Saturday, 31 December 2011

Expected Dearness Allowance rise 7% for Central Government Employees from January 2012

Expectations for rise in Dearness Allowance to 7 % for Central Government Employees from January 2012.

Calculation based on All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100

For all the Central Government Employees there would be a rise in DA to 7 %,which would result in the overall rise to 65 % from 01.01.2012

Thursday, 29 December 2011

UP employees to contest polls

Various organisations of Uttar Pradesh government employees have joined hands to contest the Assembly elections in the state.
The newly-formed Lok Karamchari Morcha (LKM) will field candidates in all the nine constituencies of Lucknow and at least one in other districts of the state. The candidates, however, would contest as Independents.
Since serving government employees cannot contest elections, those desirous of contesting the polls will take voluntary retirement from service. “We also have a large number of retired government servants in our organisations and many of them are keen to contest. We will support them as our candidates,’ said a LKM spokesman.
The LKM comprises over a dozen employees’ associations from different sectors including power, banks, railways and other state government departments like education and health.
The LKM has the backing of nearly 17 lakh employees, a number that is sufficient to drift a chunk of votes and change political equations. The Morcha will field nine candidates in Lucknow, which is largely dominated by government officials.
According to Girish Pandey of Hind Mazdoor Sabha, the LKM will field 70 candidates across the state. The Morcha has decided to field J.N. Tiwari, a leader of Rajya Karamchari Sanyukt Parishad from the newly carved out Rampur Karkhana constituency in Deoria district.
Mr A.P. Singh of Bank Employees’ Joint Forum said that the Morcha stands to fight corruption, which has attained huge proportions. “We will support candidates having a clean image and we will support candidates irrespective of their party affiliation in constituencies where we do not have our own candidate,” he said.
Mr Shailendra Dubey, general secretary of All-India Power Engineers’ Association, said that the LKM would also motivate people to exercise their franchise. “Bhrashtachsar ka ek nidaan, sau pratishat matdaan” is our motto. We believe that people can change the scene by voting in large numbers and also instil an element of fear among candidate who will think twice before indulging in corruption,” he explained.
Members of LKM are equally keen to demolish the public perception about government officials and employees being corrupt.
“We are blamed because a handful among us is corrupt. We want to tell the people that not every government employee is corrupt,” said Mr Shiv Gopal Misra, national general secretary of All India Railway Men’s Federation.
Source - Asian Age

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Raise retirement age of judges: Bar association

CHENNAI: The All India Bar Association (AIBA) has demanded increase in the retirement age of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts.

In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister, AIBA chairman Dr C Adish C Aggarwalaand vice-chairman S Prabakaran said the retirement age of the apex court judges should be increased to 68 years from 65, and that of the high court judges should be increased to 65 from 62. The subordinate judicial officers too should retire only at 62 years, and not 60.

The appeal, however, has come with a rider: After superannuating from service, the judges should not take up any responsibility such as heading a commission or tribunal. The memorandum said that every new entrant in the legal profession must work as a law clerk with judges, and students graduating from national law schools should be attached with judges of the Supreme Court with a monthly stipend of at least Rs 40,000.

Source - Times of India

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Unions reject 8.25% proposed by Employee's Provident Fund Organisation

NEW DELHI: Workers' representatives have rejected a lower rate of 8.25% interest rate proposed by the Employee's Provident Fund Organisation on deposits for the current financial year.

While the Finance and Investment Committee, a key advisory body of the retirement fund manager, has said that 8.25% interest for 4.7 crore EPFO members was feasible, trade unions' representatives on the panel said they will not accept the recommendation when the fund's top policy making body, the Central Board of Trustees, meets to decide on the rate on Friday. "Trade union representatives strongly contested the interest calculation and demanded more information. The CBT will not take a decision on the issue till all parties are satisfied," said B N Rai, general secretary, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh.

Trade unions have said interest earned on inoperative accounts and higher interest earnings on all government schemes and deposits should be taken into account while finalising the interest rate. They have also questioned the liability from the previous year calculated by the EPFO and have demanded information on pending accounts that have not been updated.

"FIC is just a sub-committee of the CBT. It cannot decide what the CBT would rule," said D L Sachdev, secretary, All-India Trade Union Congress.

Last year, the EPFO announced a 9.5% interest rate on PF deposits, a percentage point higher than the 8.5% interest announced since 2005-06, using the surplus of an estimated Rs 1,731 crore discovered in the interest suspense account. The EPFO now claims that part reconciliation of all accounts with the surplus fund has revealed a shortfall of Rs 510.43 crore in the interest account.

It, therefore, wants to give a lower interest of 8.25% to the fund's over 5 crore subscribers to make up for the loss. Trade unions don't buy the argument.

They say that interest earned on the inoperative accounts, on which the EPFO has stopped crediting interest, should also be distributed to subscribers as it is workers' money.

There was about Rs15,000 crore in the inoperative accounts in April 2011, a part of which has been withdrawn. "A substantial part of it still remains with the fund and the EPFO has been asked to clearly state how much interest it is earning on it. It could actually increase interest earnings for rest of the subscribers substantially," a member of the FIC told ET.

Since all bank deposits and other government deposits, including post office savings, are earning higher interest rates, there is no reason why PF should get lower interest, labour unions argue.

"We want the government to increase interest on the PF money deposited in special deposit scheme accounts and announce a 9.5% interest rate for PF this year," said B N Rai, secretarygeneral, BMS. The employers want to go along with the EPFO recommended rate of 8.25%. "Employers who have their own PF trusts had to stretch themselves to give 9.5% interest last year. There should be a respite," another FIC member said.
Source - Economic Times

Friday, 23 December 2011

Website of Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha inaugurated


To mark the eleventh foundation day of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, Dr Sayed Ahmad, Honorable Governor, Jharkhand inaugurated its website jharkhandvidhansabha(dot)nic(dot)in on 22nd November 2011 at a glittering function organized in the sprawling premises of the legislative assembly in the presence of an august gathering comprising Shri Arjun Munda, Chief Minister, Shri Chandreshwar Prasad Singh, Speaker, Honorable ministers and Menbers of the assembly.

The Principal secretaries, Secretaries and large number of senior officials of various departments of the government led by Shri Shushil Kumar Choudhury, Chief Secretary, attended the function making the occasion a confluence of the executive and the bureaucracy.
The website developed and hosted by NIC Jharkhand is GIGW compliant and vividly depicts details about the Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha in hindi. NIC officials led by Shri Shahid Ahmad, SIO witnessed the whole ceremony passing off as planned.

Source - nic.in

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Amendment in the Pension Scheme

Pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 is linked with pensionable service and pensionable salary. As per Section 6A of the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, contribution in Employees’ Pension Fund is mandated @ 8.33% of wages which is restricted upto wage ceiling of Rs.6500/- only. However, option is available to the member to contribute at the higher rate than the wage ceiling (i.e. Rs. 6500/-) which entitles him/her for a higher pension.

The Central Government had constituted an Expert Committee for revision of Pension. The Expert Committee submitted its report to the Central Government on 5th August, 2010 and the recommendations of the Committee were placed before the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund [CBT) EPF)] for consideration on 15th September, 2010. The CBT (EPF) directed that the report be first considered by the Pension Implementation Committee (PIC). The PIC has since finalized its report and sent it to Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation for placing before the CBT (EPF) for taking a final decision in the matter in its ensuing meeting.

The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge gave this information in reply to a written question the in Rajya Sabha today.

Source - PIB

Monday, 19 December 2011

Govt to make top-level appointments at PSBs

The government is moving ahead with several top-level appointments in major banks. S Viswanathan, MD of SBI Capital Markets, has been shortlisted to take over as one of the MDs at SBI.

It is believed that Viswanathan is being rewarded for his role in the restructuring of Kingfisher, Air India and the bank recapitalization plans of the government. At IDBI Bank, a government panel has shortlisted Melwyn Rego, one of the youngest EDs in the bank, to take over as a deputy MD. In case Rego's appointment is finally cleared, he will be elevated to the post ahead of six others. In addition to these two appointments, over the next few weeks the centre is also expected to interview candidates to select about 24 EDs for several public sector banks.
Source - Times of India

Dr Reddy’s offers VRS to Mexico arm employees

Hyderabad, Dec 18:
Pharma giant Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) has announced a voluntary retirement scheme for employees of its Mexico subsidiary as part of its cost-cutting measures, according to a top company executive.
The move came after the drug-maker’s successful VRS initiatives in India and Germany this year and last year, respectively.
The DRL CEO and Vice-Chairman, Mr G.V. Prasad, said the VRS scheme is aimed at trimming the overstaffing problem at the company.
“There has been a little bit of overstaffing in the organisation in the previous years. I do not think we have any particular number (extra staff). Wherever we feel overstaffing, we are trimming,” Mr Prasad told PTI on the sidelines of a function at the Indian School of Business here.
Industrias Quimicas Falcon de Mexico SA de CV, the company’s subsidiary in Mexico, had announced an early retirement plan for its employees effective from October 1 to December 31, 2011, DRL said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission recently.
“The company has received applications from the employees and has estimated that the impact of the plan will not be material to operations when the company concludes the plan,” the filing said.
DRL acquired its Mexico plant from Roche in 2005 for $59 million, along with 18 products, including mature APIs and a range of intermediates and steroids.
At the time of acquisition, the plant had an employee strength of nearly 340 people.
Last year, DRL reduced its workforce in Germany to around 80 from 200. The move was aimed at reducing costs in tune with revenues from that country.
In June, the company had announced a VRS scheme for its Indian workforce, which comprises nearly 14,000 employees, and allotted Rs 13.6 crore toward the total programme.
It had completed the VRS process as of September 30, 2011, after rejecting certain employees’ applications.
An amount of Rs 4.20 crore has been recognised as termination benefits under the VRS till the end of the second quarter.

Source - Business Line

Air India Express offers pilots 1lakh 'hardship allowance'

NEW DELHI: After losing 49 pilots this year due to nonpayment of salaries, Air India is now pulling all stops to retain the ones who are still in its wings. Air India Express is offering to pay Rs 1 lakh extra per month to commanders who are willing to be posted in non-metro cities in south India. This move comes on the heels of the management signing a deal with Indian Airlines pilots for giving them fix pay of 72 hours' flying irrespective of the actual time spent in air to partly meet their demand of pay parity with AI pilots.

AI Express has offered a "hardship allowance" of Rs 1 lakh per month for commanders who opt for postings in cities like Kochi, Mangalore, Kozikhode and Trivandrum. The move, say sources, was necessitated after yet another strike-averting deal the management signed with AI pilots for bringing them back to the parent company from the LCC. Under the new agreement , commanders and copilots working on deputation in AI Express from AI will be sent back to the parent company after flying in the LCC for 1,500 and 2,000 hours, respectively.

"AI Express has 100 commanders and as many co-pilots . Of them, 44 commanders and 60-odd co-pilots would start returning to AI as per the new agreement. We need commanders and co-pilots for our flights. So this hardship allowance of Rs 1 lakh should be able to attract talent from even the private Indian carriers. After all, a jump is not very common in today's environment but we are doing it out of necessity," said a senior official.

AI Express runs almost like a subsidiary of AI with almost all the LCC's departments being controlled by the parent company. Despite safety concerns, the government is yet to give it the semblance of a distinct company from AI with its own viable operation team.

Pilots of both AI and Kingfisher are a disgruntled lot due to the poor financial condition of their airlines because of which timely payment of salary has become a dream. Kingfisher, say pilots, is worse off as it has been deducting tax at source from payment made earlier but has allegedly not given the form 16 to employees and so the tax authorities are now seeking the TDS from employees.

"In some other country, people running any company, forget an airline, would have been dealt with strictly for breaking rules like deducting TDS but not depositing them with the authorities . But here anything goes," said a pilot.
Source - economic times

Sunday, 18 December 2011

With polls round the corner, retirement age raised in UP

Press Trust Of India
Lucknow, December 17, 2011
In a bonanza for Uttar Pradesh employees ahead of assembly elections in the state, the Mayawati government on Saturday decided to raise the retirement age of regular employees under the public enterprise from 58 to 60 years. 
It also took a decision to grant three assured career
promotions on completion of 10, 16 and 26 years of service, an official release said here.
The state government employees would get their second promotion on completion of 16 years of service instead of 18 years earlier, it said.
The time-period of 10 and 26 years for first and third promotions would continue as before, the release said.
A decision was also taken to amend the grade pay for the clerical staff which would put an additional burden of Rs 555 crore on the state exchequer, it said.
Source - Hindustan Times

You just can’t strike now

NAGPUR: Disrupting public life by striking work will be even more difficult in future. The state legislative assembly on Saturday approved the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act, 2011 (MESMA). 

The new Act permits government to penalize employees striking work in any service, post, employment or class which in its opinion would adversely impact public life or maintenance of services essential to the community. 

Previously, employees of public transport services, services connected to supply of gas and electricity, public health and sanitation, government and semi-government staff were covered under the earlier form of the Act which expired on May 26, 2010. These services were identified as "essential services". Employees of such services were not permitted to strike work. 

While retaining these services in the new Act, the government has extended its ambit to other services, posts, employments or class where a strike would result in "grave hardship to citizens". The government has retained the power to prohibit lockouts, layoffs, and strikes in such establishments. 

Employees resorting to "illegal" strikes could face a six-month jail term and a fine of Rs 2,000. Besides this, the government has also included provisions, which permits it to prosecute those lending financial support to such strikes. People found commencing a strike or instigating employees towards it could face a one-year jail term and/or Rs 2000 in fine. The government has said that the law will only be an enabling measure. 

Interestingly, despite the wide ranging impact of the provisions of the Act, there was hardly any discussion on the bill. With most legislators keen to return to their own constituencies for the weekend, only a handful of legislators were present in the house, when the bill was put up for approval. Even Speaker Dilip Walse Patil was not on the chair. 

BJP legislator Devendra Fadnavis did question certain "blanket" provisions in the act. "Certain provisions are extremely stringent and could encourage stifling of the voice of even sections of employees protesting rightfully." Another BJP legislator Girish Bapat echoed his views. 

The participation of legislators - from both the ruling and treasury benches - remained low even during approvals granted for three other bills on Saturday. Even those legislators who had opposed certain bills were not present. 

One of the bills dealt with provisions to permit a switch-over of employees from the civic to the state cadre. The second one dealt with dispensing off of a condition for inviting suggestions and objections from the public before elevating the status of the municipal council to that of a municipal corporation. 

The last one was regarding waiving off a ten-year period and conferring permanent status to agriculturists. This would facilitate them and their heirs to purchase agriculture land. 

A contentious bill related to grant of powers to the municipal commissioner to forcibly evict tenants on corporation premises marked for repairs, renovation, and reconstruction faced opposition. Discussion on it will again take place when house resumes on Monday.

Source - Times of India 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Group C govt employees out of Lokpal's ambit

NEW DELHI: After agreeing to inclusion of Group C government employees within the ambit of Lokpal, the standing committee on law and justice examining the bill recommended its exclusion from the proposed ombudsman's jurisdiction.

The standing committee, which completed its work on Wednesday after deliberating on various points contained in the draft Lokpal bill, had asked BJP, Left and other members to submit their dissenting notes to the panel.

Members, therefore, were surprised when they were told about another standing committee meeting on Thursday evening. Group C category, accounting for 57 lakh, is the largest component of central government employees and have a direct interaction with people in general. It is corruption at the lower bureaucracy level which affects the common man the most.

Exclusion of this category at the last moment, therefore, saw members of BJP, Left and Samajwadi Party crying foul. "If Opposition members felt Group C had been included in yesterday's (Wednesday) meetings, that's their point of view. Wait for the report,'' Singhvi told newspersons after the panel's meeting. The meeting, which lasted about two hours, saw BJP MPs tabling their dissent on as many as 18 recommendations.

They included exclusion of Group C employees, omission of the prime minister from Lokpal's ambit till the time he demits office, maintaining status quo on CBI, citizen's charter, grievance redressal mechanism and protection of whistleblowers.

Left members too expressed reservations on these points and were planning to submit their dissenting notes on Monday. SP, BJD and AIADMK also expressed dissent on a few recommendations. The last meeting of the standing committee, headed by Congress Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi, saw members deliberating on the fate of Group C employees and the status of CBI.

Opposition members on the panel are also said to have resisted the draft legislation's recommendation on the status of CBI. Contrary to the views expressed on the issue by Team Anna, which had sought the agency's bifurcation by chipping away its anti-corruption wing and placing it under the proposed ombudsman.
Source - Economic Times

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Opposition supports Mamata government to pass the WB State Health Service (Amendment) Bill

KOLKATA: Opposition Left Front on Wednesday supported Mamata Banerjee's government to pass the West Bengal State Health Service (Amendment) Bill, 2011 in the state Assembly, but at the same time staged a walkout in protest against the speaker Biman Banerjee's refusal to give a ruling on an ordinance passed by the government on May 27 this year for the purpose of recruiting teachers for the medical colleges.

"We have supported the Bill. But we sought a ruling from the speaker about an ordinance promulgated by the government on May 27. Even though the ordinance was promulgated on May 27, the government did not bother to inform the House about it. It is mandatory for the government to inform the House about any ordinance it promulgates to carry out emergency government work. But this government has not informed the House about the May 27 ordinance even though several sessions of the House were held after the ordinance was enacted. This is a gross violation of constitution and we sought a ruling from the speaker on this issue. But he had refused to give the ruling and we had no option but to stage the walk-our," opposition leader Surjya Kanta Mishra told reporters on Wednesday.

Wednesday's Bill was passed mainly to recruit teachers for the medical colleges in the state. The ordinance brought by the government was also promulgated for the same purpose. But the opposition Left parties were aggrieved because of absence of the chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the House as she also runs the health portfolio. Mamata had assigned the public health engineering (PHE) minister Subrata Mukherjee to table the Bill in her absence.

Mishra also told reporters that "the chief minister often skips the Assembly proceedings. She was not present in the House today even though the Bill belongs to her department. She took charge of the government on May 20 this year and enacted the ordinance on May 27. But she did not inform the House about it even though her government is in power for the past six months. We sought a ruling from the speaker on this issue because he is the custodian of the House."

Mishra also urged the government to take over a private medical college in Haldia under East Midnapore district which was set up at the initiative of the former CPIM MP from Tamluk, Lakshman Seth. The Medical Council of India (MCI) has recently cancelled the registration of the medical college.

"The government is saying that it wants medical colleges at every district. The medical college at Haldia has its own land, buildings and necessary infrastructure. The government has every right to take over the private medical college and I urge the government to consider the issue," Mishra told the House while taking part in the discussion on the Bill. He also said that the ESI (Employees State Insurance) had tried to set up a medical college and as far as I know they have more than Rs 7500 crore in their possession. But they are not getting the land and necessary infrastructure for the purpose. The government might consider ESI's plea for setting up a medical college," Mishra told the House.

But the PHE minister Mukherjee has turned down Mishra's plea. "The MCI has cancelled the registration of Haldia medical college. What the state government will do with such an institution ?," asked Mukherjee, giving a clear hint that the government has no intention to take over the college.

Mukherjee also announced in the House that the state government will give a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the families of those who died at Sangrampur in South 24-Parganas district after consuming illicit liquor on Wednesday. "I have received a call from the chief minister just now who has asked me to announce about the government's decision to pay the compensation to the families of those who died today," Mukherjee told the House.
SOURCE - Economic Times

Strike likely to disrupt BSNL service tomorrow

Bangalore, December 13, DHNS;
Customers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will be affected on Thursday when more than 2.75 lakh BSNL employees from across the State will go on strike.

Gundanna C K, the convenor of the Joint Action Committee, said here on Tuesday that about 92 million mobile users and 29 million landline-users could expect disruption of services on the day of the all India strike, in protest against lack of co-operation by the Centre in promoting the telecom service provider. The customer care centres, which oversee payment of bills, sale and recharge of SIM cards, will be closed, he added. He said 18,000 executives and non-executives from the Karnataka Circle, and another 8,000 from the Bangalore Circle will extend their support to the strike.

Some on the top management, in cahoots with private operators, have been delaying procurement of material to the State-run telecom company, which has led to decline in its popularity among people, the BSNL JAC, Karnataka Circle alleged.

While private players have recorded high growth globally over the last five years, the BSNL has suffered losses due to the nexus between the management and the private telecome providers, the committee members said.

“The delay in calling for tenders to place significant orders for BSNL equipment have have affected us” they added.

They have also opposed the voluntary retirement scheme, immediate repatriation of ITS non-optees, handing over charges to absorbed executives, withdrawal of existing medical benefits and leave travel concession enhancement among others.

Their main demand was improving infrastructure by immediately procuring material, including cables, GSM equipment, broadband modems and data cards.

Source - Deccan Herald

Citizen charter bill for better service tabled

BANGALORE: The state government took a major step towards providing good governance by tabling a bill which ensures that citizens get prompt service from the administration.
It introduced the Karnataka Guarantee of Services to Citizens Bill, 2011, to ensure timely delivery of services. States like Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Jammu & Kashmir already have such laws.
The bill covers 90 different services in 11 key departments -- rural development, urban development, food & civil supplies, women & child development, transport, education, health & family welfare, revenue, energy, medical services and finance.

Source - Times of India

2012 to bring more public holidays for govt employees

KOLKATA: Let's be blunt. If you like a job with lots of holidays and vacations, the Bengal government is your employer of choice. But if you are looking at investing in Bengal, then you better remember that Writers' Buildings and other state government offices will be shut on as many as 24 weekdays during 2012.
So, while the corporate sector will remain in business on many of these 24 days and contribute to the nation's GDP growth, companies seeking the state government's clearance for new investment proposals can forget about their files moving on all these public holidays. Bengal falls just one short of Tamil Nadu's 25 days to share the top spot of states with the most public holidays.

Soource - Times of India

Reporting of vacancies in the Personal Assistant (PA) grade of CSSS for the Select List Year-2010.

No.7/1/2010-CS-II(C)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions
Department of Personnel and Training
3rd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan,
Khan Market, New Delhi-110003
Date: 13th December, 2011.
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: Reporting of vacancies in the Personal Assistant (PA) grade of CSSS for the Select List Year-2010.
The undersigned is directed to say it has been decided with the approval of competent authority to fill up the vacancies in the PA grade of CSSS for the SL year-2010 on the basis of SSS Rules, 1969 which provide that Select List of Steno Grade ‘C’ shall be made in the ratio of 1 (SQ): 1 (LDCE) : 2 (DR).

2. It has been observed that some Cadre Units have already intimated the vacancies in the PA grade of CSSS for the SL year-2010 to this Department as per the CSSS Rules, 1969. A list indicating the names of the Cadre Units from where the intimation regarding vacancies in the Personal Assistant (PA) grade has not been received is given in Annexure to this O.M. These Cadre Units are requested to furnish the requisite information in the enclosed proforma to this Department positively by 23.12.2011 so that the vacancies for LDCE quota of PA grade may be intimated to the SSC for declaration of result of Steno Grade ‘C’ LDCE-2010.
3. In case, the vacancies are not furnished in the prescribed proforma or not furnished by the stipulated date, no vacancy will be taken into account subsequently and no candidate will be nominated to the Cadre Unit concerned.
sd/-
(Kiran Vasudeva)
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India
Source -  www.persmin.nic.in