black money; 13 new double taxation avoidance agreements; foreign tax division of CTBT strengthened; strength of Enforcement Directorate increased three-fold.
* Bill to be introduced to review Indian Stamp Act.
* New coins carrying new rupee symbol to be issued.
* Anganwadi workers salary raised from Rs.1,500 to Rs.3,000.
* Mortgage risk guarantee fund to be created for economically weaker sections.
* Housing loan limit for priority sector lending raised to Rs.25 lakh

Source:, February 28, 2011

NFPE's concern over closure/merger/relocation of 9797 Post Offices


                We are really shocked to read the contents of Directorate's letter No. 40-06/2010/Plg dated 225.01.2011 addressed to all CPMGs/PMGs wherein it is directed to complete the process of closure/merger/relocation of about 9797 Post offices functioning at present in Urban areas on the plea that they do not conform with the distance condition prescribed by the Directorate for opening of new Post offices.  The total number of Departmental Post Offices as on 31.03.2010 is 27360.  Closure of 9797 Post offices means reduction of about 36% of the existing Postal network.  We cannot accept the argument put forward by the Department justifying such mass-scale closure/merger/relocation.  We are at a loss to understand why our Department is resorting to such mass-scale closures, when all other private couriers and companies are competing to canvass our customer by opening more and more outlets in the urban areas for extending their services to the doorstep of the customer.  We fear that in the name of rationalization and optimization, our department is giving more space for the private companies to occupy more share in the mail market segment.  We have already made it clear that we are not against relocation of offices to the needy areas.  Large scale closure of Post offices and RMS offices will not only lead to inconvenience to the public leading to discontentment but also adversely affect the interest of the employees.  Further this is nothing but abrupt violation of strike agreement made on 12.07.2010 in which it was categorically assured that there will be no closure/merger of Post offices.  We strongly protest against such unilateral closure/merger of offices.

            We have already pointed out the adverse impact of the introduction of speed post hubs without taking into account the ground realities.  The experience for the last six months has proved that the speed post hubs had resulted in abnormal delay in transmission and delivery of speed post articles and thereby in eroding the faith of the general public in the speed post system itself.  We have already requested the Department to review the functioning of the speed post hubs and take remedial measures or to revert to the old system.  We regret to note that the staff side has been totally sidelined and the department is blindly going ahead with unscientific proposals of the multinational consultancy called Mckensy.  Much damage has been done and it is high time that a thorough review be conducted for removing the deficiencies by rolling back to the old scheme.  A damage control exercise to regain the lost faith of the customer is the need of the hour.

            The new Recruitment rules for the Postmen notified recently by the Department states that direct recruitment from open market is to be resorted to for filling up 25% Postmen vacancies.  This clause virtually snatches away the right of the Gramin Dak Sevaks to get appointed against 50% of the Postmen vacancies hitherto ear-marked for GDS employees.  Further unilateral orders have been issued restricting the compassionate appointment of GDS to 10% of the vacancies, tightening of norms for cash handling and stamp sale etc.  Further the discrimination in payment of bonus to GDS still continues.

            In spite of the assurance given by the Secretary, Department of Posts on 12.07.2010, many issues mentioned in the 13th July strike Charter of demands and also in the minutes of the JCM Departmental council meeting held on 27.08.2010 still remains unsettled.  The issues relating to the Postmen staff such as fixing of minimum and maximum distance to be traversed are yet to be resolved.  The issue of cadre review, even though assured to be completed before November 2010, is still in the initial stage and formal discussion is delayed indefinitely.
            The Department is going ahead with the proposal for decentralization of postal Accounts work in the name of accrual based accounting system.  Similarly move is on for decentralization of PLI/RPLI work.  Induction of new technology in accounting and providing online facilities at post offices shall lead to centralization and not decentralization.  We oppose decentralization of the above mentioned work.

            The revision of wages of the causal, part-time contingent employees with effect from 01.01.2006 is pending for the last three years.  Even the eligible DA is denied in many circles.  Further the work done hitherto by the casual, part time and contingent employees are indiscriminately outsourced and large scale reduction in the wages are ordered.  All this has resulted in making the life of the poor, low paid employees more miserable.  It is high time that justice is done to this most downtrodden and marginalized section of employees of the Postal department.

            All the above issues are agitating the minds of the Postal and RMS employees and resentment among them is mounting day-by-day.  The releasing of the orders for closure of large scale post offices has further aggravated the situation.  Unless the Department comes forward to discuss the above issues with the Staff side for an amicable settlement, the situation may go from bad to worse.

            We appeal to the Govt. of India and Secretary, Department of Posts to desist from the move to implement the retrograde orders mentioned above and also to keep the orders in abeyance, failing which we will be compelled to resort to trade union action including indefinite strike.  We earnestly want to avoid such an unpleasant situation as it may adversely affect the efficiency and productivity of the Postal Services and may put the public also to inconvenience.

            We hope that the Department will come forward for the negotiated settlement of the issues mentioned above and take the staff side also into confidence, so that the peace, tranquillity and the better relationship between the staff side and administration shall remain unaffected.  Or else, confrontation shall become inevitable as we cannot take the onslaughts laying down.  When driven to the wall we have no option but to hit back with all the forces at our command.  Be prepared to face such contingency if situation warrants.  Get ready for a total indefinite strike.

Secretary General NFPE

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Democracy, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms at Risk in USA As Wisconsin and Other States Attack Unions

21 February 2011: Workers across the world are shocked to see the rights of teachers, health workers and other public employees attacked in the ’Land of the Free’. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other Republican Party state governors including in Indiana and Ohio have launched a major assault on the rights of public sector workers to union representation and collective bargaining, with heavy pay cuts and new obstacles to freedom of association. Demonstrations have taken place in several US states over recent days, as opposition grows to the coordinated anti-union onslaught, which has its roots in the ultra-conservative “tea party” movement.
“Violating these fundamental democratic rights in other countries such as China, Egypt, Guinea or Mexico is rightly condemned by the US, so what are people to make of such abuse of power in the US itself?” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “The rights to organize and bargain collectively for fair wages and conditions are cornerstones of any democracy, and removing these rights means democracy itself is under attack.”
Moreover, the economic and employment crisis will not be fixed by taking away workers’ incomes. These moves will destroy, not create jobs, as household incomes fall and economic demand falls even further. This is just as true in the US as it is in anywhere else in the world.
Governor Walker’s threat to mobilize the Wisconsin National Guard, which he said were “fully prepared to handle whatever may occur”, has provoked outrage. “This threat is simply incredible especially if we look to those countries today which have mobilized military and security forces against peaceful demonstrators,” said Burrow.
“Teachers, nurses and other public employees provide vital services to the public, and the offensive against them is also an attack on the community, children in schools, the sick and infirm in medical care, and the most vulnerable in society who rely on public services. The USA was built on the foundations of freedom and democracy, but will certainly lose its claim to be the Land of the Free with this kind of extremist agenda,” said Burrow. “Opposition to these attacks is growing in the US, but it is a fight for fundamental freedoms which has implications well beyond the borders of the country. The entire international trade union movement stands in solidarity with these American workers whose rights are under such heavy attack, and we will do everything we can to support them.”

RFID for Postal and Courier Services 2011-2021

Detailed ten year forecasts are given plus a full explanation of the technologies. In detail, there are 40 new case studies of RFID in action in the postal and courier service in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. The major breakthroughs that will provide future success are discussed. Postal services ignoring this accelerating change will become uncompetitive and suppliers missing out will regret it.

In the major new report 'RFID for the Postal and Courier Service', IDTechEx estimate that the global market for RFID systems, including tags, in this sector will be $2.5 billion in 2018. It could be much bigger if current efforts to tag individual items gain widespread acceptance. In due course, over one trillion postal items will be tagged yearly, making this the second largest application of RFID in the world after the retail supply chain.

Detailed ten year forecasts are given plus a full explanation of the technologies. In detail, there are over 40 new case studies of RFID in action in the postal and courier service in North America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia. The major breakthroughs that will provide future success are discussed. Postal services ignoring this accelerating change will become uncompetitive and suppliers missing out will regret it.

RFID is an idea whose time has come in postal, courier and high volume light logistics. In the past, RFID has been used for little more than the evaluation of postal performance, using tags in a small percentage of letters, and the tracking of a small number of conveyances and vehicles. No longer. From the International Postal Corporation now monitoring mailflow with RFID in over 50 countries to Saudi Post tagging postal boxes, the big innovations are now happening.

There is even a postal RFID system that completely automates the whole process of mail delivery from accepting the package to classification and dispatching. It has been successfully tested in Korea this year. Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute ETRI demonstrated this RFID system in front of representatives from the Ministry of Information and Technology and private sector representatives.

The current postal package unified information system uses barcodes, thus necessitating human effort at every mail center to input mail numbers into the system. This results in inaccuracies during transfer of duties and it delays the mail dispatches. The new RFID system, developed by ETRI of Korea, aims to reduce costs, errors and tedious human intervention. When perfected, it will provide a comprehensive electronic postal system with the potential to maximize mail package process capabilities while minimizing logistics cost. Real-time information automation, impossible with the existing system, is now possible, claims ETRI.

It is difficult to estimate when pervasive RFID tagging of most of the courier and letter post will occur but RFID enabled parcels, conveyances, vehicles and trailers are now commonplace, with multiple paybacks often being enjoyed. RFID is enhancing security and safety and removing tedious operations. Swedish Post has a parcel that detects and records tampering using RFID and other innovations abound, including RFID cards controlling driver access to postal vehicles and RFID enabled postal sorting equipment. Little wonder that companies as large as Microsoft have entered the fray. The global potential is illustrated by its decision to offer its first postal systems in Taiwan and elsewhere in East Asia.
Source: www.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Confederation Circular No. 4:Issues discussed at the National Anomaly Committee on 15.02.2011

CONFEDERATION OF CENTRAL GOVT. EMPLOYEES & WORKERS.A-2/95,Manishinath Bhawan,Rajouri Garden, New Delhi-110 027
Tel: 011-2510 5324: Mobile: 98110 48303

Conf/4/2011,                                                                                    Dated: 25.02.2011

Dear Comrade,
As indicated in our circular letter No.3, we give hereunder the decisions taken on each of the items discussed at the National Anomaly Committee meeting held on 15th Feb. 2011.
With greetings,

Yours fraternally,
K.K.N. Kutty
Secretary General.

Issues discussed at the National Anomaly Committee on 15.02.2011
Item No.11.
            The Staff side has agreed to specify the items of allowance which requires to be given effect to from 1.1.2006.
Item No.12. & 13. Revision of Transport allowance:
The Staff side is to give a comparative statement indicating the rate of Transport allowance given to various categories to substantiate their demand for having a uniform rate for all Govt. officials.
Item No.14. Risk and Patient Care allowance to be doubled:
The Government will bring about the Insurance scheme in consultation with the Staff Side within six months. If the scheme is not implemented by that time, these allowances will be doubled.
Item No. 20.  Quantification of daily allowance in case not able to present the bill:             The Department of Expenditure will examine the issue further in the light of the discussion and will convey their final decision in the next meeting.
Item No. 28. Assigning grade pay in PB 3 for Accounts officers:
This will be discussed with the Staff Side separately.
Item No. 31. Child Care leave:
Revised orders have been issued. The demand of the Staff Side that the discretionary powers to grant or otherwise or restrict the number of days presently given to the authorities must be dispensed with will be discussed at the next meeting of the Committee.
Item No. 37. Waiver of recovery of higher DA drawing between 1.1.2006  and 1.08.2008:
             Not agreed to.
Item No. 38 and 39. Anomaly in fixation of Grade Pay and Pay Bands:
Will be further discussed at the next meeting.
Item No. 40. Grant of  Notional increment for those who retire in June.
Not accepted.
Item No.41.      Grant of promotional increment for those promoted in the same PB and      Grade Pay:
The Official side stated that to decide whether the two grades have distinct functions is the prerogative of the concerned Ministry/Department. If they so decide, the  promotional increment would be granted. But in that case, the same will be treated as a promotion and will count as such for the purpose of MACP.
Item No. 42.  MACP issue:
The same will be discussed in the sub committee once again.
Item No.43. Anomaly in HAG scale of pay:
Not discussed being a Group A issue. But the issue has been reported to have been settled and orders issued.
Item No. 44. Anomaly in Library Information Assistant:
Will be further discussed at the next meeting
Item No. 45. Anomaly in fixation of pension for those in receipt of stagnation increment:
In the light of the court judgment, the item will be discussed further in the next meeting.
Item No. 46.& 49 & 51. Parity for Stenographers in the field and Central Sectt.
The demand for grant of grade pay of Rs. 4600 for those in the pay  scale of 6500-10,500 has already been settled and orders issues. The question of Grant of Grade pay of Rs. 5400 after completion of three years for those in the pay scale of 7500-12000 will be examined if not already extended.
Item No. 48. Restoration of commutation value of pension after 12 years.
Not agreed upon. The Staff side has asked for the basis on which the demand has been rejected.
Item No. 50.  Disparity in the pay scale of official language staff:
The Staff side has agreed to provide a copy of the Court order in the matter.
Item No. 52 and 53. Andaman Nicobar Items:
The Official side will report in the next meeting of the development on these issues.

Passenger Reservation System center at Utkal University MDG, Bhubaneswar - 751 004

Dear Comrades,
         Consequent upon signing of an agreement by the Orissa Postal Circle with the Railway authorities , the PRS  has been inaugurated at Utkal University MDG on 27.01.2011.

Friday, February 25, 2011

80% CGHS drugs bought locally

           NEW DELHI: Almost 80% of the drugs purchased for Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) dispensaries in Delhi between 2002 and 2007 were bought from local chemists while only 20% were procured through the centralized route.
          In absolute numbers, the value of medicines purchased through local chemists stood at Rs 366.33 crore of the total expenditure of Rs 459.21 crore.
         Similar was the story with CGHS dispensaries (which provide health care facilities for central government employees and pensioners and their dependents residing in CGHS covered cities) in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Allahabad, Patna, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Guwahati.
         Almost 74%-91% of the drug purchases between 2002 and 2007 in these dispensaries were from local chemists, according to the Public Accounts Committee's latest report. Also, most of the medicines in the formulary (centralized drug list) did not have a rate contract.
         The report said the committee was given to understand that the purchase system of approaching local chemists was introduced to enable the CGHS dispensaries to supply to the beneficiaries those medicines which were not in stock.
        "Audit had pointed out that there was procurement of smaller number of medicines from the formulary list. According to the audit, CGHS dispensaries made extensive purchases of medicines from local chemists ignoring the quality and cost effectiveness of these purchases," the PAC report said.
        The major suppliers of these drugs purchased in bulk were generally the well-established larger pharma companies who were providing discounts upto 40% on MRP, the report said.
        But over the period of time the system degenerated. The committee's examination of the subject has revealed that such degeneration crept in as there was no database regarding procurement, distribution and inventory management of the drugs for which no effective monitoring could be put in place to ascertain the reasons of largescale procurement through local purchases.
         However, the committee headed by Murli Manohar Joshi added that the health ministry lately has swung into action and taken a number of measures to cut down on local purchases as well as to bring in efficiency in the procurement system.
         PAC said that the measures included computerization of all the dispensaries in Delhi, culling out a list of about 262 medicines that were not in the formulary of Medical Stores Organization (MSO) but frequently prescribed by doctors and procured locally, and entering into a rate contract for all these drugs.
Source: The Times of India, February 25, 2011

Issue of Pensioner CGHS cards to Central Govt. Servants before Retirement-Fresh Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and family Welfare


Dear Comrades,
                We have already brought to your notice regarding irregular closure of Postal Dispensary on Sundays for which Sj. Mohan Jena, Honourable ( M P ) Lok Sabha wrote a letter on 13.07.2010 especially on the problems faced by the beneficiaries of Postal Dispensary, Bhubaneswar to Sj. Sachin Pilot, Hon’ble Minister of State for Communication and Information Technology, Govt. of India who replied to the Hon’ble M P on 11.08.2010. In spite of clear reply by the Hon’ble Minister  vide his    D O No. 24 – 9 / 2010 – Medical , dated 11.08.2010 that all the Postal dispensaries in India  on the line of duty hours observed by CGHS dispensaries remain open on Sundays for 2 hours from 8 AM to 10 AM in winter schedule and from 7 AM to 9 AM in summer schedule,   Postal Dispensary Bhubaneswar  continued to observe closed holiday on Sundays.
                Of late,  we came to know that  Sj. Mohan Jena once again has reminded  in this regard to the Hon’ble Minister endorsing copy to the Chief PMG, Orissa Circle. As known to us , the Secretary, RJCM ( Staff Side ) has also discussed the issue with the Chief PMG recently.
                 Such combined effort could at last compelled the Circle administration to change the arbitrary order of closing the Postal Dispensary, Bhubaneswar  on Sundays
                Now, the Circle administration has issued order to keep open the Postal Dispensary on Sundays for two hours.
                We record our sincere gratitude  to the Hon’ble M P , Secy., R J CM ( Staff Side ) and other members who have contributed in this regard.
                A copy of the letter written by Sj. Mohan Jena has been collected by this union which  has reminded our Ministry on some recurring problems of Orissa Circle as a whole including the Dispensary issue..
                The Order of the Circle Office and the letter of the Hon’ble M P are reproduced below for information of all the members / viewers / beneficiaries.
C O Order :

Letter of the Hon'ble M P ( Lok Sabha ):

Comrade Anil Kumar Mohanty bereaved:

          Sundarmanai Mohanty, mother of Com. Anil Kumar Mohanty, Vice - President of this Union and P A, Bhubaneswar GPO expired today morning in Hi-Tech Medical College and Hospital. The deceased mother  of Com. Mohanty was suffering from asthma.
          While sharing the grief and sorrow  of Com. Mohanty, the members of All India Postal Employees Union, Group- C, Bhubaneswar Division   do pray before Lord Jagannath  to give his family members  the  courage to bear with this irreparable loss.
          Let the departed soul  rest in eternal peace.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Postal officials to pay student for exam mis

      The Namakkal consumer court ordered the superintendent and the head post officer in the district to pay Rs 7,000 to a student for not delivering her application for a government job on time, which resulted in her not being able to appear for the exam to get the position.
     The negligence of the postal department resulted in the student failing to attend the exam, the court said. Prema Palanisamy said she had sent the application by registered speed post in November 2008 and expected to be called for the exam in January 2009.
     “I applied for the post of telecom assistant in BSNL, Salem, and prepared for the exam,” she said in her petition. “I received a letter from BSNL stating that I could not attend the exam since my application reached them after the deadline. I was upset since this was my last attempt to get the job.”
     When Prema approached the postal department to enquire why her letter had been delayed, she did not receive any proper reply. “I lost an opportunity to get the job I wanted only because of the negligence of the postal officers,” she said.
    In their counter, the postal department said the delay was “beyond the control” of the postal department. Postal officials said the application had inadvertently been dispatched to New Delhi instead of Salem.
Consumer court judge D. Krishnaraja said, “The student has been subjected to mental agony for which she has to be compensated.”
Source : Deccan Chronicle, 
Thursday February 24, 2011

IT Cos look in-house for growth

         BANGALORE: For India's top technology firms focused on the markets of US and Europe, the country's $15-billion-plus domestic market for IT services is the latest battleground. In a year when top markets for software exports are recovering and expected to grow at less than 5%, India's domestic market for IT is set to grow three times faster, mainly on the back of higher government spending on IT and new outsourcing projects from local banks.
         "We will be looking at IT to aid customer acquisition and financial inclusion. The attempt will be to take banking to remote areas using technology services," says Pushpinder Singh, DGM-IT, Bank of India, which plans to spend Rs 600 crore on technology this year. "For some of the contracts, we will continue with existing vendors. We will be evaluating others for new projects," he added.
          Indian government departments and public sector units are going to spend the most on IT this year. The biggest driver for higher government spending on IT and related areas is India's UID project, which according to CLSA Research will lead to $10 billion worth of investments in IT consulting, system integration, and computer hardware over the next five to six years. CLSA sees an $1-billion business opportunity for consultants in the first five years and a need to raise manpower by 15% for their services. Some 18,000 systems specialists and programmers will drive a $2.4-billion pie for integration of UID into existing software systems.
         "As this sets in, business process re-engineering (BPR) activities should pick up, as the full benefits of UID for businesses become clear. We expect 36,000 people to join the BPR wave around UID, creating a $6-billion market over the first five years," CLSA researchers said in their report last year. "Apart from UID, IT hardware growth will get a fillip with $1.1 billion worth of equipment sold to the government and another $1.8 billion of incremental demand from the private sector and government-owned companies," the report adds. What's critical is that vendors like IBM, TCS, Infosys and Wipro see newer opportunities emerging even during a global slowdown in software spending because state-owned enterprises like BSNL and ONGC — and other ministries too — seek to become more efficient.
           Experts tracking this sector say India Post, Indian Railways and LIC will spend $3 billion on information technology this year, and the government's share of total IT spend in India will cross 10% over the next two years from 6% right now. Praveen Bhadada, manager-consulting, Zinnov Management Consulting says: "In the 10th five-year plan (2002- 2007) 0.3% was spent on IT. In the 11th five-year-plan , IT spend increased to 0.5 %. If we extrapolate this, government is going to spend about 2 % on IT. If today, $1.5 billion is spent annually, it could easily go up to $ 7-8 billion over the next three to five years."
          For one, India's department of posts (DoP) is set to spend up to $1 billion on its IT-led business revamp over the next five years with top tech firms like IBM, TCS, Infosys and Wipro pursuing several outsourcing contracts for helping the postal department automate and integrate its business processes with a standard software solution. Accenture is in the process of developing a plan for this revamp. DoP's IT revamp is a classic example of old, legacy systems and software applications being unable to cope with rising operational pressures and newer business models. The department has been using software applications such as Meghdoot — developed in-house — for over a decade.
      With the government seeking to evolve DoP into a well diversified services provider offering postal, insurance and financial solutions across remote parts of the country, there is a need to upgrade the systems. "Indian IT companies will have to improve focus on the domestic market because other markets are slowing down and there are opportunities here," points out Bhadada. Driven by higher IT needs in banks, telecom, education, healthcare and public sector, domestic IT demand is likely to grow almost three times faster than the global IT demand.
         While global IT spend is expected to grow at 5.5- 6 % in FY 2011, the domestic spend is likely to grow at 15- 16% during FY 2011 as against FY 2010. For companies aiming to be more competitive — and those who take on global competitors — the spend on technology locally will expand. Rajesh Uppal, chief general manager, Maruti Suzuki India — who not only oversees IT operations of 15,000-20 ,000 users but also for 1,200 dealer locations and customer-facing IT applications — says that their IT strategy will focus on enabling business goals. "We are in a growth mode. The idea is to ensure all business goals get help from IT. Customer analytics help identify new opportunities with existing customers while finding new customers will be a priority," said Uppal.
         The company, needless to say, has a huge customer base of over 8 million. Nasscom pegs the growth of domestic IT-BPO revenues (excluding hardware) at 16%. According to the recent report, IT services will be one of the fastest growing segments in the Indian domestic market rising by 16.8% to reach Rs 501 billion. Meanwhile, the domestic BPO segment is seen to grow by 16.9 % in FY 2011 to reach Rs 127 billion. The software product segment is estimated to grow by 14% to reach Rs 157 billion, fuelled by replacement of in-house software applications to standardised products. Tamal Chakravorty, CIO, Ericsson India, says the company's IT strategy will be to reduce costs and try out different innovations like extending collaboration leveraging IT and social networks .
      "We will also look at promoting unified communication and trying out some open source platforms in the business process management space," said Chakravorty. Industry watchers say the company, which has about a thousand IT users, two data centres and server farms in India, is expected to spend $30 million this year. Springboard Research predicts that the Indian IT market will grow at a compounded rate of 13.2% between 2010 and 2015, 1.6 times the pace of the GDP growth in the same period.
       "The demand will be driven by banking, manufacturing, telecom, education, healthcare, public sector, energy and utilities ," said Manish Bahl, director India & research operations, Springboard Research. "In terms of size of spending, public sector and banking are quite lucrative. Energy, utility and logistics will see faster growth as they are growing from a smaller base," he added. 
Source: The times of India, February 24, 2011