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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Government Sets 5-Day Timeline for 80% Service Tax Refund

Government Sets 5-Day Timeline for 80% Service Tax Refund

New Delhi: Seeking to fast-track service tax refund to exporters, the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on Tuesday fixed a timeline for 80 per cent payment of the total amount claimed.

“On the receipt of the document… in respect of the pending case, the jurisdictional deputy/assistant commissioner… will make a provisional payment of 80 per cent of the amount claimed as refund within five working days of the receipt of the documents,” a CBEC circular said.

The move will speed up sanction of the refund accumulated CENVAT credit to exporters of the services, it added.

It is also clarified that the decision to grant provisional payment is an administrative order and not a quasi-judicial order and should not be subjected to review.

This payment of 80 per cent of the refund shall be purely provisional based on the documents above and without prejudice to the department’s right to check the correctness of the claim in terms of the relevant notification, it said.

On the CBEC move, Nasscom said the circular has reiterated granting 80 per cent upfront refund within a week and the balance 20 per cent on scrutiny of applications.

This is applicable to service tax refund claims filed under Rule 5 of the CENVAT Credit Rules, 2004 (CENVAT Rules) on or before March 31, 2015.

“This scheme is applicable to cases that have not been disposed of so far. A claimant on submission of statutory auditor certificate certifying refund eligibility in the prescribed format and an undertaking to repay with interest in the case of refund adjustment, will receive 80 per cent refund amount within five days,” it said.

Source: NDTV
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PM visits 1965 war memorials in Punjab; spends Diwali with officers and jawans of the Indian Armed Forces

PM visits 1965 war memorials in Punjab; spends Diwali with officers and jawans of the Indian Armed Forces

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today visited three memorials in Punjab which commemorate some of the spectacular successes of the Indian Armed Forces in the 1965 war.

The Prime Minister visited the Dograi War Memorial, and the Barki War Memorial. The battles of Dograi and Barki were decisive successes achieved by the Indian Army during the 1965 war.

The Prime Minister visited Asal Uttar, the site of one of the biggest ever tank battles, where the Indian Armed Forces achieved a major victory. The battle of Asal Uttar is remembered for the heroics of Veer Abdul Hamid, who was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra. The Prime Minister paid homage by laying a wreath on the memorial of Abdul Hamid.

The Prime Minister greeted and interacted with officers and jawans of the Indian Army and Air Force, at Dograi War Memorial, Barki War Memorial, and Air Force Station – Halwara.

The Prime Minister said that everyone wishes to spend Diwali with his or her family, and therefore, just as he had visited Siachen last year, he has chosen to spend Diwali with the officers and jawans of the Armed Forces this year as well. He said that as this year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, he has chosen to visit locations where the brave soldiers of the Indian Armed Forces had shed blood and made the supreme sacrifice during that war.

The Prime Minister said that the long-pending issue of One-Rank, One Pension has been resolved, and it has been granted.

PIB
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Ministry of Railways Undertakes an Exercise of Rationalisation of Computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS)

Ministry of Railways Undertakes an Exercise of Rationalisation of Computerised Passenger Reservation System (PRS)

The Exercise to Benefit Railway Passengers with Additional Booking Facilities

The Booking of Reserved Tickets on PRS Counters as well as on Internet (E-Ticket) Becomes Available Even After the Preparation of Reservation Chart

The Provisions of Rationalization Exercise Hasto Come into Effect from 12th November, 2015 (Thursday)
In a significant move to provide additional booking facilities, Ministry of Railways has undertaken an exercise of rationalization of Computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) with a view to enable passengers to buy tickets even after the preparation of reservation charts. These new provisions will come into effect from 12th November, 2015. The rationalization exercise will also facilitate implementation of revised refund rules (notified recently) which will also become effective from 12th November, 2015. Under this exercise, sufficient time gap will be provided to passengers between preparation of charts and departure of train so that they can plan journeys properly.


The following are the advantages of rationalization of computerized Passenger Reservation System : -

a) Reservation charts will invariably be made at least 4 hours before the scheduled departure of the train and in case if the same are not made by the charting section, the system will automatically finalise them 4 hours before the scheduled departure of train(w.e.f. 18th November 2015). This will facilitate passengers to know the status of the ticket to plan their journey well in time. (this may be referred as the first reservation chart)

b) Immediately after preparation of first reservation charts, the reservation will again become open at the PRS counters as well as on internet (e-ticket) and the passengers can:-
  • Book the available accommodation in the train for full/partial leg of the journey, in case there is no RAC/waitlist for that leg.
  • In case of passengers holding RAC/waiting list ticket, the passengers will be given facility to cancel the ticket up to 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of train. This will facilitate the passengers, particularly partially confirmed passengers, to decide either to undertake the journey or to cancel their ticket.
c) A second (and final) chart of reservations will be made available before departure of train and handed over to onboard ticket checking staff.

This exercise will ensure optimum utilization of train accommodation as well as enhanced earnings.

d) For the present, the condition for printing of first reservation charts at least four hours before departure of train shall be applicable in case of train originating station.

Under the above mentioned rationalization, the passengers can book / cancel / modify the tickets even after the preparation of first reservation chart but only upto 30 minutes before the departure of train across any PRS Counters as well as on internet (E-ticket) as per extant provision of Refund Rules. In case of e-tickets where after preparation of first reservation charts, passengers had the option to only file online Ticket Deposit Receipt and to request for refund, now will have the facility to modify/cancel the partially confirmed ticket and get refund electronically. Passengers holding PRS counter ticket / I-ticket will now be saved from the botheration of going only to current reservation counter at the journey originating station to book / cancel / modify ticket after the preparation of first reservation chart as per refund rules. They can now go to any PRS counter. Additionally, the facility will continue to be available at current reservation counters, wherever required. Later, this facility is also proposed be made available at some designated UTS counters at stations for which the work is under progress.

PIB

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Behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier

Behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier

Vasco Da Gama: The behaviour of ex-servicemen protesting the notification on OROP scheme is “unlike that of a soldier” and they have been misguided, India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday, a day after the war veterans decided to return their medals

He termed one rank, one pension (OROP) decision as his biggest achievement in the last one year and said it was the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government that had finalised the measure.

“This is unlike a soldier. Whoever are still protesting despite the announcement are being misguided,” he said
Parrikar said that if there are any grievances, the ex-servicemen can present their case to the judicial commission that will be set up for this purpose

He had on Monday said that everyone has a right to make a demand in democracy but not all demands can be fulfilled

The government had on Saturday formally notified the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme for over 24 lakh ex-servicemen and six lakh war widows in the country. The notification is more or less in line with what Parrikar had announced on September 5

However, it has dropped the contentious proposal to exclude ex-servicemen who had sought premature retirement from the ambit of OROP. But the armed forces personnel who opt to get discharged on their request would henceforth not get OROP benefits

“It will be effective prospectively,” according to the notification.

The notification does not include the demands for an annual equalisation of revised pension, for pegging the pension to the maximum of the current pensioners, and for appointing an expert commission with serving military personnel and ex-servicemen representatives

Ex-servicemen who have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi since June, have rejected the notification.

PTI
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Observance of All India protest day on 19th November 2015 – NJCA

Observance of All India protest day on 19th November 2015 – NJCA

NJCA
National Joint Council of Action
4, State Entry Road, New Delhi – 110055
No. NJCA/2015
November 10, 2015
All Members of NJCA

Sub:- Observance of All India protest day on 19th November 2015

Dear Comrade,
All of you may recall that the NJCA in its meeting held on 30th September 2015 in Delhi after considering the delay in submission of the report of the 7th CPC as also broadly taking stock the speculating and detail deliberations, unanimously decided to defer the proposed Indefinite General Strike of the Central Government Employees till next Budget Session and symmetrically it was also resolve to observe 19th November 2015 as Joint Nation wise protest day to all the country to press upon the Government of India to resolve the long pending legitimate demands of all the Government Employees.

All of you are therefore accordingly requested to take all necessary steps to jointly observe protest day on 19th November 2015. As per decision taken by the NJCA in the said meeting the member of the NJCA shall stage one day Dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on the said day.

Charter of Demands
1. Effect wage revision of Central Government employees from 1.12014 accepting the memorandum of the staff side JCM; ensure 5-year wage revision in future; grant interim relief and merger of 100% of DA. Ensure submission of the 7th CPC report with the stipulated time frame of 18 months; include Grameen Dak Sewaks within the ambit of the 7th CPC. Settle all anomalies of the 6th CPC.
2. No privatisation, PPP or FDI in Railways and Defence Establishments and no corporatisation of postal services;
3. No Ban on recruitment/creation of post.
4. Scrap PFRDA Act and re-introduce the defined benefit statutory pension scheme.
5. No outsourcing; contractorisation, privatization of governmental functions; withdraw the proposed move to close down the Printing Presses; the publication, form store and stationery departments and Medical Stores Depots; regularise the existing daily rated/casual and contract workers and absorption of trained apprentices;
6. Revive the JCM functioning at all levels as an effective negotiating forum for settlement of the demands of the CGEs.
7. Remove the arbitrary ceiling on compassionate appointments.
8. No labour reforms which are inimical to the interest of the workers.
9. Remove the Bonus ceiling;
10. Ensure five promotions in the service career.
Report of the protest may be forwarded to this office accordingly.
With best wishes for Diwali, Chat, Bhai Duj and Guru Parv.
Comradely yours,
(Shiva Gopal Mishra)
Convener
Source: Confederation
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EPFO Likely to Announce Interest on PF for 2015-16 on Nov 24

EPFO Likely to Announce Interest on PF for 2015-16 on Nov 24

After RBI cut interest rate by half a percentage point in September end, finance ministry had said that it will review rate of interest on small savings scheme.

Retirement body EPFO is likely to announce interest rate on PF deposit for 2015-16 at its trustees’ meeting on November 24.

“The proposal for fixing rate of interest on PF deposits for 2015-16 is likely be discussed and approved in the 209th meeting of EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT) on November 24, 2015,” a source said.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had provided 8.75 per cent interest on PF deposits for 2013-14 and 2014-15.

Speculation are rife that interest rate on savings schemes can come down in view of interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India earlier this year.

Lowering of interest on rates on savings scheme will help government to nudge banks to bring down lending rates.

After RBI cut interest rate by half a percentage point in September end, finance ministry had said that it will review rate of interest on small savings scheme.

These schemes include Post Office Monthly Income Scheme (MIS), Public Provident Fund (PPF), Post Office Time Deposit Scheme, Senior Citizen’s Savings Scheme, Post Office Savings Account, and Sukanya Samriddhi Accounts.

“It has also been decided that the government will undertake a review of small saving interest rate also,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said.

However, fixing the interest on EPF solely depends on the EPFO’s apex decision making body CBT headed by the Labour Minister as the body provides rate of return from its own income.

Once the rate of interest is decided and announced by the CBT, it is sent to the Finance Ministry for concurrence. The latter approves the proposal if EPFO has sufficient income to provides the proposed rate of interest on PF from its income during the year without any shortfall.

After the approval of Finance Ministry, the rate of interest is notified and credited to the accounts of over five crore subscribers of the body.

Apart from rates of interest, the CBT may also take up two separate proposals to allow its subscribers to pledge their future PF contribution to buy low cost houses and to reduce administrative charges from 0.85 per cent to 0.65 per cent of basic wages.

These two proposal for housing and reduction of administrative charges paid by employers were on agenda for discussion in last meeting of CBT held on September 16.
EPFO had reduced the administrative charges from 1.10 per cent of basic wages to 0.85 per cent in March this year. The further reduction to 0.65 per cent will help companies save around Rs 2,000 crore annually.

Source: The Economic Times
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One Rank One Pension (OROP) to the Defence Forces Personnel: Latest MoD orders published on 7.11.2015

One Rank One Pension (OROP) to the Defence Forces Personnel: Latest MoD orders published on 7.11.2015

12(1)/2014/D(Pen/Pol)-Part-II
Government of India
Ministry of Defence
Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare
New Delhi Dated 7th Nov 2015
To
The Chief of the Army Staff
The Chief of the Naval Staff
The Chief of Air Staff

Subject: One Rank One Pension (OROP) to the Defence Forces Personnel

In view of the need of the Defence Forces to maintain physical fitness, efficiency and effectiveness, as per the extant Rules, Defence Service personnel retire at an early age compared to other wings in the Government. Sepoy in Army and equivalent rank in Navy & Air Force retire after 17/19 years of engagement/service and officers retire before attaining the age of 60 years i.e. the normal age of retirement in the Government. Considering these exceptional service conditions and in the interest of ever vigilant Defence Forces, the pensionary benefits of Ex-Servicemen have accordingly, over time, been fixed.
2. It has now been decided to implement “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) for the Ex-Servicemen with effect from 1.07.2014. OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the Defence Forces Personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement, which, implies bridging the gap between the rates of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals.
3. Salient features of the OROP are as follows:
i. To begin with, pension of the past pensioners would be re-fixed on the basis of pension of retirees of calendar year 2013 and the benefit will be effective with effect from 1.7.2014.

ii. Pension will be re-fixed for all pensioners on the basis of the average of minimum and maximum pension of personnel retired in 2013 in the same rank and with the same length of service.

iii. Pension for those drawing above the average shall be protected.

iv. Arrears will be paid in four equal half yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment.


v. In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 years.

4. Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 13(3)1(i)(b),13(3)1(iv) or Rule 168 of the Army Rule 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively.

5. The Govt. has decided to appoint a Judicial Committee to look into anomalies, if any, arising out of implementation of OROP. The Judicial Committee will submit its report in six months.

6. Detailed instructions relating to implementation of OROP along with tables indicating revised pension for each rank and each category, shall be issued separately for updation of pension and payment of arrears directly by Pension Disbursing Agencies.

7. This issues with concurrence of Finance Division of this Ministry vide their ID No. MoD (Fin/Pension) lD No.PC to10(11)/2012/Fin/Pen dated 07 November 2015.
8. Hindi version will follow.
sd/-
(K. Damayanthi)
Joint Secretary to the Govt. of India
Click to view the order – MoD orders for One Rank One Pension on 7.11.2015
Authority : http://www.desw.gov.in/
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