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Sunday, 3 January 2016

Central Government employees taking leave on Jan 1, 2016 may face cut in salary revision

Central Government employees taking leave on Jan 1, 2016 may face cut in salary revision

New Delhi: It is bitter bill that the Central Government employees will have to swallow if they take leave on January 1, 2016.

As per the 7th Pay Commission Recommendations, taking leave on 1-1-2016 will affect the effective date of pay revision. The notification says that pay revision will be effected from 1st January 2016 only for those who are present on duty on 1st January 2016.

A Department of Para Military Forces has also informed its officials that if an employee goes on leave on 1st January 2016, the increased pay will be effected only from the date of which such employee resumes duty and not from the first of January 2016.

Hence the Central government employees planning to go on leave to celebrate New Year day or for any other reasons on 1st January 2016, have to re think about their decision.

Its advisable to check with their departments about the impact on revision of pay if they avail leave on 1st January 2016. If the department has announced January 1, 2016 as a holiday, it will be better to report to work the next day.

Source : Zee News
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1.5% Extra Growth Needed to Grant Wage Hikes – Jaitley


1.5% Extra Growth Needed to Grant Wage Hikes – Jaitley

“In the coming year, there would be a burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore of Seventh Pay Commission, OROP (one rank, one pension) burden is also there. That burden can be sustained only when there is increase in economic activity.”
1.5% Extra Growth Needed to Grant Wage Hikes – “We need to increase our growth rate. We have to at least increase it by 1-1.5 percent”.
The government is ready to have a dialogue with the trade unions on wage increases, but the country needs to grow by an extra 1-1.5 percent so that it can sustain wage hike and other benefits given to workers and the poor, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.

“Our GDP growth of 7.5 percent is at a time when the world is experiencing global slowdown. We need to increase our growth rate. We have to at least increase it by 1-1.5 percent,” he said at a felicitation function organised by the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh.

“In the coming year, there would be a burden of Rs 1.02 lakh crore of Seventh Pay Commission, OROP (one rank, one pension) burden is also there. That burden can be sustained only when there is increase in economic activity. Because of increased economic activity, government revenue and resources will go up,” the finance minister said.

Noting that wages or bonus can only be increased when the government and private sector have the required resources, Jaitley said the minimum wages of labour should, at the least, be respectable and allow for inflation.

He asked the BJP-affiliated BMS to support the growth-oriented policies of the government, which will, in turn, take care of all their reasonable demands.

Source: Business Standard
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7th Pay Commission – Leaves Army out in the Cold – The US defence budget is more than 4% of their GDP while that of India is less than 2% of the GDP

7th Pay Commission – Leaves Army out in the Cold – The US defence budget is more than 4% of their GDP while that of India is less than 2% of the GDP

The 7th Pay Commission has submitted its report to the government recently. The repercussions of the report are now being felt on government finances. The Railways have, as per reports, requested the finance ministry to bear the additional cost arising out of recommendations of 7th CPC. Similarly, there are reports that the Budget will need adjustments to accommodate recommendations of the 7th CPC.

The elite Indian defence forces (EIDF), consisting of the Army, Air Force and Navy, explicitly continues to be unsatisfied with the CPC recommendations. The Army has some genuine grievances which can be fixed without substantial fiscal implications. The disciplined soldiers of Indian defence forces have exhibited exemplary courage in defending our borders.

In addition, in times of every national calamity, they have also excelled in civilian duties. The defence forces in India, are also an example of national integration, to be emulated by others.

It is important that soldiers and officers of EIDF enjoy a special status among defence forces, the way the Indian Administrative Service continues to enjoy supreme status, in comparison to other civil services. If India has to emerge as a global super power, it will need fighting-fit EIDF.

Interestingly, some of the grouses of EIDF are easily addressable and seem minor in terms of costs to the government. The US defence budget is more than 4 per cent of their GDP while that of India is less than 2 per cent of the GDP. It is acknowledged by the 7th CPC that the army is short by nearly 22 per cent of officers, which amounts to substantial savings in the Budget.

Similarly, the Air Force and Navy are also short of officers. Officers account for less than 5 per cent of defence personnel, and curtailing their food allowance in those times when they are not in hardship postings would not lead to any significant savings in the fiscal deficit. Rather it would only create hardship for officers when they are undertaking war training for months together, away from family.

In such war-like locations, ensuring private food supply to such officers would probably imply higher costs than savings in curtailing food allowance.

Similarly, it needs to be recognised that promotion avenues at senior level are very few in EIDF. A large number of officers stagnate at different levels in the Army and many of them get superseded, not because of incompetence but medical reasons arising from harsh border conditions.

Therefore, compensation and allowances for stagnating solders should factor such extreme conditions to ensure that they stay motivated. Also disability pension of the solders needs to be related to the nature of the disability rather than be a fixed amount.

The reward system of the British Army needs to be closely examined. Indian soldiers were happily fighting for the British in alien lands. The award of land and handsome pension attracted many a youth to a career in defence services. This is in sharp contrast to the present situation where EIDF, despite so-called lucrative compensation, are short of officers.

Hence, curtailment of salaries, pension, and allowances for EIDF may not be a correct strategy to correct the fiscal deficit. The need is to ensure that soldiers are secure, so that they can focus on safeguarding our borders.

Source: Business Line
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Budget 2016: Assocham demands income tax exemption to Rs 2.5 lakh, re-introduce standard deduction

Budget 2016: Assocham demands income tax exemption to Rs 2.5 lakh, re-introduce standard deduction

New Delhi: Industry body Assocham demanded an increase in income tax exemption ceiling for salaried people to Rs 2.5 lakh and and re-introduce standard deduction for salaried employees to boost consumption in the upcoming Budget.

The income tax exemption ceiling at present is Rs 1.5 lakh.

“And re-introduce the concept of standard deduction for salaried employees who can then give a boost to consumption demand and boost economic growth,” Assocham said in a release.

Besides, Assocham has also pitched for revision of the deduction of interest on housing loans to at least Rs 3 lakh from the existing Rs 2 lakh and a similar limit be set for principal loan repayment from Rs 1 lakh at present.

Explaining the rationale for its demand for standard deduction, it said the salary of the employees has gone up moving along with inflation and other cost factors.

“So in order to benefit the salaried employees, the standard deduction should be reintroduced as one-third of salary or Rs 2,00,000 whichever is less”.

It has also suggested a depreciation allowance for salaried tax-payers in line with professionals.

Assocham said the deduction of depreciation is allowed under the head ‘Business and Profession’. No tax benefit is accrued to the salaried employees when they add assets. Though the assets get depreciated when owned by an employee, tax laws do not recognise this.

Moreover, to help salaried employees, it has suggested for leave encashment exemption limit for tax calculation to be raised to Rs 10 lakh.

“The current limit of Rs 3 lakh was notified by the CBDT way back in 1998 and needs to be raised substantially,” Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said.

Further, it has also asked for re-fixing of monetary limits under HRA/transport allowance and children education.

For the salaried employees, transport allowance is presently exempt from tax up to Rs 800 per month which should be raised to Rs 3,000 per month, it added.

Assocham pre-Budget memorandum to the Finance Ministry Arun Jaitley also suggested that a provision may be made in the Income Tax Act that any expenditure incurred by an employee for education of under-privileged children by making payment directly to a recognised school should be allowed as deduction from salary income up to Rs 1,000 per month for maximum of two children.
Inputs with PTI
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Ex-servicemen meet FM Jaitley, seek changes in OROP notification

Ex-servicemen meet FM Jaitley, seek changes in OROP notification

New Delhi: A delegation of ex-servicemen on Sunday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and submitted a memorandum seeking “corrections” in the One Rank One Pension (OROP) notification, as their protest on the issue entered the 203rd day.

“A five-member delegation met the Finance Minister and told him that the actual OROP has not been granted.

The notification issued has serious flaws and we requested him for corrections in it and granting of actual OROP as per the approved definitions,” retired General Satbir Singh said.

“The minister has assured us that he will speak to the Defence Minister about our demands,” he added.
A group of 100 ex-servicemen including those from Haryana, Punjab, UP and NCR area also protested outside Jaitley’s residence and then moved to Jantar Mantar.

“For last 6 months, our ex-servicemen are protesting at Jantar Mantar demanding OROP which has been passed by both Houses of Parliament. But the government has been neglecting our demands again and again. It is our request to give us our real OROP,” Arif Ali Khan, one of the protesters, said.

“We had given a notice to the government 21 days ago that we have been protesting peacefully so far. But we have been forced now to go beyond Jantar Mantar. We will now resort to blocking traffic, train and roads if they remain deaf to our demands. We will also disrupt Parliament if need be”, he said.

Another veteran Lieutenant Kameshwar Pandey said, “we feel cheated as this is not the real OROP what government has promised. A proper parliamentary procedure must be followed to make any amendments. We just want the government to refrain from such manipulations”.
PTI
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Cabinet approves release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019

Cabinet approves release of an additional instalment of DA to Central Government employees and DR to Pensioners, due from 1.1.2019   ...

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