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================== Blog maintained by : P. Radhamohan Nair, Retired Private Secretary to Post Master General, Northern Region, Calicut, Kerala Circle===================
Friday, December 29, 2017
POSB - Scheme and Interest Rates from 01.01.2018 to 31.03.2018
PPF Accounts to be closed, interest lowered to 4 per cent if you become an NRI - Gazette Notification
Non Resident Indians are continually looking for investment opportunities in India. A few weeks ago, we blogged about “NRIs for real estate investment in India – Know the simple Rules” The Government of Indian recently announced new rules under which select small savings schemes like Public Provident Fund (PPF) and National Saving Certificates (NSC)will not earn you the same rate if you become non-resident Indians (NRI).
A summary of changes to rules and what it means to NRIs:
NRIs will no longer be permitted invest in small savings schemes like NSC and PPF. In the past they were allowed to retain their PPF account if they had opened it before becoming an NRI.
PPF and NSC currently fetch an interest rate higher than bank savings rates. Some of it is subsidized by the Government of India. (Current rate of PPF is 7.8 per cent while Post Office savings account get 4 %)
PPF accounts would be deemed to be closed prior to maturity in case the holder becomes a non-resident Indian (NRI). The investor will be then paid interest at the rate applicable to Post Office savings accounts till the date the PPF account is closed.
The Indian government notification on PPF dated October 3 states,
“Provided that if a resident who opened an account under this scheme, subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident and interest with effect from that date shall be paid at the rate applicable to the Post Office Saving Account up to the last day of the month preceding the month in which the account is actually closed.”
The finance ministry notification adds:
“Provided that if a resident Indian having purchased a certificate, subsequently becomes Non-Resident during the currency of the maturity period, the certificate shall be encashed or deemed to be encashed on the day he becomes a non-Resident, and interest shall be paid at the rate applicable to the Post Office Savings Account, from time to time, from such day and up to the last day of the month preceding the month in which it is actually encashed.”
GDS Committee Recommendations will be implemented soon – Minister replied in Parliament on 27.12.2017
Minister of State (IC) for Communications & Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha, in a written reply to a question on GDS Kamlesh Chandra Committee Report, in Lok Sabha on 27.12.2017 informed that a One Man Committee has been constituted to look into the salary structure, other service matters and problems of Gramin Dak Sevaks under the Chairmanship of Shri Kamlesh Chandra.
The Committee has submitted its report to the Government. The salient features are given in the Annexure.
The recommendations of the Committee have been considered by the Department. After getting the necessary approvals from all concerned, the recommendation of the Committee will be implemented.
Annexure : Salient features of the One Man Committee Report headed by Shri Kamlesh Chandra
The old system of payment of Time Related Continuity Allowance (TRCA) is dispensed with and replaced with a new wage payment system. Under the new wage payment system, 11 TRCA slabs are subsumed into 3 Wage Scales with two Levels each for BPMs and for other than BPMs. One wage scale would be common for both the categories of GDSs.
The minimum working hours of GDS Post Offices and GDSs are increased to 4 hours from 3 hours.
The new working hours for GDS Post Offices will be 4 hours and 5 hours only.
The Level 1 GDS Post Offices / GDSs will have 4 hours as working hours and Level – 2 will have 5 hours as working hours.
The Point System for assessment of workload of BPMs has been abolished.
The new wage payment system is linked to revenue generation of GDS Post Offices. Under the new system, there will be no increase in wages of BPMs from Level -1 to Level -2 on the basis of workload but the same will be increased based on achievement of prescribed revenue norms which is fixed at 100% for normal areas and 50% for special areas.
The GDS Post Offices not achieving the prescribed revenue norm within the given working hours will have to open GDS Post Offices for minimum of additional 30 minutes beyond the prescribed working hours.
The GDS BPMs will be paid Revenue Linked Allowance @10% beyond level-2 wage scale if they will be successful in achieving revenue beyond prescribed norms
The GDS Post Offices has been categorized into A, B; C and D categories based on the revenue generation norms. The GDS Post Office in A category will achieve 100% revenue norm. The Committee has recommended a set of actions for each category of GDS Post Offices.
The six approved categories of GDSs are subsumed into two categories only. One category will be Branch Post Master and all other 5 categories of GDSs are subsumed into one Multi Tasking Category.
The GDSs working in the GDS Post Offices will be known as Assistant Branch Post Master (ABPMs) and those working in the Departmental Post Offices will be known as Dak Sevak (DS).
The minimum wage has been increased to Rs. 10000/- per month and maximum pay to Rs. 35480/- per month.
The rate of annual increase is recommended as 3%.
A Composite Allowance comprising of support for hiring accommodation for GDS Post Offices as well as mandatory residence, office maintenance, mobile and electricity usage charges etc. has been introduced for the first time.
Children Education Allowance @Rs. 6000/- per child per annum has been introduced for GDSs.
Risk & Hardship Allowance @Rs. 500/- per month for GDS working in the special areas has also been introduced.
A Financial up-gradation has been introduced at 12 years, 24 years and 36 years of services in form of two advance additional annual increases.
The Ceiling of ex-gratia gratuity has been increased from Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 5,00,000
The GDS Contribution for Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) should be enhanced maximum up to 10% and minimum up to 3% of the basic wage per month, whereas the Department should contribute a fixed contribution of 3% of the basic wage of the GDSs.
The coverage of GDS Group Insurance Scheme has been enhanced from Rs. 50000/- to Rs. 5,00,000/
The contribution of Department in Circle Welfare Fund (CWF) has been increased from Rs. 100/ per annum to Rs. 300/ per annum.
The scope of CWF is extended to cover immediate family members such as spouse; daughters, sons and dependent daughters in law in the scheme.
The Committee also recommended 10% hike in the prescribed limits of financial grants and assistances in the Circle Welfare Funds.
The Committee has recommended addition of Rs. 10,000/ for purchase of Tablet / Mobile from the Circle Welfare in the head “Financial Assistance of Fund by way of loans with lower rate of interest (5%)”.
Provision of 26 weeks of Maternity Leave for women GDS has been recommended.
The wages for the entire period of Maternity Leave is recommended to be paid from salary head from where wages of GDSs are paid.
The Committee has also recommended one week of paternity leave.
Leave accumulation and encashment facility up to 180 days has been introduced.
Online system of engagement has been recommended.
Alternate livelihood condition for engagement of GDSs has been relaxed.
Voluntary Discharge scheme has been recommended.
The Discharge age has been retained at 65 years.
The Limited Transfer Facility has been relaxed from 1 time to 3 times for male GDSs. There will be no restriction on number of chances for transfer of women GDSs. The powers for transfer has been delegated to the concerned Divisional head.
The ex-gratia payment during put off period should be revised to 35% from 25% of the wage and DA drawn immediately before put off.
The Committee has recommended preferring transfer before put off duty.