Tuesday, 17 January 2017

central government might delay the hike higher allowances by by another 3-4 months

Central government employees’ pay bill are unlikely to get increased salary up to March for higher allowances, as the central government might delay the hike higher allowances by by another 3-4 months on the pretext of the model code of conduct, which is currently in place for five states assemblies’ poll.

The ‘Committee on Allowances’ led by Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa has finalized the report on the allowances in October last year but the government don’t want to announce it now, so the government gave extension the committee till February 22, 2017 to submit the report on higher allowances under the pretence of the cash crunch position.
The government has given higher basic pay with arrears, effective from January 1, 2016 to its employees on the recommendations of the 7th pay commission but referred hike in allowances other than dearness allowance to the ‘Committee on Allowances’ for examination as the 7th pay commission had recommended for abolishing 51 allowances and subsuming 37 others out of 196 allowances.

Wishing anonymity, a finance ministry official said, “the government want to keep in abeyance to issue higher allowances notification as government wishes to give the higher allowances without arrears from August,the implementation month of the 7th Pay Commission recommendations, to its employees. If the government gives the nod higher allowances with retrospective effect from August 2016, the arrears should be paid and the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is very much against the payment of higher allowances arrears and it is just a tactic to delay the announcement of higher allowances to compel the central government employees to get the allowances according to the 6th Pay Commission recommendations until issuing of higher allowances notification.”


Dear Raksha Mantri,

1. Please refer the following letters :-
(a) Letter dated 16 Nov 2015 regarding serious anomalies in the Notification for the Implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP) issued on 07 Nov 2016. (b) Letter to Justice L.Narasimha Reddy, Retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court dated 25 Mar 2016 regarding “Urgent Need to Rectify Anomalies in OROP in Govt Notification dated 07 Nov 2015 and Table dated 03 Feb 2016.
(c) Letter to Justice L.Narasimha Reddy, Retired Chief Justice of Patna High Court dated 25 Mar 2016 regarding “Change of Definition of OROP in various correspondence of DESW Noticed.
(d) Letter dated 25 Mar 2016 regarding One Rank One Pension.
(e) Letter dated 27 Nov 2016 regarding non implementation of Actual OROP.
(f) Letter dated 23 Dec 2016 regarding non implementation of Actual OROP Letter.

2. With concern and anguish, we wish to bring to your Notice that the Actual OROP as assured by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has not yet been implemented. The anomalies arising out of the 07th Nov 2015 Govt Notification for the implementation of OROP has not been rectified. The anomalies were pointed out to your goodself vide our above quoted letters. This avoidable delay is causing serious concern to the defence, widows and ex-Servicemen.

3. One Man Judicial Committee report, it is learnt was submitted to Govt on 26 Oct 2016, however, neither the same has been made public nor its recommendations implemented. Sir, we the defence family have been on Protest Movement and Relay Hunger Strike (RHS) at Jantar Mantar for the past 582 days, no one from the Govt has enquired or addressed our concerns, instead the Govt continues to inform the people of the country that it has implemented OROP. You know Sir, the same is not true, OROP as per the definition approved by the Govt through its executive order dated 26 Feb 2014 is far away from what has been implemented. Not only the actual OROP has not been implemented as per the approved definition, the wrongly implemented OROP has been carried forward to the 7th CPC with Cascading adverse affect on pensions of defence fraternity.

4. The statements from the Govt that OROP has been implemented and some negative people were protesting is very hurting to the Ex-Servicemen and widows. Sir, if actual OROP is implemented after removing the anomalies, we will immediately lift our Protest Movement from Jantar Mantar. We are only there for our legitimate democratic rights of protest which is being carried out in a soldierly manner, with dignity and respect and within the constitutional norms. Sir, we are your erstwhile soldiers and not civilian unions. We request you to consider implementing Actual OROP, which has been pending the last 42 years.

5. We are thankful to Govt that it has taken the step to announce implementation of OROP, but what has been implemented is far from the Actual OROP. We are also concerned that the Govt has unfairly amended the approved definition as per the Govt executive order dated 26 Feb 2014 and announced in the Parliament by MOS for Defence on 02 Dec 2014.

6. May we request you for your personal indulgence to rectify the anomalies arising out of the Govt Notification on 07 Nov 2015. May we also request for a meeting with you Sir, of a delegation of three members for half an hour at your earliest please.
With regards,

Yours Sincerely,
Maj Gen Satbir Singh, SM (Retd)
Advisor United Front of Ex Servicemen Jantar Mantar & Chairman Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM)
Mobile: 9312404269, 01244110570

Copy to:- General Bipin Rawat, UYSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM Chief of the Army Staff Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Army) South Block, New Delhi-110011 For information and action please.

Air Chief Marshal BS Dhanoa PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC Chief of the Air Staff Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Air Force) Vayu Bhawan, New Delhi 110011 Our request as above.

Admiral Sunil Lanba PVSM, AVSM, ADC Chief of the Naval Staff & Chairman Chiefs of Staffs Committee (CoSC) Integrated HQs of Ministry of Defence (Navy) South Block, New Delhi -110011 Our request as above.

Budget 2017 – Expectations of the Salaried Class.

Budget 2017 – Expectations of the Salaried Class.

With the Union Budget 2017 just a couple of weeks away, there are expectations that the government will take some measures to help the common man, especially the salaried class, who has rallied behind the government’s decision on demonetization despite suffering a lot post the note ban.
Experts are also of the view that the upcoming Budget 2017 should provide some tax gain for the common people to soothe at least the cash ban pain. Otherwise also, “there are only a few tax concessions available to individual tax payers. Most of the current set of tax benefits like medical reimbursement, conveyance allowance etc., at the present level, do not offer any real economic benefit to the individual tax payers. Instead they only add to the administrative burden for the employers as claims made by the employees have to be reviewed and processed by them,” says Vikas Vasal, National Leader-Tax, Grant Thornton India LLP. Thus, either these tax benefits should be substantially increased or they should be done away with and instead a special tax benefit like the erstwhile standard deduction be introduced. “This would simplify the tax law, reduce administrative burden and curtail unnecessary litigation associated with these tax concessions,” suggests Vasal. In view of the above, here’s what to expect from the Budget 2017 for the salaried class:

1. Tax slab rates should be revised upwards It is widely expected that there may be some upward revision in the income tax slabs to provide some relief to the common tax payers. What is making people more optimistic is the recent hint from Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself that income tax slabs could further be increased, lowering the tax burden on taxpayers due to higher revenue being collected on account of cashless systems. Some people are even expecting that the government should increase the current income tax exemption limit from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh. However, the common expectation is that the exemption limit be raised from the current Rs 2.50 lakh per annum to Rs 3 lakh, while the subsequent slabs of 10 per cent, 20 per cent and 30 per cent should be applicable to annual income range of above Rs 3 lakh and up to Rs 10 lakh, above Rs 10 lakh and up to Rs 20 lakh and above Rs 20 lakh, respectively. If implemented, this will help alleviate the common man’s sufferings to some extent.

2. Reduction in tax rates Salaried individuals are always at a loss when it comes to tax rates since they end up paying high amount of taxes when they fall into high salary brackets. Currently anyone who earns more than Rs. 10 lakh per annum pays 30% tax on the amount exceeding Rs. 10 lakh. Thus, he has to forgo a large portion of his income in taxes. Hence, apart from revision in tax slabs, change in tax rates would always be a welcome move. “The IDS scheme of the government launched last year is expected to add a lot of tax revenues to the government coffers with almost Rs. 75,000 crore declared as black money. Considering a tax rate of 45%, almost Rs. 35,000 will be collected as taxes. These revenues are expected to help the government reduce the tax rates in the coming FY,” informs Vaibhav Sankla, Director, H&R Block India.

3. Higher deduction for interest paid on housing loan Housing and the real estate sector are facing a lot of hardship. The recent media reports indicate that sales have declined substantially and the sentiment is quite low. It is a fact that the real estate sector is one of the key growth engines for a developing economy like India. It provides large-scale employment to unskilled and semi-skilled workers in the country, which is a need of the hour, to boost employment opportunities for a large scale population. This sector also impacts a few of the critical sectors like cement, steel, logistics etc., which in turn are important for the overall growth of the GDP. Also, “keeping in view the government’s agenda of providing housing for all, it is imperative that some tax concessions are provided in the Budget. One such option could be to increase the tax deduction for interest paid on housing loan from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. This will also provide an immediate boost to the banking services sector, which is flush with funds post demonetization and looking at avenues to lend money to the masses,” says Vasal. Some tax experts also believe that people having a single home need to be allowed to deduct the entire amount paid as interest on home loan. Vaibhav Sankla, for instance, says that currently the home loan interest deduction is capped at Rs. 2 lakh per annum for self-occupied house property and deduction of actual interest paid is allowed for a second home that is given on rent or is deemed rented. However, “nowadays buying a second home is not very common owing to high property prices. In such cases, home owners possessing a single home need to be allowed to deduct the entire amount paid as interest on home loan. This would be a welcome relief for salaried individuals since they do not have much scope for tax saving and moreover this is an expense-based deduction,” says Sankla.

4. Increase in deduction for insurance premium The deduction under 80D is currently capped at Rs. 25,000 for self, spouse and dependent children. An additional deduction of Rs. 25,000 is available for parents and Rs. 30,000 if they are senior citizen parents. Hence the total deduction available under this section can go up to Rs. 55,000. A deduction for preventive medical expenses is also available up to Rs. 5,000 spent as a part of the overall deduction. A deduction for the actual expenses made in this regard on medical insurance premiums will be a welcome move since insurance premiums are very high, especially when it comes to parents. The cap of Rs. 5,000 on preventive health check-up expenses should also be removed in budget 2017. It will help salaried individuals to save huge amounts in taxes.

5. Increase in deduction for education and childcare expenses Childcare nowadays has become very expensive for parents, especially for those staying in metro cities. The maximum deduction for tuition fees permitted under Section 80C is Rs 1.5 lakh per financial year, with deductions eligible only for two children per assessee. Tuition fees generally constitute a very small portion of the entire education fees for the year. This deduction should be extended to other portions of the fees as well. “Childcare in big cities also calls for daycare expenses, especially for working parents. The expenses many a time run into more than Rs 1-2 lakh per annum. These expenses should also form a part of deductions under Section 80C. This will provide another expense-based deduction to individuals and be a great move towards providing a deduction aimed at working parents,” says Sankla.

6. Deduction for rent paid where no HRA is paid by the organization Generally, organisations pay HRA to employees in order to ease the burden of rent and there is an exemption available under the tax laws on HRA. However, there are instances when organisations do not include HRA in the salary components. When HRA is not paid by the organization, salaried individuals are being allowed a deduction of Rs. 5,000 per month under Section 80GG from FY2016-17. This deduction should be increased to at least Rs. 10,000 for metro cities. This is because rent for a decent accommodation in metro cities has risen to this level and there is a need to increase the deduction so that salaried individuals get the benefit of this deduction.

7. Standard Deduction There are many deductions/ exemptions like medical reimbursement, conveyable allowance, meal allowances etc. Employees actually incur much more cost and obtain very little tax benefit. To highlight, a family of four members will incur on an average, say, Rs 50,000 plus on general medical ailments. And if the family has senior/ailing households, then this expenditure for general hospital/doctor visits and medicines may be much higher. Therefore, there is need to take a re-look at all such benefits and increase them substantially in line with the current economic reality. Same is the case with other tax benefits like travel allowance etc. Keeping this in view, there is need for a special tax benefit like the erstwhile standard deduction to be introduced tne budget 2017.

Source: FE

7th Pay Commission CGHS Recommendations on monthly subscription, eligibility of wards – Orders issued

7th Pay Commission CGHS related recommendations on revision of rate of subscription, eligibility for wards on the basis of revised pay – Govt issues Orders

No. S.11011/11/2016- CGHS (P)/EHS

Government of India Ministry of Health and Family Welfare EHS Section Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi
Dated the 9th January, 2017

Sub: Revision of rates of subscription under Central Government Health Scheme due to revision of pay and allowances of Central Government employees and revision of pension/ family pension on account of implementation of recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission.

The undersigned is directed to refer to this Ministry’s OM No. S.11011/2/2008-CGHS(P) dated 2oth May, 2009 vide which orders were issued revising the rates of monthly subscription for availing CGHS facility, as also the entitlement for free diet, entitlement of accommodation in private empanelled hospitals under CGHS, etc.

2. Consequent upon revision of pay on the basis of the implementation of the recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission, it has been decided to revise the rates of subscriptions, to be made by employees pensioners, for availing benefits under the CGHS, with effect from 1st January, 2017. It has also been decided to revise the monetary ceiling limits for various entitlements of the beneficiaries for availing CGHS facilities.

3. In supersession of all earlier instructions, the following revisions are being made, in so far as it relates to the facilities mentioned below:
(A) Monthly Contributions for availing CGHS facility:
Sl. No.Corresponding levels in the Pay Matrix as per 7th CPCContribution (Rs. Per month)
1.Level: 1 to 5250
2.Level: 6450
3.Level: 7 to 11650
4.Level 12 & above1000 (B)

Entitlement of wards in Private hospitals empanelled under CGHS: Corresponding Basic Pay drawn by the Ward entitlement Sl. No.Corresponding Basic Pay drawn by the officer in 7th CPC per monthWard entitlement
1.Up to Rs. 47,600/-General
2.Rs. 47,601/- to Rs. 63,100/-Semi-Private 3.Rs. 63,101/- and abovePrivate

(C) Monetary Ceiling for Free Diet: The monetary ceiling for free diet for CGHS beneficiaries is revised to pay/ pension /family pension of Rs. 44,900/- per month.

(D) Monetary ceiling for free diet [or beneficiaries suffering from TB or mental disease): The monetary ceiling for free diet in case of beneficiary suffering from TB or Mental disease is revised to pay/ pension /family pension of Rs. 69,700/- per month.

(E) Pay slab for determining the entitlement of Nursing Home facilities in Government / State Government / Municipal Hospitals: The monetary ceiling for determining the entitlement of nursing home facilities in Central Government / State Government / Municipals Hospitals is revised to pay / pension / family pension Rs. 47,600/- per month and above.

(F) Monetary Ceiling for direct consultation with Specialists in Central Government [State Government / Municipal Hospitals: The monetary ceiling for determining the entitlement for direct consultation with Specialists in Central Government / State Government/Municipal Hospitals will continue at the existing rates until revision of the same after consultation with Ministry of Finance.

(G) Pay slab for determining the entitlement of accommodation in AIIMS, New Delhi. The revised entitlement, as per the pay drawn by the officials, is as follows:
Sl. No.Corresponding Basic Pay drawn by the officer in 7th CPC per monthWard entitlement
1.Up to Rs. 63,100/-General
2.Rs. 63,101/- to Rs. 80,900/-Private 3.Rs. 80,901/- and aboveDeluxe/Private

4. It is clarified that the reference to pay in this order relates to the pay drawn in the level of pay.

5. Pensioners have an option to get their CGHS pensioner card made by either making CGHS contribution on an annual basis (twelve months) or by making contribution for 10 (ten) years (120 (one hundred and twenty) months) for getting a pensioner CGHS card with life-time validity. It is clarified that:
(i) Contribution to be made by pensioners / family pensioners would be the amount that they were subscribing at the time of their retirement or at the time of death of the Government servant;
(ii) Pensioner beneficiaries, who have already obtained CGHS card with life time validity by paying a lump sum amount equivalent to 10 years’ contribution, will not be required to pay any additional amount as a result of the revision in the rates of contribution for availing CGHS facility;
(iii) Entitlement of pensioners / family pensioners, who have already deposited their contribution for life time CGHS facility, will not be changed.
(iv) Pensioners / family pensioners who are contributing to the CGHS on an annual basis and wish to continue to avail CGHS benefits will have to contribute at the revised rates up to the time of contribution needed to cover a period of a total of ten years from the time pensioner CGHS card was issued for the first time to them. The revised rate of contribution for the remaining period would be with reference to the level of pay that he / she would have drawn in the post held by him / her (at the time of his / her retirement / death) had he / she continued to be in service now but for his / her retirement/ death; and
(v) Any pensioner / family pensioner who is entitled to avail CGHS facility has not so far got his / her pensioner CGHS card made, the rate of contribution in such cases will be with reference to the level of pay that he / she would have drawn in the post held by him / her (at the time of his / her retirement / death) had he / she continued to be in service now but for his/ her retirement / death.

6. This issues with the concurrence of the Department of Expenditure vide their I.D. Note No. 18(1)/EV/2016, dated 24/11/2016.
7. Hindi version will follow.

sd/- (Sunil Kumar Gupta)
Under Secretary to the Government of India
Download EHS, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare order No. S.11011/11/2016- CGHS (P)/EHS dated 09.01.2017

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