Saturday, 5 March 2016

Govt. reconsidering taxability of Provident Fund

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to "explore ways to review" the new Budget proposal to tax Employees' Provident Fund or EPF withdrawals, sources have told NDTV. In his budget, Mr Jaitley had proposed that after April 1, 2016, 60 per cent of the amount deposited in the EPF account of the employee will be taxable at the time of withdrawal, while 40 per cent will be tax free. Earlier, the entire EPF deposit was tax free at the time of withdrawal if the employee has completed five years of continuous service. Following criticism from people affected, the opposition, trade unions and even RSS affiliates, the Finance Minister had at a meeting of NDA lawmakers last Tuesday explained the proposal and had said that any decision on a reversal would be taken by the Prime Minister. 

Clarifications on levy imposed on jewellery

Indian Military Veterans

In this year’s Budget, a nominal excise duty of 1% [without input tax credit] and 12.5% [with input tax credit] has been imposed on articles of jewellery. Even for this nominal 1% excise duty, manufacturers are allowed to take credit of input services, which can be utilised for payment of duty on jewellery.

            Some doubts have been expressed by the trade and industry regarding this levy. In that context, salient features of this levy are explained as under:

·         Easy compliance with provision for on line application for registration, payment of excise duty and filing of returns, with zero interface with the departmental officers.
·         The central excise officers have been directed not to visit the premises of Jewellery manufacturers.
·         Articles of silver jewellery [other than those studded with diamonds, ruby, emerald or sapphire] are exempt from this duty.
·         An artisan or goldsmith who only manufactures jewellery on job-work basis is not required to register with the Central Excise, pay duty and file returns, as all these obligations will be on the principal manufacturers [Rule 12AA of the Central Excise Rules, 2002].
·         There is a substantially high Small Scale Industries excise duty exemption limit of Rs. 6 crore in a year [as against normal SSI exemption limit of Rs. 1.5 crore] along with a higher eligibility limit of Rs. 12 crore [as against normal SSI eligibility limit of Rs. 4 crore].
·         Thus, only if the turnover of a jeweler during preceding financial year was more than Rs. 12 crore, he will be liable to pay the excise duty. Jewelers having turnover below Rs. 12 crore during preceding financial year will be eligible for exemption unto Rs. 6 crore during next financial year. Such small jewelers will be eligible for exemptions upto Rs. 50 lakh for the month of March, 2016.
·         For determination of eligibility for the SSI exemption for the month of March, 2016 or financial year 2016-17, a certificate from a Chartered Accountant, based on the books of accounts for 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively, would suffice.
·         Further, facility of Optional Centralized Registration has also been provided. Thus, there is no need for a jewellery manufacturer to take separate registrations for all his premises.
·         Field formations have been directed to grant hassle free registrations, within two working days of submission of the registration application. Further, there will be no post registration physical verification of the premises [online registration –].
·         Jeweler’s private records or records for State VAT or records for Bureau of Indian Standards (in the case of hallmarked jewellery) will be accepted for all Central Excise purposes. Also, there is no requirement to file a stock declaration to the jurisdictional central excise authorities.
·         Excise duty is to be paid on monthly basis and not on each clearance, with first installment of duty payment for the month of March, 2016 to be paid by 31st March for March, 2016.
·         A simplified quarterly return has also been prescribed, for duty paying jewelers [ER-8].
·         Moreover, simplified export procedure is available for exempted units [Part III of chapter 7 of CBEC’s Central Excise Manual].



(Release ID :137342)

Heavy financial and legislative agenda for 3rd week of Budget session

Indian Military Veterans

Aadhar Bill, Whistle Blower Protection Bill, Child Labour Bill and time permitting Real Estate Bill among 12 Bills proposed for next week

Both the Houses debate contentious issue during the first two weeks; Lok Sabha passes one Bill and Rajya Sabha clears 3 Bills
Heavy financial and legislative agenda awaits the third week of Budget session of Parliament beginning Tuesday next week and has only four working days, with Monday being a holiday on account of Mahashivratri.

A total of 12 Bills are on the agenda of the Government for the next week including 7 in the Lok Sabha and 5 in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bills proposed to be taken up in the Lok Sabha next week are :

1.Introducton, Consideration and Passing of the Enemy Property (Amendment & Validation) Bill, 2016 to replace an Ordinance;

2. Two Appropriation Bills relating to Demands for Grants on Account (Railways) for 2016-17 and Supplementary Demands for Grants (Railways) for 2015-16, on conclusion of ongoing discussion;

3.Two Appropriation Bills relating to Demands for Grants on Account (General) for 2016-17 and Supplementary Demands for Grants (General) for 2015-16 (after initiation and conclusion of discussion);

4.Consideration and Passing of the Adhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016; and

5.Consideration and Passing of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment) Bill,2016.

In addition to further consideration and return of Appropriation Bills relating to Railway and General Budgets to the Lok Sabha, the Legislative agenda proposed for the next week in Rajya Sabha is :

1.Consideration and Passing of the Bureau of Indian Standards Bill, 2015, as passed by the Lok Sabha;

2.Consideration and Passing of the National Waterways Bill,2016, as passed by the Lok Sabha;

3.Consideration and Passing of the Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill,2015, as passed by the Lok Sabha;

4.Consideration and Passing of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill,2012.

While making a Statement in the Rajya Sabha on the Business of the House for the third week of Budget session, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shri Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi informed the House that the Government would like to also move the Real Estate (Development & Regulation) Bill which is pending in the Upper House.

During the first two weeks of the ongoing Budget session, both the Houses passed the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill,2016 giving voting rights to the people who became Indian Citizens following the exchange of conclaves between India and Bangladesh.

In addition, Rajya Sabha has passed two more Bills which were earlier passed by the Lok Sabha viz., The High Court and Supreme Court (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill,2015 and The Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Both the Houses also discussed incidents happened in the Jawaharlal Nehru University and the Hyderabad Central University. Besides, Rajya Sabha also took up two Calling Attention Motions on the breakdown of law and order in Delhi and the comments attributed to a Union Minister allegedly against minorities.

While the Lok Sabah adopted a Motion of Thanks to the President for his address to both the Houses at a Joint Session, discussion in this regard is in progress in the Upper House.

(Release ID :137375)


Image result for old age couples

Indian Military Veterans
The system of simultaneous notification of family pension (Endorsement of family pension in the PPOs of the living pensioners) was not done for those who retired before 1.4.1985.  Government introduced this for defence pensioners from 1.4.1985.  Subsequently, they issued instructions on 30.6.1998, to all those who retired before 01.4.1985 to apply for Endorsement of Family pension. 

As usual, most of the pensioners ignored these instructions and some of them have done endorsement but did not tell anything about this to their spouses and died.  As a result, today, these aged widows are running pillar to post for their family pension.
The pension paying banks and the Record offices are not in a position to confirm to the widow whether the endorsement is done or not.  Most of these widows are aged above seventy years. There is no one to help them in this regard.  The pension paying banks, CPPCs do not reply to any of the pensioners letters.  The Record offices normally take three months to reply a letter.  All the banks, CPPCs, all the Record offices are having email ids, but none of them make use of this facility for replying for urgent purposes.  Sometimes, we have to get this information under RTI, which takes more than two months with appeals etc.

As you all know, that most of those who retired around 1980 are now counting their days.  They are not in a position to run around for endorsement of family pension which they have not done in earlier days.  Moreover, up to December, 2012 all the record offices were refusing to do endorsement for the re-employed ex-servicemen, since dual family pension was not allowed at that time.  Therefore some of the re-employed ex-servicemen died without completing the endorsement.  And now, that the dual family pension has been allowed i.e. 24.9.2012 and these widows are running pillar to post for dual family pension at the fag end of their life.  There is no one help them.  The record offices, the CDA(P) Allahabad, and the banks don’t bother about the age of the applicant.  The Record offices ask so many certificates like, Marriage certificate, birth certificate at the age of 80, Affidavit from First class Magistrate or RDO etc., etc.  It is not possible for ordinary widows to obtain all these certificates nowadays

The widow is drawing re-employer’s family pension and submitting the copy of the family pension orders.  Even then, the Record offices insist to obtain a certificate from the re-employer stating that the individual ex-serviceman was re-employed from such and such date and they have sanctioned pension for granting Defence Family pension.

Normally the re-employers grant pension and family pension without any problem.  It is the Defence Department, which has utilized the youthful life of a young man, now dragging them to grant family pension with so many questions. Most of the re-employers refuse to issue such certificates as it is time barred.  We have got instances of approaching legal forum for getting this certificates.
Most of the time, the so called dual family pension is sanctioned after the death of the widow.  This is the state of affairs.

What the Digital India is going to achieve God only knows.  First of all the government offices, should be asked to reply to the emails received by them immediately. The Record offices and the Banks should strictly instruct to reply to the email complaints.  The Record offices should display their email address in the Indian Army Website.
The writer wishes to emphasis that all these hurdles should be removed.  Grant of dual family pension to be simplified.  Government should issue fresh instructions to all concerned to simplify the procedure.  Pension for Unmarried Daughters, widowed daughters, divorced daughters and for the mentally retarded children are looking attractive.  But how many of these categories are getting these pensions are the question.  Government should simplify the procedure and grant these pensions in time.  

Administrative  reforms are the most urgent need of the hour.  The sufferings of millions of people are going unnoticed as they have lost hope to revive the system.  All those who are reading this article, may forward to concerned departments for necessary action.

The book is an earnest attempt at understanding the 1962 War from different perspectives

Indian Military Veterans

By Lt Gen. Mukesh Sabharwal (retd)1962: THE WAR THAT WASN’T

The General was the Adjutant General of the Indian Army. 

For Getting Down From Train At Night. Image [1 Attachment]

Indian Military Veterans

Welfare : Pensioner

Indian Military Veterans

Dear Sir,

1. Most of the 21 lakh Pensioners and Family pensioners are happy that some sort of OROP has come and feel their bank balance will improve w.e.f. Feb 2016. We have few soldiers in Army who were employed both in 1965 war and 1971 war and then thrown out onto streets without any pension. The ground given was : The establishment has been downsized and Govt of India cannot find a suitable job for them. They were given Special Pension if they have served for 10 years or more. Pension is same like for Soldier of 15 years’ service i.e. Full pension x (10 years’ service + 10 years’ rank weightage)/33. If they have served for less than 10 years they were given only Special Gratuity which is equal to one and half months basic pay for every completed year of service. Since such personnel did not serve for 10 years they are not given pension hence are NOT entitled for status of Ex-Servicemen and are NOT eligible to become members of ECHS having fought in 1965 and 1971 war. When you say it is unfair answer presumably given in courts of law: We are following old policy (laid down by Britishers who perfected the art of use and throw).

2. There is another category of soldiers who are in similar plight. They are called Reservists. They were asked to join Armed Forces (especially Army) for limited period of less than 10 years and called it Colour Service and balance as Reserve service (9 colour + 6 reserve). That means Army use them for less than 10 years and tell them to vamoose without any pension and without any alternate job. They exploited unemployment prevailing till 1970s. All those who joined under this in-human one sided contract (illegal as per Courts of Law) were forced to serve for less than 10 years as Colour service and then go home on the condition that they are liable to be recalled for service at short notice using clause of Reserve Service. They again were exploited whenever our country had to face emergency. They were also used in 1965 and 1971 wars. After their requirement was over, they were simply told “We do not need your service”. When asked for compensation “You did not serve for 15 years to earn pension. So no pension for you. Rules are rules?”

3. Any number of representations to civilians who dominate Min of Def will not be of any use. I have come across so many old soldiers who fought in 1965 & 1971 war living in penury with no pension. We need to fight their battles in courts of law.

4. If we get minimum 50 such affected personnel we can get concessional legal fees from our legal counsel. I am sure many large hearted veterans will donate for such worthy cause to pay for legal fees. We will see the legal fees is affordable i.e. in the region of Rs 1000 to Rs 2,000 per person.

5. I request you to forward me particulars of such non pensioners to enable us to file their case in AFT Delhi. Our legal counsel has agreed to fight their case in AFT Delhi.
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)

Government should bring closure to OROP impasse

Indian Military Veterans
Union Budget 2016-17

ANI | New Delhi Mar 04, 2016 12:01 PM IST

New Delhi, Mar. 4 (ANI): On September 5, 2015, in response to an agitation by retired soldiers of the Indian Army, commonly called "veterans" for a better deal in their pensions, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced the acceptance of the One Rank One Pension (OROP) scheme.
There was much celebration, in certain quarters only, on acceptance of a demand of Indian soldiers that had been held back by governments led by both the Congress and the BJP. Among the veterans and the defence services fraternity, there was a sense of disquiet, since it was largely perceived that the award given was not in consonance with the definition of OROP.
While Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has recently delivered the third budget of his government and the second full fledged one, the veterans continue to wallow at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, since their OROP demand has neither been met nor implemented in letter and spirit.
It would be fallacious to think that the NDA government would not be concerned about the continued impasse on this sensitive topic for which it feels it has walked the extra mile. The agony of the government would be propounded by the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always held the country's armed forces in very high esteem.
No better example of his feelings can be given beyond the fact that he spends Diwali, the most revered festival of the Hindus, with Indian troops on the border.
At this stage, when the impasse remains an embarrassment even after the passage of three budgets, it is time to see if there is a way out of this logjam.
The OROP order, as it stands, is re-fixing pension on the basis of the calendar year as 2013; it also envisages re-fixing of pensions every five years.
The prime objective of seeking OROP is seeking parity in pension for all defence forces retirees in their particular rank to an acceptable extent. A five-year revision scheme will only increase the gap in the parity sought.
Another contentious issue is the clause that the personnel, who opt for discharge at their own request after completion of colour service, will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. This clause does not consider the fact that leaving after completion of "colour service," entails having served the minimum period required by law to earn a full pension.
The veterans feel that the aforementioned award is not in consonance with the accepted definition of OROP, as approved by Parliament. The veterans further feel that this dispensation will lead to a situation of One Rank Many Pensions instead of One Rank One Pension.
The apprehensions of the veterans and even the serving personnel of the defence services stand further aggravated by the position on the subject taken by the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) that, in its recommendations, has failed to cater for traditional compensation granted to defence personnel to cater for their truncated careers.
The idea is to bridge the massive gap between civilian and defence retirees. As things stand now, the defence personnel are at a disadvantage vis-a-vis their civilian central government counterparts in terms of life time earnings due to early retirement further compounded by aborted pension.
Since the pension of current retirees is passed on to the past retirees through OROP, the position of the 7th CPC will adversely impact the effectiveness of the OROP scheme.
Unlike the OROP scheme for defence pensioners, a similar scheme recommended by 7th CPC for civilian/CAPF personnel, is superior, especially since it has no conditions regarding applicability.
All seemingly complex issues have an inherent simple solution. In the case of OROP, there is a simple solution in case the government can muster the courage to implement the same.
The government can easily grant pension based on maximum model instead of average and award revision of OROP biennially instead of five yearly. By so doing, the government will conform to the OROP definition.
In fact, by applying the aforementioned principle of calculation, the government will save itself from the accounting complexity of maintaining two sets of Dearness Allowance (DA) rates i.e. one rate for past defence retirees and a second one for the more recent cases.
Accountants will agree that maintaining two kinds of pension tables for past retirees, one as per OROP and the other as per erstwhile modified parity table would be a nightmare to say the least.
The issue of personnel, who opt for discharge at their own request after completion of colour service, of course needs to be removed in totality, since it violates existing regulations. In this regard, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has already given a positive clarification. As such, the revocation should not pose any difficulty for the government.
The 7th CPC reward is likely to be implemented by the government with effect from January 1, 2016. Therefore, in addition to seeking improvements in the current OROP scheme, as discussed above, there is a simultaneous requirement of seeking modification in the erroneous/flawed pension related proposals submitted by the commission.
The next logical step would be to seek its integration with the OROP scheme so that the benefits of the 7th CPC can be passed on to the past retirees. We need to keep in mind that since the OROP links the past retirees to the current retirees, it is imperative to correct the pension of the current retirees in the 7th CPC regime.
One can only hope that the government, on its own, or through the one-member Judicial Commission headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, will keep the aforementioned issues in mind, and especially look into further anomalies that the 7th Pay Commission can possibly create.
There is an urgent need to bring closure to the national embarrassment of having our veterans sitting in Jantar Mantar indefinitely.

Banks (CPPC) Email address

Min of Finance
Banking Secy
Allahabad Bank
Andhra Bank
Bank of Baroda
Bank of India
Bank of Maharashtra
Canara Bank      
Central Bank      ;    
Corporation Bank
Dena Bank         
Indian Bank       
IOB Bank         
Oriental Bank of  Commerce,              
Punjab & Sind Bank
State Bank of India
CPPC Delhi :
Chief Gen Mgr, Local Head Office, Delhi  :
General Manager (Customer Service) : 
State Bank of Hyderabad :
State Bank of Jaipur:
State Bank of Mangalore :
State Bank of Patiala :
State Bank of Travancore:
 Lt Gen PS Bhalla     :
Chief General Manager, Local Head Office, Bengaluru
General Manager (Customer Service)

Syndicate Bank;
Union Bank of India
United Bank of India
UCO Bank                     
Vijaya Bank
Axis Bank 
IDBI Bank            

Exemption of Income Tax - Defence Pensioner Drawing Disability Pension

Indian Military Veterans


Source : Raj Veteran

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