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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Government to Launch A New Program of Financial Inclusion in Mission Mode to Provide Households with Facilities of Savings, Credit, Remittances, Insurance and Pension: FM

The Union Finance Minster Shri Arun Jaitley said that the Government is going to launch a new program of Financial Inclusion in Mission Mode which will provide households with facilities of savings, credit, remittances, insurance and pension among others. He said that this is a marked shift from earlier effort where only opening of account was the focus of the financial inclusion drive. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was speaking after holding a meeting with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Financial Institutions(FIs) here today. 

The meeting was attended among others by Shri G.S. Sandhu, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India, Ms. Snehlata Shrivastva, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions and senior officers of Ministry of Finance. 

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley further said that this time the Government is targeting the individual households rather than the village. He said that there are 7.5 crore households in the country who do not have bank account so far. The Finance Minister said that the Government is targeting that every village should get a banking facility within a reasonable distance and that every household should have at least one bank account within the time frame of one year. This is a big challenge and there are several difficulties like lack of connectivity and infrastructure facilities etc, the Minister added. 

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that in our country where we have very low levels of financial literacy, it is essential that people understand the importance of availing financial services which will enable them to participate in the growth story. Therefore, financial literacy will receive a special emphasis in this new programme of financial inclusion, the Minister added. 

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that technology has made rapid strides in recent times and, therefore, the Government must use technology, especially mobile based services in a big way to achieve the desired results. The Government has integrated provisions of access to banking facilities, account opening, financial literacy, credit availment, micro insurance and pension, the Minister added.
The Financial Inclusion Mission has two phases starting from 15thAugust this year. The first phase will get over by 14thAugust, 2015 and the second Phase by 14thAugust, 2018. Most of the activities will be done in Phase – I and insurance and pension would be covered in Phase – II. 

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that the primary method of branchless banking has been that of the Business Correspondents. It is therefore important to ensure that the Business Correspondents have a viable business model and for this purpose Government has decided to encourage transfer of subsidies directly to bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley added that the previous efforts did not involve the State Government and District administration. He said that this time the State Governments have been requested to achieve this ambitious task. There would be State level and District level Committees to monitor the progress under the plan, the Minister stated. 

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley said that there was no pull factor in the earlier campaign where people could demand access of banking facilities in their villages. He added that under the Mission, there would be awareness generation amongst the people so that they can ask for opening of their bank accounts by the banks and the business correspondents.  

The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley stated that in the past, the Know Your Customer (KYC) process was very cumbersome. This has now been eased and the e-KYC facility has been introduced in the banks.  

Comparison between Old Financial Inclusion Programme and New Programme

Old Program
New Program
Village based approach for  villages where population greater than  2000 (Limited Geography)
Households in all villages
Only Rural
Both Rural and Urban
Mobile BC
Fixed Point BC in each SSA comprising of 3 to 4 villages. This visit other villages in the SSA on fixed days.
Focus on opening of Basic Savings Bank Deposit Accounts (BSBDA)
Focus on Financial Literacy, opening of BSBDA Account, Convergence with other subsidy schemes& Micro Insurance/Pension, RuPay Debit Card, USSD Scheme, Kisan Credit Card
Monitoring by banks
Monitoring Mechanism at Centre, State, District level. Active participation of state and district emphasized.
Operation of Accounts offline; separate server.
Accounts on line ‘on CBS of banks. Provision of RuPay Card to each account holder giving him freedom to operate anywhere


            Besides above, the following decisions were also taken in today’s meeting of the CEOs of Public Sector Banks and Financial Institutions which was chaired by the Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley. 

New emphasis on fixed point Business Correspondents (BCs) like  

·       Common Service Centres (CSCs)

·     Gramin Dak Sewak

·       PDS shops

·       NBFCs  

·        Banks to explore the possibilities of installing ATMs in rural areas under the RBI subsidy scheme.

·        Convergence with the efforts of UIDAI to enroll beneficiaries for Aadhar number during account opening

·        Convergence with the efforts of other programmes for SHGs/JLGs

·        e-KYC to be used for opening of accounts in the camps where Aadhaar number is available

·        Financial Literacy material would be standardized by IBA

·        Logo / tagline of the plan to be used on all correspondence material for one year

·        Overdraft facilities would be after satisfactory operation.

·        Grievance redressal cell at State level by State Level Banker’s Committee(SLBC)

·        In order to ensure viability of BCs Banks would start a financing scheme

·        Banks would take Micro ATMs which are Aadhar enabled

·        All passbook based KCCs to be enabled on RuPay card

·        Mobile wallet cash points also to be used as BCs

·        Monitoring mechanism strengthened

·        State Governments requested to depute an officer to SLBC for monitoring purpose

Source : PIB Release, 31.07.2014

Measures Against Inhuman Practices

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment 

31-July-2014 17:14 IST
Article 17 of the Constitution of India has abolished “Untouchability’’, its practice  in any form forbidden and  enforcement of any disability arising out of “Untouchability’’ is an offence punishable in accordance with law. In pursuance of this Constitutional provision, the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 was enacted and notified on 08.05.1955. Subsequently, it was amended and renamed in the year 1976 as the Protection of Civil Rights {PCR} Act, 1955. The PCR Act prescribes punishment for the enforcement of any disability arising from the practice of untouchability.  

Section 3 of the PCR Act, inter-alia, specifies punishment for preventing any person on the ground of untouchability from entering any place of public worship which is open to others professing the same religion. 

Likewise Section 7A of the PCR Act, inter-alia, specifies punishment for compelling  any person, on the ground of  “untouchability”, to do any scavenging or sweeping or  to  do  any  other  job  of  a  similar  of  nature.   

            As per the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, the subject matter of offences under the PCR is allocated to the Ministry of Home Affairs. As per the data of National Crime Records Bureau(NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, 87 number of cases were registered under the PCR Act  during 2013 and their  State/UT wise number is indicated as under:- 

Sr. No.
Number of cases
Andhra Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
A & N Islands
            An Act of Parliament viz, the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 which came in to force with effect from 06.12.2013, provides for the prohibition of employment as manual scavengers. Section 5(1) of the aforesaid Act specifically stipulates that no person, local authority or any agency shall, after the date of commencement of the Act, construct any insanitary latrine or engage or employ, either directly or indirectly, a manual scavenger, and every person so engaged or employed shall stand discharged immediately from any obligation express or implied, to do manual scavenging. 

This information was given by the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Sudarshan Bhagat in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha here today.

Timelines and check list for processing of the proposals for appointment/extension/non-extension/ additional charge to a Board level post in CPSU requiring the approval of the ACC - regarding.

Treatment of period of Leave towards minimum residency period for in-situ promotion under Flexible Complimentary Scheme.

Non-Functional upgradation for Officers of Organized Group A Services in PB-3 and PB-4.

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

Process of Empanelment Before Appointment

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

31-July-2014 13:09 IST

Empanelment is a pre-requisite for appointment to the Central Staffing Scheme posts of Joint Secretary, Additional Secretary and Secretary in the Central Government. Empanelment is not required for appointment to the post of Under Secretary at the Centre. The process of empanelment is transparent. However, since empanelment is not a promotion, no Departmental Promotion Committee is required to be set up.

The guidelines in regard to the empanelment have been placed on the DOPT’s website (under OM & Orders>Establishment Officer> Circulars relating to Empanelment). The empanelment process involves assessment of ACR dossiers by Experts Panels comprising retired Secretary level officers, which have been constituted with the approval of the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet(ACC). After assessment by the Experts Panel, all relevant records are placed before the Civil Services Board (CSB)/Screening Committee of Secretaries (SCOS).

Keeping in view the grading of the officer, consideration norms applicable for empanelment under the orders of the ACC, such as the general reputation of the officer, the types of assignment handled, the variety of experience exposed to and vigilance status, the CSB/SCOS makes recommendation regarding empanelment to the ACC. Once the ACC approves empanelment, approval is conveyed to the Cadre Controlling Authority and also uploaded on the Department’s website.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, MoS (PPG&P) gave this information in Rajya Sabha today in a written reply to a question by Shri Ramchandra Prasad Singh. 

Review of Administrative Process

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

31-July-2014 13:11 IST
Instructions have been recently issued to all the Ministries/Departments stressing the need to ensure improved work culture and work environment in Government offices suggesting various course of actions. This includes amongst others (a) effective and timely resolution of public grievances; (b) identifications and repeal of rules or processes and archaic Acts; and (c) to encourage use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in submission of information.

The 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) had made certain recommendations regarding re-defining the Collectors’ role, as many schemes/programmes are being executed through the Collectors. The recommendations of 2nd ARC have been sent to all the State/Union Territory Governments.

As a part of the institutional mechanism, a Committee has been set up under the chairpersonship of Chief Secretary/Administrator to review and monitor the implementation of reforms. Further, in order to sensitize officers of All India Services about the recommendations of 2nd ARC on the issues like ‘Citizen Centricity’, ‘Equity’, ‘Ethics’, ‘Primacy of Law’ and ‘Accountability’, the Central Training Institutes have been asked to conduct training programmes at the induction and mid-service level.

This was stated by Dr. Jitendra Singh, MOS(PPG&P) in a written reply to a question by Shri Husain Dalwai in Rajya Sabha today. 

Awareness Programme Under Pensioner’s Portal

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

31-July-2014 13:49 IST
The Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions is implementing a web based mission mode project on pensions namely Pensioner’s Portal under the National e-Governance Plan. Under the project, the Department has Centralized Pension Grievances Redressal and Monitoring System (CPENGRAMS).

The Department is proposing to conduct the next such Awareness Programme for Pensioners at Hotel Surya Place in Vadodara on Aug 02, 2014. The mobilization of the pensioners will be done in association with Kendriya Nivrutta Karmachari Mandal and Baroda Central Pensioners’ Association, Vadodara which is the identified pensioner’s Association under the Pensioner’s Portal.

The basic objective of the project is to facilitate redressal of Pensioners’ Grievances as also to provide information and guidance to pensioners on various pension and retirement related matters. User Ministries/Departments, Pensioners, Banks, CGA, CPAO, Post Offices etc. are the stakeholders in this venture aimed at welfare of the Pensioners.

With a view to providing know how about the operational aspects of this Portal and the Grievances Redressal Mechanism in particular, the Department of Pensions is conducting Awareness Programme at stations other than Delhi. So far 10 such programmes in various States for Pensioners/Pensioners’ Association who are major stakeholders.

Soon, a 75% hike in monthly pension for ex-MPs

Sitting MPs, who have received routine hikes to keep up with inflation, currently get a salary of `50,000 per month. The additional perks and allowances include Rs. 45,000 per month as constituency allowance, Rs. 2,000 daily if he attends parliament and Rs. 30,000 for secretarial assistance, among other things.

Former MPs, whose pensions were last revised in 2009, may now see a hefty hike in their retirement benefits. Government sources told HT that the monthly pension for ex-MPs is likely to go up to Rs. 35,000 a month from Rs. 20,000 a month — a 75% hike.
A major breakthrough in pensions for ex-MPs came under the first NDA government, led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee when they introduced pension for all MPs irrespective of their tenure.
Earlier, only MPs who had completed a 5-year term were entitled to post-retirement benefits.
The Modi government is also set to increase the rate of additional pension for each completed year in excess of five years. The centre is considering additional pension of Rs. 2,000 per month instead of the current rate of Rs. 1,500.
In other words, if a parliamentarian has served for seven years, he or she will get monthly four thousand additional pension on the top of his basic pension of Rs. 35,000.
Parliament’s nod is required to enhance the former MPs’ pension. Government sources added that the legal amendments will be brought in the winter session after inter-ministerial consultations.
In sync with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s thrust on welfare of women, the definition of “dependents” for family pension will also include divorced or widowed daughters of former MPs.
The government is also mulling the option of providing family pension for a much longer period of time after the MPs demise.
The pension for former MPs was introduced during the tenure of Indira Gandhi — Rs. 3,000 per month — but only for those who completed a term in Parliament.
In 2009, UPA government enhanced it to Rs. 20,000 per month.

Promotion of STS officers of Indian Postal Service (IPoS), Group "A" to Junior Administrative Grade (JAG) on ad hoc basis and their postings.

Appointment of Information commissioners in the Central Information Commission

Civil List of Officers of Indian Postal Service Group-A as on 01.06.2014

'Employees using social media before making any career move'

NEW DELHI: Social  media is proving to be an important bridge between an employer and its staff   as an increasing percentage of employees are using this medium before making any   career move, says a Kelly Services report.

The advent of online talent  communities and online job boards not only helps companies to find the right  talent, it also helps employees to have more information about their preferred  places to work.

Hiring tools like online talent communities and and online job boards help employees make better decisions and at the same time  help employers identify outstanding talent at a time when many employees may not  be actively pursuing a Job change.

"The arrival of digital and online  communications has opened up a plethora of conversations about work and the  workplace. Employers now have a number of avenues to attract the most compelling  talent and to convey information about their businesses as preferred places to  work," Kelly Services India & Malaysia Managing Director Kamal Karanth said.

This has made it possible to identify and engage passive job seekers who may be   open to the right job  at the right time, Karanth added.

According to Kelly Global Workforce Index ( KGWI), social media and online tools are  being used as a vital determinant in deciding job for a potential candidate. 

"With changing mindsets and perceptions, more online talent communities  have sprouted and employees also seen to be more eager now to learn about company details,  workplace, reputation before applying for a job and at the same time get access  to job opportunities along with trusted industry information," Karanth said. 

In the Financial Services & Insurance Sector 37 per cent of employees have been part of  online talent communities which has become a primary source to exchange  intelligence and share latest industry updates.

Moreover, in the Indian   life sciences sector also 65 per cent employees use social media in making a  career or employment decision

Re-appropriation proposals-adherence to the principles of financial propriety

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Payment of Postage on Bill Mail Service (BMS) /National Bill Mail Service (NBMS) in advance i.e. at the time of posting of articles at identified offices by Government Organizations and Publlic Sector Undertakings (PSUs)


Performance Related Incentives

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

30-July-2014 16:52 IST

Government of India has accepted in principle the recommendation of the Sixth Central Pay Commission for introduction of a Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS) in the form of pecuniary benefit over and above the regular salary, based on the targeted performance and performance parameters, out of the Non-Plan budgetary savings, for the Central Government employees.

All the recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission were discussed with all stakeholders, including employees’ unions, before Cabinet approval.

Dr. Jitendra Singh MoS (PPG&P) gave this information in Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question by Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab and Shri Sanjay Dhotre. 

Officials with Doubtful Integrity

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

30-July-2014 16:55 IST
As a measure of preventive vigilance and following the guidelines laid down by Ministry of Home Affairs vide its Memorandum No. 105/1/66-AVD dated 28th October 1969, every year, CBI prepares the list of officers/officials of doubtful integrity. For this, CBI does not consult/coordinate with Central Vigilance Commission. More information sought for being secret in nature, cannot be disclosed in public interest.

In order to ensure timely investigation and better conviction rate, in so far as CBI is concerned, Government has taken various measures for improving the functioning of the CBI which, inter alia, includes modernization of CBI, improvement in training, infrastructure, improving conditions of work and employment of staff, rigorous monitoring of investigation by CBI & CVC, etc.

76 new Special CBI Anti Corruption Courts are functioning across the country to dispose of PC Act trial expeditiously. To improve the conviction rate, the Government has created additional posts of Public Prosecutors, training of Public Prosecutors, modernization of CFSL, etc.

Other steps taken in the recent past to effectively combat corruption include:-

(i) Enactment of Right to Information Act, 2005;

(ii) Enactment of Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act, 2013;

(iii) Issue of comprehensive instructions on transparency in tendering and contracting process by the CVC;

(iv) Issue of instructions by the CVC asking the organizations to adopt Integrity Pact in major Government procurement activities; State Governments have also been advised to adopt Integrity Pact in major procurements;

(v) Introduction of e-Governance and simplification of procedures and systems;

(vi) Issue of Citizen Charters;

(vii) Ratification of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2011;

(viii) Placing of details of immovable property returns of All Members of the All India Services and other Group ‘A’ officers of the Central Government in the public domain;

(ix) The Whistle-blowers Protection Act, 2011 (No. 17 of 2014);

Dr. Jitendra Singh MoS (PPG&P) gave this information in Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question by Shrimati Rama Devi and Shri Chandrakant Khaire. 

Safety at Workplaces

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment
30-July-2014 16:22 IST
The Minister of State for Mines, Steel and Labour and Employment, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai has said that the Government has framed a comprehensive legislation i.e. the Factories Act, 1948 for taking care of the occupational safety, health & welfare issues of the workers employed in factories /manufacturing sector including the ship breaking yard. Under Chapter-IVA of the Factories Act, 1948, there are elaborate provisions, for the hazardous process industries:
The provisions are:
41A: Constitution of the Site Appraisal Committee: 41B: Compulsory disclosure of the information by the occupier; 41C: Specific responsibility of the occupier in relation to hazardous processes;
 41D: Power of the Central Government to appoint enquiry Committee;
41E: Emergency standards; 41F: Permissible limits of exposure of chemicals and toxic substances;
41G: Workers participation in safety management;
41H: Right of workers to warn about imminent danger.
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today, Shri Vishnu Deo Sai has said that the enforcement of the provisions of the Act and Rules framed thereunder are carried out by the respective State Governments /Union Territories through their State Factories Inspectorates/Directorates.
            The Minister said that State Government of Gujarat has reported that various hazardous workplaces including the ship breaking yard at Alang has violated labour rights under the Factories Act, 1948 in the State of Gujarat. During last three years, 84 prosecutions have been launched by the State Government against 62 factories for the violation of different provisions of the Factories Act, 1948. 
He said that a study on impact of glass wool in ship recycling activities at Alang (Gujarat) was carried out by the Directorate General Factory Advise Service and Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) in 2012. The Study has observed that suitable engineering measures should be adopted to reduce the personal exposure of workers from glass wool during insulation removal and collection. Use of personal protective equipment, good personal hygiene and effective medical surveillance of the workers should be introduced to protect the health of the work force involved in ship recycling activities for glass wool handling. The major recommendations of the study include:-
(i) The work of glass wool removal is not stationary in nature in ship recycling yards. It is, therefore, suggested that Portable Local Exhaust Ventilation system may be introduced to capture glass wool dust/fibres generated during ship recycling activity.
(ii) It may be ensured that workers involved in glass wool handling should be provided with personal protective equipments.
(iii) Protective clothing gets contaminated with glass wool and should be changed as necessary.
(iv) In addition, exposed workers should shower the eyes and body at the ends of the work shift before changing the clothes.
(v) Hazards information and precautions for handling of glass wool should be displayed in the ship recycling units on prominent places in the language commonly understood by the workers.
(vi) The workers involved in the glass wool handling should be trained about the safe methods of handling of glass wool, occupational health, personal hygieneand use of personal protective equipment etc. at periodic interval in the language commonly known by them.
 (vii)  House-keeping in the ship recycling units should be improved and maintained in good condition. The glass wool as soon removed from the surface/equipments/pipelines should be collected and disposed in prescribed manner. If glass wool left unattended on the floor its fibres/dust will disperse in the work environment and will affect the health of the workers.
(viii) The workmen should be subjected to meticulous Premedical, Periodic medical examination using special diagnostic tests as provided in State Factories Rules.
(ix)   Cases or Suspects of Occupational Lung Disease detected at any stages during the course of employment and during medical examination must be notified in the prescribed form to the Chief inspector of Factories of the State of Gujarat as required under State Factories Rules.
The Minister said that Government has notified a Ship Breaking Code on 23.03.2013 which, inter-alia, covers provisions for management of Hazardous Wastes, Workers Safety and health aspects at Shipbreaking yards. Further, following steps have been taken to protect the safety of the employees of such hazardous factories/industries including the ship breaking yard in Alang, Gujarat.  
(i)        Personal Protective Equipments are provided to the workers.

(ii)      All pressure vessels, lifting tools and tackles and dangerous machines are regularly tested by the competent persons.

(iii)    Confined space entry certificate is issued before any entry in to the confined space of vessel/ship.

(iv)    Qualified safety supervisors are being employed in hazardous factories/ship breaking yard.

(v)      Mock drills are carried out for enhancing awareness.

(vi)    Adequate firefighting facilities are available at hazardous factories.

(vii)  Asbestos removal from the ship at Alang is carried out by approved agencies with due care of safety precautions.

(viii)Pre-employment and periodical medical examinations of workers are carried out. Self-breathing apparatus are provided where necessary and first-aid boxes are kept at different locations of the factories.