Saturday, June 18, 2016

Oral Orders not followed by written confirmation -reg : Directorate Order

DOPT SEEKING OPINION ON GRANT OF PAID WEEKLY OFF TO ALL CASUAL WORKERS FOR SIX DAYS WORK

Indian Railways' worker unions are preparing for nationwide strike from July 11

This strike will be the biggest ever. We do not want a strike because of its negative impact on the nation and the industry but it is the last resort. We are ready to face all consequences,” Shiv Gopal Mishra, general secretary of the All India Railwaymen Federation (AIRF), told this newspaper. “We have no political intentions and do not want a direct fight with the establishment but the government must talk to us responsibly.”


A rail ministry spokesperson did not respond to an e-mail seeking comments on the issue of a strike threat. IR's previous national strike was in May 1974, with participation from 1.7 million workers. It went on for around 20 days before it was suppressed.

The unions are demanding improving the minimum wage of Rs 18,000 per month for workers as computed by the seventh pay commission to around Rs 26,000 and rejecting all the “retrograde” recommendations of the panel. Another is to scrap the NPS and restoring the earlier one for railway workers. The government had last year set up a committee headed by the Cabinet secretary to look at the demands. “We have had at least two meetings with the committee. They do listen to us but cannot negotiate with us. The workers’ frustration is increasing,” said Guman Singh, president of the other union, National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR).

The other demands include scrapping the report of the Bibek Debroy committee report on mobilisation of resources, given last year, and withdrawing the notification that allowed Foreign Direct Investment into the sector. Unions allege the government has not looked at their demand for exemption from the NPS favourably, despite letters written by former railways minister Mallikarjun Kharge and the current one, Suresh Prabhu.

Prabhu had in a letter to finance minister Arun Jaitley in November last year said there was strong merit in reconsideration of the unions’ proposal to exempt railway workers appointed on or after January 2014 from the purview of NPS, unions said.

They'd earlier threatened to go on strike from April 11 but withdrew that decision after the Cabinet secretary-headed panel sought three months. The unions had on June 9 given a strike notice to the general managers of all the railway zones and heads of production units, based on a strike ballot conducted in February this year in which 95 per cent favored a strike. The unions are now chalking out a plan of action for protests till July 11.

Both NFIR and AIRF believe their protest has gained strength, with employees of other central departments joining against the pay panel’s recommendation. NFIR general secretary M Raghavaiah is also chairman of the National Joint Council for Action for all central government employees.
The latter had last week said the government’s response to the charter of demands given by government unions in December 2015 was disappointing and casual.

He said the organizations representing the 3.2 million central employees - Railways, Defence, Postal, Income Tax, Central Customs & Excise etc - had decided decision on 3 June to go on indefinite strike from 11 July.

Time schedule for Limited Departmental Competitive Examination for LGO's

India Post Payment Bank

Appeal From Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister Of Communication & IT, In Connection With India Post Payment Bank - English Version 

CBI probes misappropriation of over Rs. 1 cr in HPO

Sleuths of Central Bureau of Investigation have launched an enquiry into alleged misappropriation of public money to the tune of over Rs. 1 crore at the Head Post Office (HPO) here. The postal department has placed seven employees, including the prime suspect, a woman, and two Assistant Post Masters, under suspension.
After the department officials exposed the fraud in May and referred the case to the CBI, a seven-member team from the anti-corruption wing visited the HPO on Tuesday and completed the first phase of investigation on Wednesday. They verified the records and raided the premises of an agent.
Sources told The Hindu that the CBI officers had taken some records. The team questioned the husband of the prime suspect, a businessman, while avoiding questioning her as she was pregnant, the sources said.
The CBI officers also raided the premises of Lalitha, who had been a savings account agent at the HPO for more that two decades and believed to have collided with the main suspect. The officials seized some money and savings account passbooks from her premise, the sources said.
As the post of Superintendent of Post Offices for Karaikudi division was vacant for about three months, the department deputed the Senior Superintendent of Post Offices, Virudhunagar, to assist the CBI team for two days, the sources added.
Investigation is said to have revealed that the prime suspect and others misused the software for core banking, kept alive savings bank accounts of five account holders, who offered to close down them, and showed credit in the accounts, but did not deposit the amount.
The head office grew suspicious after a huge amount was “credited” into the accounts towards interest and verified the accounts when the fraud came to light. The main suspect, an MCA graduate who had joined the service as Postal Assistant in 2011, had been committing the fraud since 2014, they said.
She had committed the fraud after office hours, using the user ID and passwords of her colleagues who were in CBI net, the sources said. After making fake deposits into the accounts, she would withdraw the money through her benamis.Advance bail
Meanwhile, the prime suspect obtained anticipatory bail from the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, the sources said.
The Postal department has placed seven employees, including the prime suspect, under suspicion

First time in 48 years, PPF rate could fall below 8%

Public provident fund (PPF), a popular small saving scheme, is generally sold through post offices. 

NEW DELHI: For the first time since the Public Provident Fund was established in 1968, the interest rate on the government-managed saving scheme could fall below 8%. Interest rates on small savings schemes, including the PPF and the Senior Citizens' Saving Scheme, are linked to the government bond yields and are revised every three months. The last interest rate revision on 19 March saw the PPF rate being cut 60 basis points from 8.7% to 8.1%. 

Now, given that the average 10-year benchmark bond yield has been nearly 7.5% between March and May, analysts believe the rate for PPF could be cut to 7.75%. "The PPF rate is 25 basis points higher than the 10-year benchmark bond yield. So it could be revised to 7.75% for the next quarter," says Manoj Nagpal, CEO of Outlook Asia Capital. If the PPF rate is indeed cut by 25-35 basis points, this would be the first time that the scheme will give less than 8% in its 48-year history. 

However, some experts believe that despite the decline in bond yields, the government will not cut the small savings rate in this quarter. "Given the furore over the rate cut in March, the government may not want to alienate the middle class before the assembly elections in 2017," says a mutual fund manager. 

Analysts point out that even if rates are cut, the PPF would still be a good investment due to the low consumer inflation. Though consumer inflation edged up to 5.76% in May, the PPF will still deliver 2% real rate of return. "PPF offers tax-free returns. It should be the instrument of choice for those in the highest tax bracket," says Mumbai-based financial advisor Amol Joshi. 


If interest rates on small savings schemes are cut, senior citizens will be the worst hit. The interest rate of the Senior Citizens' Saving Scheme was reduced from 9.3% to 8.6% in March. It could now recede to 8.25%. An investment of Rs 10 lakh earned them a quarterly pension of Rs 23,250 till last year. Now it will pay only Rs 20,625