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Monday, September 1, 2014

Do not keep taxpayers waiting: CBDT to I-T dept

New Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) CBDT has issued strict instructions to Income Tax department officers asking them not to keep taxpayers waiting in their offices for getting their work done as such action bring great "embarrassment" to the government.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the apex policy making body of the I-T department, issued the fresh directives after it recently got a number of complaints from taxpayers and others in this regard.

Government notifies new pension rules to check delays

In a step aimed at checking harassment of government employees in grant of pension, a head of office will now be responsible for any failure to ascertain non-qualifying service period and will undertake preparation of paper work one year before an employee is due to retire. 

According to new pension rules notified by the government, retiring employees will not have to face any delay in determination of pension due to deficiency in application forms and authorities can go ahead with determining the amount of provisional pension and provisional retirement gratuity. 

Till now, employees had to run from pillar to post in many cases to get their service record verified. 

As per new rules, every head of office shall undertake the work of preparation of pension papers in Form 7 one year before the date on which a government servant is due to retire on superannuation, or on the date on which he proceeds on leave preparatory to retirement, whichever is earlier. Earlier, the time period to undertake such work was two years. 

Also, if any portion of service rendered by a government servant is not capable of being verified in the manner specified in rules, then the government servant shall be asked to file a written statement on plain paper within a month, stating that he had in fact rendered service for that period, and shall, at the foot of the statement, make and subscribe to a declaration as to the truth of that statement. 

The head of office shall, after taking into consideration the facts in the written statement admit that portion of service as having been rendered for the purpose of calculating the pension of that government servant, it said. The rules, notified on Friday, also fix responsibility on head of office for failure to verify service records of a retiring employees. The head-of-office is responsible for verifying service book of a government servant in a time bound manner. 

"If at any time thereafter, it is found that the head of office and other concerned authorities had failed to communicate any non-qualifying period of service, the Secretary of the administrative ministry or department shall fix responsibility for such non-communication," the new rules said. 

There are many other provisions in the new rules to remove hurdles faced by a retiring employee or dependent family members (after the employee's death) in processing of pension papers. "If the person eligible for family pension is a minor or is suffering from any disorder or disability of mind or is mentally retarded, the guardian may submit a claim in Form 14 on behalf of such person," the rules said. There are about 50 lakh central government pensioners. 

In cases where the pension papers have been returned to the head of office for eliciting further information before issuing pension payment order, the head of office shall rely upon such information as may be available in the official records, and without delay, determine the amount of provisional pension and the amount of provisional retirement gratuity, it said. "If a government servant is found to have given any incorrect information wilfully, which makes him or her entitled to any benefits which he or she is not otherwise entitled to, it shall be construed as a grave misconduct," the rules said. 

"The head of office shall write to the Directorate of Estates at least one year before the anticipated date of retirement of the government servant who was or is in occupation of a government accommodation for issuing a 'No demand certificate' in respect of the period preceding eight months of the retirement of the allottee," the rules notified by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said. 

Earlier, the time period for writing to the Directorate of Estates was two years.

Source:-The Economic Times

Bureaucrats in a fix over valuing family jewels


For the past few weeks, a senior IAS officer has been trying to convince his wife to share details of all the jewellery she has acquired over the years. But the missus has refused to cooperate, saying she is not covered by the Lokpal or government rules.

"My wife has told me that she does not need to disclose details of streedhan (assets over which a married woman has ownership). I am told others are also facing this problem," he says. Although he initially tried hard to get her around, he has now virtually given up and is now contemplating the next course of action, which may include seeking a clarification from the government.

Alternatively, he will file the new property returns without the jewellery details.

The newly-mandated returns have to be filed before September 15 and should include cash holdings and shares and mutual fund investments by spouse and dependent children. While officers have been filing immovable property returns for the past few years, jewellery is proving to be a particularly contentious issue, and the returns are major talking point in government departments.

Over weekends, some of the officers have been visiting bank lockers to prepare an asset register. In some cases, it is family jewels that have been passed on and quite naturally the weight of the ornaments is not known, forget even the value. One joint secretary-rank officer says he has now bought a weighing scale to help ready the list of jewellery owned by the family.

"We have been getting some stuff from the locker every week, weighing it and replacing it the next weekend. Now it's almost done," he says.

But there are other problems. A secretary, for instance, has got in touch with his batchmate in the income tax department to find out how to weigh 'jadau' sets, which consist of a variety of precious and semi-precious stones which are embedded in gold. The tax department official too didn't have a readymade answer and promised to get back after consulting a valuer.

Another is planning to speak to officers from Uttar Pradesh who had faced a similar issue when the Allahabad high court had issued a ruling a few years ago, which was subsequently quashed by the Supreme Court.

Although most officers are seeing filing the returns as a mere formality, they aren't taking any chances since a delay, they fear, may turn into a reason for denying of promotion. Most officers are ensuring that everything owned by the family is disclosed amid chatter that the "more intelligent ones" may over-invoice the quantity of jewellery they hold, and add to it in the years ahead.

Source:-The Times of India

Five things to know about 'riders' on insurance policies

1. Riders are options that allow a person to enhance the insurance cover, qualitatively and quantitatively.

2. Riders are basically additional benefits that one may buy and add to an existing insurance policy.

3. Riders get terminated once they are used or when the main policy itself terminates. They can be mixed and matched based on one's preference, at a small additional cost.

4. Riders are usually taken at the time of buying an insurance policy. However, they can also be bought during the course of the policy term.

5. Some of the common riders taken are accident and disability benefit, critical illness, hospital cash benefit, and waiver of premium riders.
(The content on this page is courtesy Centre for Investment Education and Learning (CIEL). Contributions by Girija Gadre, Arti Bhargava and Labdhi Mehta.)

Source:-The Economic Times

Amendment to Rule 32, 56-81, Form 5 and Form 14 of CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972

To view please Click Here.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

US Postal Service to issue Akkineni Nageswarara Rao (ANR) stamp

The US Postal Service is going honor legendary Tollywood actor late Akkineni Nageswarara Rao by issuing a postage stamp on his birthday. "It is a rare honor and is the first time that an Indian actor has been accorded this honour," read a note issued by the Akkineni Foundation of America (AFA). The postal stamp will be released in a grand ceremony to be held in Dallas, Texas on September 20th, on Dr. ANR's Birthday to mark this tribute. 

The celebrated actor won the hearts of millions of movie lovers was one of the leading matinee idol's of India who wowed the audiences with stellar performances in films between 50's to 80's. He also played pioneering role in relocating the Telugu film industry to Hyderabad. 

AFA also plans to release the stamp in India at the first "International Akkineni Awards Ceremony" in the presence of ANR family members. The event hosted by AFA will be held on December 17th, 2014 at ANR College, Gudivada, Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh. 

"It's is a rare honour and the first time in the history of the USA that an Indian movie actor getting this recognition. We are thankful to USPS for consenting to our request to issue this postal stamp in remembrance of Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao", Dr.Prasad Thotakura, AFA President said. 

"I am deeply touched and so are other members of the Akkineni family by the issuance of this postage stamp, and I am deeply grateful to USPS for conferring one of America's highest honors to my father Akkineni Nageswara Rao" the legendary actor's son Nagarjuna Akkineni said. "While my father has been cited many times as being among the most adored artiste of all time, the recognition in his being portrayed on a U.S. postage stamp will rank as a great honor. It is certainly a big tribute to Indian cinema and our culture." 

Combining influences from theatre era and the contemporary cinema performances with his own innovations, Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao helped establish tremendous versatility in films — and in doing so, left behind an unforgettable mark on cinema across the globe that will always be remembered for generations to come. 

Akkineni made his debut in films playing the lead actor's friend in the Tamil-Telugu Bilingual 'Dharmapatni' in the year 1941. He was 17 at the time. He was noticed for his performance in folklore based movies and eventually got his first break for the 1950 movie 'Samsaram'. As an actor ANR has played a variety of roles ranging from a charming prince to a valiant soldier to a holy saint, and from a college student to a calm government officer. In mythological role he was a inspiring. 

Akkineni Nageswara Rao was honoured with a number of awards including 3 Filmfares, PadmaVibhushan, Dada Saheb Palke Award, Nandi Award, Kalaimamani and Life time Achievement Awardfrom Telugu Association of North America. 

ANR has acted in over 255 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. A majority of his films were both commercial and critical successes. Apart from being a movie star, ANR was a prolific writer. Some of his prominent books include his autobiographical work, Nenu Na Jeevitham, the memoirs of his first visit to the USA, Nenu Choosina America, and the expression of his thoughts in his book, A Aalu. 

ANR 's final movie project was Manam that saw three generations of the Akkineni family including himself, his son Nagarjuna and grandsons Naga Chaitanya, Akhil in it. The movie is the biggest success of year 2014. The iconic actor bid adieu to the world on Jan 22.

Source:-The Times of India

Should you have 6 meals or 3 meals a day?

Healthy eating and healthy living revolves around having sufficient food (read: a balanced diet!). 

But how many meals should you have per day? Healthy eating is a key component of weight loss and muscle building for those who want to maintain a healthy weight. Our strength and conditioning expert, Arnav Sarkar lays out the benefits of three meals versus six meals. He also tells you when you should have three meals and six meals for optimal health benefits.

As per popular belief "going more than three hours without eating anything would lead to a drop in energy levels, loss of lean muscle tissue, increased fat storing, etc," says Arnav. Hence it was always important to eat every three hours. So, three good meals in a day is a good option since fasting experts reveal that six meals is responsible for body fat and poor hormones.

"One of the major claims for three meals a day being better for fat loss is that it helps to keep insulin and blood sugar levels low and thus bodyfat is lower. In my personal opinion, however, this is where most people make a major mistake. They do not take the total caloric intake into calculation," explains Arnav.

Arnav Sarkar elaborates the benefits of eating 3 meals a day:

Easy to follow in the long term - All offices, schools and colleges give people time to have breakfast, lunch and dinner — meals that you can eat at home. There are also those who do not feel like eating first thing in the morning, and generally do not feel like eating till lunch. If this is the case, then do keep in mind that breakfast does not have be eaten immediately upon waking up. You can eat your breakfast even a couple of hours after waking up. So no need to miss breakfast altogether.

Allows you to eat bigger meals - This is where six meals a day becomes a problem for those who love to eat big and are trying to lose weight. Six small meals never make one mentally feel like they have eaten a meal, they always feel that they are snacking, and thus mentally are always craving for a meal.

Teaches you to control hunger better - In most cases, eating six times a day tends to make one eat more, since they tend to mentally crave food every 2-3 hours whether they are actually hungry or not. So when they decide to eat only three times a day, they slowly start to control their hunger better as they now go longer without food and develop better mental control.

Arnav Sarkar elaborates the benefits of eating 6 meals a day:

Ideal for eating a lot of calories - If you need to eat a lot of calories to gain weight or because you are an athlete who burns a lot of calories, then frequent meals is ideal for you.

Great to follow when trying to consume high amounts of protein - Our bodies were not designed to be able to digest 70-80 gms or more of protein in one meal easily. It's always best for most people to keep protein to about 15-40 gms at each serving, and maybe a bit more for really big guys who exercise a lot.

Great to follow when trying to consume large amounts of carbs.

Helps avoid drops in energy/sugar levels - Some people truly cannot go on for more than 3-4 hours without eating anything and still be able to perform well. For these people, smaller frequent servings work well and help to keep their energy/sugar levels stable.

Arnav has chalked out and elaborated the importance of three meals and six meals; it is up to you to decide what are your needs and which meal will supplement it.

Source:-The Times of India

Govt to increase dearness allowance to 107%, up from 100%

Government is likely to approve a hike indearness allowance (DA) to 107 per cent from the existing 100 per cent, benefiting around 30 lakh central employees and 50 lakh pensioners including dependents.

"The average rate of retail inflation for industrial workers from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 works out to be 7.25 per cent. Thus the central government will hike dearness allowance for it employees by 7 per cent," an official said.

He said the finance ministry will now put a Cabinet proposal for approval of 7 per cent DA hike from July 1 this year as the revised Consumer Price Index-Industrial Workers data for June was released by labour ministry on Saturday.

With increase in DA, the pensioners will also gain as the benefit provided to them as dearness relief will be hiked to 107 per cent of basic pay.

The previous UPA government had increased DA to 100 per cent from 90 per cent with effect from January 1, 2014, on February 28 on the basis of agreed formula for revision of the allowance.

However, the central government employees' union is not very enthused by the 7 per cent hike in the dearness allowance as their long pending demand of merger of DA with basic pay has not been given heed by 7th Pay Commission and the government.

"The erosion of value of wages is unbearable at 50 per cent dearness allowance. Now it will be 107 per cent. It is high time to merge DA with basic pay to provide relief to employees," Confederation of Central Government Employees' president K K N Kutty told PTI.

"We had submitted our memorandum in this regard to 7th Pay Commission. They forwarded it to Central Government. We have apprised about the issue to the newly elected NDA government. But no decision has been taken so far," he said.

With merger of DA with basic pay, the salary and allowances paid in proportion of basic pay are increased. As per earlier practise DA was merged with basic pay once it breached 50 per cent mark. But 6th Pay Commission has disallowed that.

Source:-The Times of India

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Transfer and Posting in Berhampur Region

The following transfer and posting order has been issued vide RO, Berhampur Memo No. ST/11-20/2013/Ch-II dated 27-08-2014.

1 Shri H.S.Mohapatra, ASP(HQ), RMS ‘BG’ Division, Berhampur is transferred and posted as ASP(HQ), Koraput Division, Jeypore(K).

2 Shri Sudhansu Padhi is posted as ASP(HQ), RMS ‘BG’ Division, Berhampur. 

The Securities Laws (Amendment) Act 2014

To view please Click Here.