Friday, June 13, 2014

Government okays salary cap hike for EPF; threshold for savings raised from Rs 6,500 a month to Rs 15,000

Government okays salary cap hike for EPF; threshold for savings raised from Rs 6,500 a month to Rs 15,000

NEW DELHI: Employees earning upto Rs 15,000 a month will soon come under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) net, with the Narendra Modi government approving a hike in the threshold for mandatory PF savings from Rs 6,500 a month to Rs 15,000.

Though the Manmohan Singh government had approved the hike in the EPF threshold this February after years of deliberations, the change couldn’t be notified before the election code of conduct kicked in.
Another UPA decision to assure a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for members of the employees’ pension scheme run by EPFO, in its final weeks in office, was also not notified before the polls.
Ministry officials had sought a fresh approval on the salary ceiling hike from the new minister for labour and employment Narendra Singh Tomar.

“The minister has approved the higher salary ceiling for mandatory EPF savings, and we will issue a notification soon for it to become effective,” said a senior government official aware of the development.

The ministry is also learnt to be examining if the minimum Rs 1,000 pension promise is sustainable.

The finance ministry, which had approved the pension promise with great reluctance and several conditionalities, had only provided funds to finance the bonanza for 2014-15.

At a board meeting in February, officials had warned that the pension assurance may have to be rolled back next year as there was no funding support beyond the first year. But their concerns were over-ruled by the previous labour minister Oscar Fernandes, who was the board’s chairman.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO oversees the retirement savings of over 8 crore members at present and the number could go up sharply as those earning between Rs 6,500 and Rs 15,000 will come under its fold once the new rules are notified and implemented.

The EPFO’s present ceiling for statutory contributions is a mere Rs 6,500 per month – lower than the minimum wage prescribed across the country.

Twenty-four percent of an employee’s salary (up to the ceiling) is mandatorily deducted and parked with the PF office.

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Central Administrative Tribunal suspends promotion of 148 Income Tax inspectors

Central Administrative Tribunal suspends promotion of 148 Income Tax inspectors
TNN | Jun 13, 2014

HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) comprising B Venkateshwar Rao, (member judicial) and Minnie Mathew (member administration) on Thursday suspended the promotions given to 148 income tax inspectors by the IT chief commissioner of AP, Hyderabad.

The bench was dealing with a petition by office superintendents and senior tax assistants of the department challenging the action of the chief commissioner in superseding an earlier order of the Centre.

Dr K Lakshmi Narasimha, counsel for the petitioners, said as per the order of the Centre all the posts of office superintendents, senior tax assistants, and stenographers were merged in a single cadre called executive assistants and promotions had to be effected by taking staff from this new category. He alleged that the chief income tax commissioner ignored the rule and effected the promotions.

The bench noted that the petition was filed on June 2 and the IT authorities sought several adjournments and, during the pendency of the petition, the commissioner convened the Departmental Promotion Committee (DPC) meeting and gave promotions.

Source: The Times of India

Interactive Conference with Secretaries (Pension) of State Governments

Interactive Conference with Secretaries (Pension) of State Governments

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions
12-June-2014 15:40 IST
Interactive Conference with Secretaries (Pension) of State Governments

The Department of Pension & Pensioner’s Welfare held its first interactive Conference with the State Secretaries (Pension) here today with the objective of sharing information, experience and best practices on pension matters.

Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions stated that Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare is working with the vision of ensuring a life of dignity for Pensioners. The goal is to ensure 100% payment of all retirement dues and the delivery of Pension Payment Order to retiring employees on the day of retirement itself. To this end the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has taken a number of steps including review of forms, simplification of procedures and issue of clarificatory instructions thereof etc. An online Pension Sanction & Payment Tracking System called BHAVISHYA has been launched. By ensuring complete transparency, this system would obviate delays in sanction and payment of pension.

In furtherance of what the Prime Minister has been insisting upon, i.e. benefits to reach to all the States and not merely restricted to Centre, the Department of P&PW, for the first time, convened a meeting with Pension Secretaries of State Governments with intention to share experiences and exchange views on common pension related issues and also to impress upon them that the vision of ensuring life of dignity for pensioners, passes on the State government pensioners too.

Invoking PM’s mantra of “Skills, Scale and Speed”, Dr Jitendra Singh, MOS(PP)stated that the Department of Pension should look into the urgent need to utilize the skill and experience of the pensioners for the betterment of the Society. This was specially necessary in view of the increase in the number of retiring employees and increased life span.

Dr. Jitendra Singh further suggested that pre retirement counseling workshops which are being institutionalized by the Department of Pensions for the Central Government retiring employees should also be organized by the State Government for the state employees. Workshops should also be geared to prepare even the younger employees to be ready to face life after retirement. He opined for old and disabled pensioners, there should be a mechanism for delivering pension at the doorstep.

The Workshop was attended by 23 States /UTs. The response of the participants was very enthusiastic and they complimented Secretary (AR& PG and Pensions) Shri Sanjay Kothari for the same. There was a general request for regular interactions of this nature.
Source: PIB

Jammu & Kashmir Employees Retirement Age hiked to 60, on par with Central Government Staff

Jammu & Kashmir Employees Retirement Age hiked to 60, on par with Central Government Staff
During the cabinet meeting of June 3 that was presided over by J&K Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, it was decided to increase the retirement age of state employees from 58 to 60, on par with the Central Government employees.
It is worth mentioning here that the resolution marks the successful culmination of more than 6 years of protests and demands made by various employees unions across the state. There are also talks that the decision was made with the Lok Sabha elections in mind, which are due at the end of this year.
The minimum age limit to qualify for state government employment has also been increased by three years to 40.
A copy of the Government Order in this regard is given here.

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