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Have money, won’t spend

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Indian Military Veterans

Written by Sushant Singh | March 3, 2015 8:32 am
 Budgetary space for big-ticket acquisitions will be limited. Capital allocation of Rs 31,481 crore for air force means signing amount needed for Rafale deal isn’t budgeted for.
In a clear indication of where our national security priorities lie, the only post-budget question put to the finance minister was about the one rank one pension (OROP) scheme for the veterans. The OROP is an emotive issue, and with the prime minister himself having promised to implement it, expectations of an announcement in this budget were understandably high. The finance minister reiterated his commitment to implementing the OROP, stating, “The methodology of calculating one rank, one pension is an issue pending between the services and the defence ministry”.
Veterans are worried because they have been promised the OROP a few times now, only to be let down. They realise that whatever the methodology, keeping the OROP promise would need money, which would have to be allocated in the budget. The budget for defence pensions has been increased by Rs 4,500 crore to Rs 54,500 crore for the coming year. This increase, much less than the estimate of Rs 8,400 crore required to implement the OROP, is sufficient only to maintain the status quo.
But the non-provision of funds for the OROP is not the biggest concern about the defence budget. That would be the government’s failure to spend last budget’s allocation of Rs 2,29,000 crore in the current year. The revised estimate of Rs 2,22,370 crore means that the defence budget was underspent by Rs 6,630 crore. And the spending shortfall under the capital head — meant for buying weapons and military platforms — was even greater, at Rs 12,623 crore. It means that the defence ministry transferred another Rs 6,000 crore from the capital head, that is, from money meant for buying weapons and military equipment, to the revenue head for routine running expenses.
In recent years, the defence ministry has regularly returned funds from the capital budget. Under UPA 2, in 2012-13, Rs 11,600 crore was the amount returned to the government. From 2005-06 to 2007-08, under UPA 1, Rs 2,400 crore, Rs 3,500 crore and Rs 4,300 crore, respectively, were returned by the defence ministry. It was in keeping with trends witnessed during NDA rule, where Rs 8,900 crore, Rs 7,700 crore, Rs 9,300 crore and Rs 5, 200 crore were returned from 2000-01 to 2003-04. This was supposed to change under the new defence minister, but such hopes have been betrayed.
The defence ministry’s inability to spend allocated funds is even more striking when you realise that a large portion of this capital budget is already booked for “committed liabilities”. These are the items for which the contracts have already been signed and money paid over the next seven to 10 years. In the current continued…


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Parrikar tells ex-servicemen one rank-one pension as good as

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Indian Military Veterans




Written by Pranav Kulkarni | New Delhi | March 3, 2015 3:55 am
 

Disappointed with “One Rank, One Pension” policy not finding any mention in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s Budget speech, a delegation of Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday.
 
Parrikar is said to have told the delegation that “One Rank, One Pension” is “considered approved”, which is why it was not mentioned in the Budget speech. In its maiden Budget in July last, the NDA government had made a provision of Rs 1,000 crore towards its implementation.

A five-member delegation of retired officers met Parrikar on Monday and according to the note Parrikar “advised that there was no need to cover this issue in Budget” as it “stands approved by the Parliament” in 2014.

According to the note, the One Rank, One Pension “file has been prepared and is in process for approval from Ministry of Finance. After approval of the file from the Finance Minister, it will be put up for approval before CCPA (Cabinet Committee for Political Affairs)”.
Speaking after the Budget, Jaitley had said, “The methodology of calculating the One Rank, One Pension is an issue pending between the Services and the Defence Ministry.”

Source : http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/parrikar-tells-ex-servicemen-one-rank-one-pension-as-good-as-approved/

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Amarinder accuses BJP of betrayal on one-rank-one-pension issue

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Indian Military Veterans
Deputy leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh on Monday accused the BJP led NDA government of the worst betrayal with the ex-servicemen of the country by not granting their long pending demand of “one rank one pension.” He regretted that the Finance Minister had skipped the matter so conveniently that it shattered the hopes of about 30 lakh ex-servicemen across the country.
Through a statement here Capt Amarinder said that contrary to expectations generated by an earlier commitment by the Defence Minister Manohar Parikar that the OROP will be settled as the modalities were being worked out, the matter found no mention in the budget. The Congress leader disclosed that the Defence Minister had given a written assurance, on the matter, before the budget.
Capt. Amarinder alleged that the dilly-dallying on the issue betrayed the intentions of the government. “I am surprised that despite having assured during the campaign and subsequently after forming the government, the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister have let down 30 lakh ex-servicemen who have given their entire life to the country,” he said demanding of the Union government to make a time bound commitment.
Debt relief
Raising another matter, Capt Amarinder went on to blame Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for the Finance Commission’s refusal to provide any debt relief to Punjab despite the State having been identified as debt-stressed along with Kerala and West Bengal.
“This is obviously because first the Akalis rampaged and ransacked the Punjab’s economy with all impunity to the brink of bankruptcy and then they failed to plead their case on merit by banking more on goodwill than on facts,” he said emphasising that economic decisions were settled strictly according to merit and not guided by any preferences or prejudices as Mr Badal will try to convince people.
Capt. Amarinder reminded that Mr. Badal had always politicised everything accusing the previous Congress-led UPA government of discriminating against Punjab. “Now let Mr. Badal explain to the people of Punjab as why he failed to get debt relief for the State despite a friendly government at the Centre, of which his (Mr. Badal’s) party is an alliance partner,” he asked, especially when the opposition ruled Kerala and West Bengal could get debt relief.
The former Chief Minister pointed out that the Congress-led UPA government had identified Punjab, Kerala and West Bengal as debt-stressed States which could be provided debt relief. He regretted that Punjab missed the bus as the State government either failed to convince the Centre or its financial mismanagement that caused the mess prevented any such relief.
However he warned that the debt situation in Punjab was now beyond any redemption as the only hope of Central assistance had fizzled out after the Finance Commission’s refusal.

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/amarinder-accuses-bjp-of-betrayal-on-onerankonepension-issue/article6953069.ece

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Railway Board Order to increase the advance reservation period from 60 days to 120 days:- Wef 01/04/2015

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Indian Military Veterans



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (Bharat Sarkar)
MINISTRY OF RAILWAYS (Rail Mantralaya)
(RAILWAY BOARD)
No. 2007/TG-1120/P
New Delhi, dated 27.02.2015
Chief Commercial Managers,
All Zonal Railways.

(COMMERCIAL CIRCULAR NO. 11 OF 2015)


Sub: Time limit for Advance Reservations.


It has been decided to increase the advance reservation period from 60 days to 120 days (excluding the date of journey) w.e.f. 01.04.2015. CRIS will make necessary changes in the software for this purpose under intimation to all Zonal Railways as well as Board’s office.

2. There will be no change in case of certain day time Express Trains like Taj Express, Gomti Express, special trains, etc. where lower time limits for advance reservations are at present in force. There will also be no change in case of the limit of 3 60 days for foreign tourists.

3. Board desire that the above change may be given wide publicity well in advance of its implementation. Suitable instructions to all concerned may be issued to ensure smooth change-over to the new time limit.

4. Please acknowledge the receipt.

-sd-
(Dr. .K. Ahirwar)
Director Traffic Commercial (G)
Railway Board

Source: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/traffic_comm/Comm-Cir-2015/CC_11_2015.pdf



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Details of provision for Income Tax, TDS, Exemption limit in Budget 2015-16 - Finance Bill 2015

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Indian Military Veterans
FINANCE BILL, 2015

PROVISIONS RELATING TO DIRECT TAXES
Introduction

The provisions of the Finance Bill, 2015 relating to direct taxes seek to amend the Income-tax Act and Finance (No.2) Act, 2004, inter alia, in order to provide for –

A. Rates of Income-tax
B. Measures to Curb Black Money
C. Measures to Promote Domestic Manufacturing and Improving the Investment Climate (Make in India)
D. Ease of Doing Business/ Dispute Resolution
E. Benefits for Individual Taxpayers
F. Swachchh Bharat
G. Rationalisation Measures

2. The Finance Bill, 2015 seeks to prescribe the rates of income-tax on income liable to tax for the assessment year 2015-2016; the rates at which tax will be deductible at source during the financial year 2015-2016 from interest (including interest on securities), winnings from lotteries or crossword puzzles, winnings from horse races, card games and other categories of income liable to deduction or collection of tax at source under the Income-tax Act; rates for computation of “advance tax”, deduction of income-tax from, or payment of tax on ‘Salaries’ and charging of income-tax on current incomes in certain cases for the financial year 2015-2016.

3. The substance of the main provisions of the Bill relating to direct taxes is explained in the following paragraphs:-

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Seventh Pay Commission likely to submit report in October 2015

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Indian Military Veterans
After 14th Finance Commission, 7th pay panel’s report looms : LiveMintThe Seventh Pay Commission will submit its report by October 2015
Finance ministry fears that its revenue will be affected in 2016-17 as it has to absorb new pay panel recommendations


New Delhi: After the recommendations of the Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) forced the government to reduce its plan expenditure in the 2015-16 budget, the Union finance ministry fears its revenues will remain constrained in 2016-17 as well since it has to absorb the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission (SPC) in that year. 


The Seventh Pay Commission will submit its report by October 2015. 

“The 7th Pay Commission impact may have to be absorbed in 2016-17. The phase of consolidation, extended by one year, will also be spanning out in this period. Thus, in the medium-term framework, the fiscal position will continue to be stressed,” the finance ministry said in the macroeconomic framework statement laid before Parliament along with the budget on Saturday. 

The government appointed the Seventh Pay Commission on 28 February 2014 under chairman justice Ashok Kumar Mathur with a timeline of 18 months to make its recommendations. Though the deadline for submitting the report ends in August this year, the Seventh Pay Commission is likely to seek extension till October. 

The Sixth Pay Commission which was constituted in October 2006 had submitted its report in March 2008.

As a result of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, pay and allowances of the Union government employees more than doubled between 2007-08 and 2011-12—from Rs.74,647 crore to Rs.166,792 crore, according to the Fourteenth Finance Commission estimates. 

“As a ratio of GDP, it jumped from a little over 0.9% in 2007-08 to 1.2% in 2008-09 and about 1.4% in 2009-10 on account of both pay revision and payment of arrears. However, it moderated to little over 1% in 2012-13,” the Finance Commission said. 

The recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission were implemented by states with a delay mainly between 2009-10 and 2011-12, with “significant expenditure outgo” in arrears on both pay and pension counts, the FFC said. 

The FFC said that while the finance ministry projects an increase in pension payments by 8.7% in 2015-16, a 30% increase is expected in 2016-17 on account of the impact of the Seventh Pay Commission, followed by an annual growth rate of 8% in subsequent years. 

However, it maintained that given the variations across states and the lack of knowledge about the probable design and quantum of award of the Seventh Pay Commission, it is neither feasible, nor practicable, to arrive at any reasonable forecast of the impact of the pay revision on the Union government or the states. “Further, any attempt to fix a number in this regard, within the ambit of our recommendations, carries the unavoidable risk of raising undue expectations,” added the Finance Commission. 

A senior Pay Commission official, speaking under condition of anonymity, said its recommendations will surely have significant impact on the revenues of the central government. “The 14th Finance Commission was at a disadvantage since it did not have the benefit of the recommendations of the Pay Commission unlike its predecessors,” he added. 

N.R. Bhanumurthy, professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, said the FFC has tried to factor in the impact of the recommendations of the SPC on the central government expenses. “The FFC report shows the capital outlay of the central government will dip in 2016-17 to 1.4% of GDP from 1.64% a year ago due to the implementation of the Pay Commission recommendation before it starts rising to 2.9% of GDP by 2019-20,” he added. 

The FFC said that all states had asked it to provide a cushion for the pay revision likely during the award period. The FFC advocated for a consultative mechanism between the centre and states, through a forum such as the Inter-State Council, to evolve a national policy for salaries and emoluments. 

The FFC also recommended that pay commissions be designated as Pay and Productivity Commissions, with a clear mandate to recommend measures to improve productivity of employees, in conjunction with pay revisions. “We recommend the linking of pay with productivity, with a simultaneous focus on technology, skills and incentives. We urge that, in future, additional remuneration be linked to increase in productivity,” it said. 

The Pay Commission official quoted earlier said it has been mandated to recommend incentive schemes to reward excellence in productivity, performance and integrity, which it will do. “Though previous Pay Commissions have talked about linking pay with productivity, the earlier governments have not accepted such recommendations. Since this government has shown strong political will, we hope they will accept our recommendations,” he added.

Read at: http://www.livemint.com

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