Friday, December 31, 2010


PF rate increase to impact firms with own trusts

NEW DELHI: The government’s decision to raise the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) rate to 9.5% this fiscal could hit the bottom line of 3,000 firms running their own PF trusts.

These trusts may find it difficult to bridge the gap between the actual income on their PF investments and the mandated rate, forcing them to dip into their company’s profits to make up for the deficit, according to a study by The Economic Times.

ET studied portfolios and income estimates of 63 PF trusts with assets of Rs 6,520 crore. While most trusts will earn 8.5% return on their investments, some will get returns of as low as 7.8%. Just one in nine trusts will earn over 9%, while none will be able to pay 9.5% from this year’s earnings.

“The way things stand, this gap between PF trusts’ income and 9.5% would have to be funded by employers,” said Amit Gopal, vice-president at India Life Capital, which advises several large corporate retirement funds.

Most trusts do not have any reserves left, as the PF rate has been set higher than investment earnings for most of the last seven years. The few firms that have the reserves, are barred from using them to pay interest to subscribers under new regulatory norms issued by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) this year. So, the only alternative with the PF trusts is to seek funds from the parent company. At an EPFO board meet earlier this month, at least two trustees expressed concern over company-run PF trusts’ ability to match the 9.5% largesse from the EPFO.

But the EPFO is not buying this argument. The retirement fund manager claims that these trusts have ample reserves, which they could use to fund the shortfall.

“Some of these PF trusts are very healthy,” Central PF Commissioner Samirendra Chatterjee told ET. “They get higher returns than us as EPFO’s internal norms are tighter than the investment pattern. They can dip into their reserves,” he said.

The PF commissioner’s confidence stems from an internal survey commissioned by the EPFO in October 2010. The EPFO studied 10 PF trusts, including those run by Tata Motors , NTPC, Dabur India, Gillette India , Cochin Shipyard and the recently-listed Manganese Ore India Ltd. It found that all of them had enough reserves to spruce up their workers’ PF income by 1%-9 %.

The EPFO is expected to earn about 8.5% interest on its investments in this financial year. But it set a 9.5% PF rate after it located some reserves that had built-up in its poorly maintained records since 1952.

The retirement fund manager had stated that company-run PF trusts follow the same accounting practices and invest in the same basket of securities. So, these trusts must also be sitting on similar reserves and can match the 9.5% rate.

But most company-run trusts do not follow EPFO’s ‘archaic’ accounting style, which relies on a dated cash accounting system with single-entry book keeping. And reserves are running low, if not completely exhausted.

“For most of the last decade, the PF rate has not been an accounting decision based on income,” said Bhupendra Meel, associate vice-president (retirement trust solutions) at A K Capital Services. “Earnings on PFs’ primary investments – government and public sector debt – have been consistently lower than the PF rate.”

The last three fiscals saw the average yield on incremental investments go marginally above the prevailing PF rate of 8.5%. So, the newly-formed trusts might have some reserves, but only a few old ones would have any surplus.

“From 2000 to 2006, PF trusts only bought securities with yields lower than the prevailing PF rate,” said Gopal. “In most of these years, they had to dip into their reserves, which are now depleted,” he explained.

Even if a PF trust has the reserves to bridge the gap between its income and the 9.5% rate, it cannot do so.

As per new norms issued by the EPFO, employers are not allowed to use PF trusts’ past reserves for bridging such income gaps. “The employer shall be liable to make good the loss/interest,” said a circular issued in May 2010 to company-run PFs.

In October, the EPFO issued a clarification that trusts could use their reserves for “extending benefits to the members in terms of enhanced interest payments” . But company-run trusts are not sure if this means reserves can be used to match the PF rate.

“This implies that we can pay a bonus to workers over and above the existing PF rate,” a PF trustee with a leading consumer goods firm said. “There’s still no clarity on using reserves to meet the shortfall between our income and the 9.5% rate.”


Misc.6024/2007/CGHS(HQ)/CGHS( P)
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
Department of Health

Nirman Bhawan. New Delhi
Dated December 27, 2010


Subject:    Issue of Individual Plastic Cards to each CGHS Beneficiary- guidelines to pensioner beneficiaries

The undersigned is directed to draw attention to the office memorandum of even number dated 30th December 2009 and to clarify that in response to representations received from pensioner CGHS beneficiaries, it has now been decided to partially modify para E (2 ) of the said memorandum.

Para E (2) of the Office Memorandum of even number dated 30° December 2009. which reads as‘

The Plastic Cards ( which are identity cards ) are issued for a maximum period of Five years or till entitled for CGHS benefits. whichever may he earlier. The actual validity of CGHS Card for availing services shall he as per records available in CGIIS Data base. In case of CGFIS pensioners who have paid for ‘Rest of Life’ facilities a new plastic Cards shall be issued after ‘Five years’ without any additional contribution. However the beneficiaries would not be denied CGHS facilities, if there is any inadvertent delay in procurement of new plastic cards after five years, provided the beneficiary is entitled for CGHS benefits.

- is replaced by the modified paragraph which reads as follows:

Para E (2) The Plastic Cards ( which are identity cards ) , would, hereinafter, be issued with validity till the pensioner beneficiary is entitled for CGHS benefits. In respect of pensioner CGHS beneficiaries, who have paid CGHS contribution for ‘Rest of Life’ CGI IS facilities . the Plastic cards would ,hercinaficr ,be issued for ‘Rest of’ Life’.

The Plastic cards already issued with a printed validity of five years to pensioner beneficiaries, who had paid CGHS contribution for ‘Rest of Life’ CGHS, would be taken as valid for use for “Rest of Life’. However, such CGHS pensioner beneficiaries have the option to obtain new plastic cards after five years. if they choose to do so..

The other contents of the Office Memorandum of even number dated 30th December 2009 remain unchanged.

Under Secretary to Government of India.
Tel. No. 011-2306 1881.

First ever new Schemes Formulated to Attract Private Investments in Railways












The year 2010 has been significant for the Railways in achieving goals and targets with regard to the following:


The total approximate earnings of Indian Railways on originating basis during 1st April – 20th December 2010  Rs. 64949.09 crore compared to Rs. 60288.01 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 7.73 per cent. The total goods earnings have gone up from Rs. 40591.17 crore during 1st April – 20th December 2009 to Rs. 43237.25 crore during 1st April –  20th  December 2010, an increase of 6.52 per cent. The total passenger revenue earnings during first nine months of the financial year 2010-11 were Rs. 18502.02 crore compared to Rs. 16846.75 crore during the same period last year, registering an increase of 9.83 per cent.

The total approximate number of passengers booked during the period 1st April- 20th December 2010 were 5674.88 million compared to 5360.72 million during the same period last year, showing an increase of 5.86 per cent.  In the suburban and non-suburban sectors, the number of passengers booked during 1st April - 20th December, 2010 were 2909.52 million and 2765.36 million compared to 2768.08 million and 2592.64 million during the same period last year, registering an increase of 5.11 per cent and 6.66 per cent respectively.

Indian Railways have carried 593.43 million tonnes of revenue earning freight traffic during April-November 2010. The freight carried shows an increase of 19.03 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 574.40 million tonnes actually carried during the corresponding period last year, registering an increase of 3.31 per cent.  In the calendar year 2010 Indian Railways has achieved scrap sale of Rs. 3687.15 till November 2010.  For the corresponding period in 2009 sale achieved by Railways was Rs. 2532 crore.


Kisan Vision Project issued on 14.01.2010 - With a view to encourage  creation of facilities of setting up cold  storage and temperature controlled perishable cargo centres through Public Private Partnership mode, six potential locations namely Dankuni, Mechheda, Nasik, New Jalpaiguri, New Azadpur and Singur have been identified for pilot project.  Construction work at the first pilot project has started at Singur by CONCOR and the second at New Azadpur will be taken up shortly.  Proposals from CWC/CONCOR for setting up perishable cargo centres at other four locations are under their consideration.  A professional agency is being engaged to carry out a Pan India study to identify potential locations for perishable cargo centers with O-D pair and design of suitable services to be implemented through PPP mode. For the first time in Indian Railways, a milk product special train has been introduced, running between Palanpur in Gujarat to Kanpur in close circuit.  Proposals are on the anvil to run few such specials in other circuits.
Special Freight Train Operator Scheme (SFTO) issued on 31.05.2010 -  In order to increase Rail share in commodities like automobile, fertilizers, molasses, edible oil, caustic soda, chemicals, petrochemicals, alumina, bulk cement, fly ash etc. and to attract private investment in special purpose wagons, a new scheme namely Special Freight Train Operator Scheme (SFTO) has been launched.
Private Freight Terminals (PFT) Scheme issued on 31.05.2010 – To facilitate rapid development of a network of freight terminals with private investment to provide efficient and cost effective logistics services to end users including door-to-door services, the concept of Private Freight Terminals to be developed by Private parties on private land will be allowed.   The policy provides for new Greenfield terminals as well as brown field existing Sidings/terminals on private land.
Development of Automobile Hubs Scheme issued on 19.7.2010 - With a view to increase Railways market share of automobile traffic and to facilitate aggregation and distribution centres for automobile traffic, a scheme for development of automobile hubs near rail heads through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode has been formulated.  10 locations have been identified at major production and consumption centres for development of auto hubs, out of which first such hub at Shalimar has been operationalized.
Automobile Freight Train Operator Scheme issued on 19.7.2010 - With a view to increase Indian Railways’ market share in transportation of automobile i.e. two/three-wheelers, cars and tractors etc. by inviting private participation for procurement and operation of special purpose wagons, a new scheme namely Automobile Freight Train Operator Scheme AFTO has been issued.
 New R3i Policy Scheme issued on 20.7.2010 - New R3i policy (Railways’ Infrastructure for Industry Initiative) which was recently formulated by the Ministry of Railways is aimed at attracting private sector participation in rail connectivity projects so that additional rail transport capacity can be created. The primary objective of this policy is to retain and increase rail share in freight traffic. It also aims at making rail option more competitive for prospective customers by sharing their burden in getting rail connectivity and allowing them to get a share in the freight revenues generated through freight traffic moving via new line. This policy shall not be applicable to lines intending to provide connectivity to coal mines and iron ore mines directly or indirectly.


India’s largest infrastructure project, the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) project covering 2762 kms. on the Western and Eastern corridors, is one of the most ambitious projects that Indian Railways has ever taken up and once completed would meet the transport requirements of the two busy trunk routes for the next 15-20 years and would also help segregation of passenger and freight traffic on these routes. The Western DFC (1534 kms.) will be from Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) in Mumbai to Tughlakabad and Dadri near Delhi and would cater largely to the container transport requirements between the existing and emerging ports in Maharashtra and Gujarat and the northern hinterland. The Eastern DFC will be from Ludhiana in Punjab to Dankuni (1839 kms.) near Kolkata to be extended in future to serve the new deep sea port proposed in Kolkata area and will largely serve coal and steel traffic.  In the first phase of this Eastern corridor project, work was started for laying 25.41 kilometers of new dedicated line from Dankuni to Chandanpur in November 2010.


Six corridors identified for conducting pre-feasibility studies:
(i)                 Delhi-Chandigarh-Amritsar  (450 km approx.)
(ii)               Pune-Mumbai-Ahmedabad (650 km approx.)
(iii)             Hyderabad-Dornakal-Vijaywada-Chennai (664 km approx.)
(iv)             Chennai-Bangalore-Coimbatore-Ernakulam (649 km approx.)
(v)               Howrah-Haldia (135 km approx.)
(vi)             Delhi -Agra-Lucknow -Varanasi - Patna (991 km approx. )

·         A consultant appointed in April 2009 has submitted the final report of Pre-feasibility studies for High Speed Rail Corridor (Pune – Mumbai - Ahmedabad). The Final Report is under examination by all the stake holders i.e. State Government of Maharashtra and Gujarat, Central and Western Railways and various Directorates of Ministry of Railways.
·         The technical evaluation of the offers for awarding consultancy has been completed and financial bid is under finalization for Pre-feasibility studies for High Speed Rail Corridor (Delhi–Chandigarh -Amritsar)
·         Bids have been invited for selecting the Consultant for Pre-feasibility studies for High Speed Rail Corridor (Delhi – Agra-Lucknow Varanasi-Patna).
·         Bids  have been invited for selecting the consultant  for Pre-feasibility studies for High Speed Rail Corridor (Howrah –Haldia).
 Tenders for remaining corridors shall be invited one-by-one shortly.


Electric Loco Factory Madhepura -    This project was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in Feb’07 and has been recently approved by the Cabinet on 18th Feb’10 for setting up this manufacturing unit under joint venture, with partner selected through international competitive bidding for manufacturing 12000 HP  electric locomotive. The land has already been identified and acquired at Madhepura.  The RFQ for shortlisting the bidders was opened on 17th May, 2010 and 4 Qualified Bidders Shortlisted on 31.5.10.  The final bids are expected to be opened in January’2011.
Rail Coach Factory Kancharapara - This project was approved by the Cabinet on 18th Feb’2010 for setting up the factory through joint venture to manufacture 500 EMU/MEMU Coaches per year. The railway land for the factory has been identified. The RFQ for this work opened on 26th July’2010 and 8 Qualified Bidders Shortlisted on 11.08.10. This project was inaugurated by Minister of Railways on 26.03.2010. The final bids are expected to be opened in March’2011.
 Setting up the ancillary unit for CLW at Dankuni - The site for setting up the ancillary unit of Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) at Dankuni has been identified.  Based on International Competitive Bidding (ICB), the Request for Qualification (RFQ) has been finalized on 9th March, 2010 wherein 4 bidders have been shortlisted. This ancillary unit will produce 100 loco shells and propulsion equipment per annum for 10 years. The final bids are expected to be opened in January’2011.
Setting up of Diesel Locomotive Factory at Marhowra – Global RFQ was floated for setting up a new mainline Diesel Locomotive Factory with joint venture at Marhowra, Saran District in Bihar for manufacturing and supplying mainline diesel locomotives to Indian Railways along with long term maintenance of these locomotives. Two firms have been short listed for Diesel Locomotive Factory, Marhowra. It is expected that the financial bid process would be completed early next year.
Rail Coach Factory, Rae Bareli - The execution of this work has been handed over to IRCON for fast tracking the project. Contract Agreement between RCF/RBL & IRCON has been signed on 16-07-2010.  Phase-I of this project is likely to be completed by July 2011 with start of production and it is likely to be completed by 2012-13.
Diesel Multiple Unit factory at Sankrail - Setting up of Diesel Multiple Unit factory at Sankrail was announced in Budget Speech 2010-11. The project has been approved in August 2010 at a cost of Rs.249.03 crore.  Execution of the Phase-I of the project has been handed over to RVNL for fast track implementation.
New Rail Axle Factory in New Jalpaiguri - Setting up of New Rail Axle Factory in New Jalpaiguri was announced in Budget Speech 2010-11.  The project has been approved in supplementary Grants, August 2010 at a cost of Rs. 284.12 crore.  M/s RITES has been awarded consultancy for setting up the project.


In a significant move to make the train numbering system of passenger carrying trains of Indian Railways more scientific, logical, uniform and computer-friendly, Ministry of Railways has decided to use  ‘five’ - digits for numbering trains,  in place of the old existing ‘four’- digit numbering system.  The ‘five’- digit numbering system of trains came into effect from 20th December, 2010.   The new system will go a long way in monitoring the movement of trains more effectively on all India basis and in facilitating dissemination and management of train information more scientifically benefiting the public/customers.  This major initiative will create a unique  “train number” which will be a national level identity for each train  and will cover all the passenger carrying trains running in the Indian Railways network.  Five digit train numbering scheme had become necessary in view of the four digit numbering scheme having got exhausted as  Indian Railways runs more than ten thousand trains every day.


Development of Adarsh stations:  584 stations identified as ‘Adarsh’ station for development with basic facilities such as drinking water, adequate toilets, catering services, waiting rooms and dormitories especially for lady passengers, better signage and other basic facilities.  355 stations already developed. 109 stations are planned for development by March 2011. In the past, several stations were provided with upgraded passenger amenities under the scheme of ‘Model’ station and ‘Modern’ station.
 Multi- Functional Complexes - Ministry of Railways have undertaken construction of Multi-functional Complexes (MFCs) at stations serving places of pilgrimage, industry and tourists interest.  These MFCs would provide rail users facilities like shopping, food stalls and restaurants, book stalls, PCO/STD/ISD/Fax booths, medicine & variety stores, budget hotels, underground parking, etc under one roof.   67 stations have been identified for development of MFCs during 2009-10., Development of these MFCs has been entrusted to Railway’s PSUs and Zonal Railways.   Construction work has already been taken up at 33 MFCs. All MFCs are planned to be commissioned by June 2011. The concept has been extended to another 93 stations identified during 2010-11.  Development of MFCs at these stations is also being taken up.
      Expansion of PRS -  During the year January – December 2010, the Passenger Reservation System (PRS) was expanded to cover new locations. The computerized PRS of Indian Railways is the largest passenger reservation network in the world, available at 2222 locations with more than 8074 terminals.  On an average 4.28 crore passengers per month are booked through the PRS with an average earning of Rs. 1722.01 crore per month.  Indian Railways have tied up with India Post for providing the facility of PRS through post-offices and is functional at 112 such post offices.
Expansion of UTS - During the year January-December 2010, Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) system was expanded to cover 1319 new locations.  The computerized UTS, initiated to provide a fast, flexible and secure method of issuing unreserved tickets, enables passengers to get unreserved tickets up to three days in advance from any counter and any station to any station in a defined cluster.  Computerized UTS is available at 4468 locations with approximately 8080 counters provided till end of November 2010.  Automatic ticket vending machines have been installed at 375 locations.


Thrust on safety related issues was given during the year, particularly to enhance Safety at Level Crossings, Interlocking and Manning, provision of Limited Height Subways, Normal Height Subways, RUBs, ROBs, expenditure on Road Safety Works.  The number of consequential train accidents reduced in 2009-10 in comparison to the previous year (165 as against 177) registering a decline of 6.77%. In the current year also, a similar declining trend has been observed as 94 consequential train accidents took place during April to 15th December, 2010 in comparison to 116 during the corresponding period of the previous year.

Anti Collision Device (ACD) - The Anti Collision Device (ACD), developed by Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL) has been in service trial as a pilot project on Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) since July’2006. Based on experience on NFR, specifications of ACD have had to be revised to improve efficacy, reliability and availability of ACD. The first set of trials for proving of the equipment has been completed in Sept-Oct 2010 in a nominated section of Southern Railway. KRCL has taken note of the shortcomings and next set of trial is currently underway.

Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) - Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) as a technical aid to loco pilot has been commissioned on Chennai Central – Gummidipundi suburban section (50 Route KMs) of Southern Railway as a pilot project. This system prevents ‘Signal  Passing at Danger’ cases and enforces implementation of speed restriction. Second pilot project of TPWS on Delhi-Agra non suburban section of Northern/North Central Railway is in progress with five locomotives.

Train Management System (TMS) - TMS allows effective & efficient train planning, train operation and train control on real time basis besides facilitating real time train information to rail users at stations. TMS works on suburban sections of Chennai, Howrah, Sealdah and Howrah-Kharagpur section have been taken up during the year 2010-11. TMS for suburban section of Delhi area is planned to be included during the year 2011-12.

Modernization of Signalling System - In order to increase efficiency and enhance safety in train operations, modern signaling system with Route Relay/Panel/Electronic Interlocking along with Multi aspect colour light  signalling in replacement of over-aged mechanical/multi cabin signaling system has been provided at 447 stations. Automatic clearance of Block Section has been provided at 484 sections through use of axle counters. This will reduce dependence on human element & enhance safety.  439 Nos. of level crossing gates have been interlocked with signals to enhance safety.  To improve reliability and visibility of signals, out dated filament type signals are being replaced by long life, highly durable LED signals. 833 stations have been provided with LED signals.

 Improving Communication System - During financial year 2010-11, 2000 Route Kilometers, Optic Fibre Cable  (OFC) cable has been laid upto November 2010.  So far, 39,000 Route Kilometers of OFC has been laid on Indian Railway system alongside railway track for improving communications.  Optic Fibre network on Indian Railways has been utilized for meeting various needs such as Administrative Trunk Voice Communication, Train Control Communication, Data Communication needs of “Throughput” enhancement computer networks.  OFC network has contributed greatly in extending reach of both Passenger Reservation System (PRS) and Unreserved Ticketing System (UTS) services to remote stations enhancing public safety & security by way of providing connectivity for reliable train control and video surveillance at stations.


Ministry of Railways has introduced major changes in the new Railway Recruitment policy. These are; i) The examination for a particular post to be held on the same date simultaneously by all the Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs); ii) In addition to Hindi, Urdu and English, question papers to be set in local languages listed in Eighth Schedule of Constitution of India falling within the jurisdiction of that RRB and; iii) It has been decided to waive the examination fees for candidates belonging to women, minorities and economically backward sections of society, having annual family income less than Rs. 50,000/-. The Ministry of Railways also carried out a technical audit of the system of examinations by RRB and necessary changes in the system of printing, transportation, storage and distribution of question papers for examinations have been made to make the system foolproof to prevent leakage.

In a significant boost to Indian Railways’ efforts towards climate preservation, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has approved and registered the project of Improving Energy Efficiency in Indian Railways residential quarters through Compact Fluorescent. Three per cent of the Carbon Credits that would accrue from the project will also be earned by Indian Railways.  As a unique model, Railways launched this project based on clean development mechanism to distribute over 14 lakh CFLs free of cost to Railway employees housed in Railway colonies, in exchange of energy intensive incandescent lamps. The project aims at demonstrating Railways commitment to climate preservation and inculcating wide participation from masses to arrest global warming.  This project is expected to reduce 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually.

Improvement of catering services is a thrust area of the Indian Railways. It is the endeavour of the Indian Railways to provide good quality hygienic, affordable and wholesome food to passengers while taking into account the regional culinary preferences.  A new Catering Policy 2010 has been issued. Emphasis has been placed to ensure the availability of quality food for the not-so-affluent classes of passengers by providing Janata food and Jan Ahaar (economy combo-meals) by means of Refreshment Rooms, Stand alone outlets and the vending stalls. Supervision and monitoring has been strengthened through an institutional mechanism to be put in place by the zonal railways by deploying railway personnel, who would check quality and hygiene and take corrective action in a time-bound manner. Standard Bid Document will be redesigned with weightage to quality parameters.  IRCTC would continue to be a service provider to the Indian Railways and shall be responsible for managing the premium and high end outlets like Food Plazas, Food Courts and Fast Food Units; and institutional catering outside railways.   The implementation of Catering Policy has been initiated.  Instructions for handing over in the first phase have been issued for implementation.


In an important passenger friendly move, the Ministry of Railways started accepting two more proofs of identity for traveling on e-tickets since June 2010 onwards. These are; (i) Student Identity Card with photograph issued by recognized School/College for their students. (ii) Nationalised Bank Passbook with photograph. (iii) The bank credit card with photograph.  These are in addition to the existing five proofs of identity for undertaking journey on e-tickets namely;  a) Voter Identity Card,  b)  Passport, c) PAN Card, d) Driving License and  e) Photo Identity Card issued by Central/State Government. The new provision has already come into effect.


Commonwealth Express Train, a special exhibition train was flagged of in the month of June 2010 to spread awareness about sports and Information Technology especially among the youth and among the masses in general.  The first stop of this train was at Amritsar on 25th to coincide with event of arrival of Queen’s Baton of Commonwealth Games. After covering major cities in the country, this exhibition train concluded its journey in Delhi on 1st October 2010. This train consisted of 11 coaches out of which five coaches were allocated to Railway Sports Promotion Board to showcase the history of Commonwealth Games, details of the venues of the events held in the month of October, 2010 in Delhi, to spread general awareness about different sports and to give wide publicity to the sports icons of India who have brought laurels to the country with their stupendous feats.


In a special gesture,  Indian Railways run an exhibition train named ‘Mother Express’ to commemorate the birth centenary of Mother Teresa, the noted missionary social worker. The Minister of Railways, Mamata Banerjee opened “Mother Express” for public viewing on the occasion of Mother Teresa’s birthday on 26th August, 2010 at Sealdah Station in Kolkata, West Bengal. This train is travelling at different stations of the country during six months of its journey.This exhibition train  is showcasing life and philanthropic deeds of this great soul who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and India’s highest civilian honour, the ‘Bharat Ratna’ in 1980 for her humanitarian work.

To commemorate the birth centenary of Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, ‘Sanskriti Express’ exhibition train showcasing his life and philosophy was flagged off by the Minister of Railways, Mamata Banerjee on 9th May, 2010. The train is traversing the entire length & breadth of the country touching important stations and will return to Bolpur on 8th May, 2011.  The exhibition train is having grand success in all corners of the country and has already visited many states like Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with tremendous public enthusiasm and wide appreciation.


An integrated Security System has been approved at an estimated cost of Rs. 353 Crore in Works programme 2009-10 for 202 vulnerable stations of the Indian Railways.  This system comprises of IP based CCTV surveillance system, Access control, Personal and baggage screening system and bomb detection & disposal system. To further augment strength of Railway Protection Force (RPF), 5134 posts have been created in RPF with the approval of Ministry of Finance. RPF is also conducting special drives to nab the drug traffickers, dealers, and gangs operating in Railway premises. For strengthening of security of women passengers, raising of 12 companies of women RPF personnel to be named “Mahila Vahini” has been approved.  Proposal is under process for creation of posts. All India Security helpline has been sanctioned in the Budget of 2010-11 which will be accessed by passengers round the clock form any corner of the country for security related assistance in Railway premises and during train journey.  Technical specifications and system architecture are under finalization.  For speedy dissemination of information and data relating to crime, networking of security control rooms and important RPF posts is being done at an estimated cost of Rs. 4.41 crore.


              In a gesture of honour to the freedom fighters, the Ministry of Railways decided in July 2010 that 1st Class/2nd AC Complimentary Card Passes issued to freedom fighters/their are valid for travel in 3rd AC of Rajdhani trains and Chair Car of Shatabdi/Jan-Shatabdi express trains along with a companion in same class, in addition to the earlier existing facility.

In yet another passenger friendly initiative, the Ministry of Railways decided in July 2010 that the rechargeable coupons for mobile phones would be made available for the benefit of the passengers at the STD/PCO booths at Railway Stations.  As per the decision, all Zonal Railways are being permitted to allow sale of recharge coupons from the existing STD/PCO booths at the Railway stations which opt for selling the recharge coupons on payment of the additional license fee as per the category of the station. The STD/PCO booths opting for the scheme is required to display a sign indicating that “recharge coupons for mobile phone are available” and are not be allowed to display the name of service provider companies.


            Electronic procurement has been initiated providing improvement in the transparency in tendering and contracts for stores supply of all Zonal Railways/Production Units.  E-procurement System has been successfully implemented in all Zonal Railways and Pus. Upto November 2010, more than 1.5 lakh e-tenders have been uploaded by all the Zonal Railways and Production Units.    Upto November 2010, a total number of 12000 vendors have registered.  Electronic procurement has facilitated vendors and the participating industry to gain free access to Railways’ supply tenders and has improved transparency, and competitiveness in tendering process.  E-tendering has also eliminated vendors’ presence during tender opening which has been totally dispensed with.


An MOU was signed between Ministry of Railways & Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur on 13.02.2010 to develop a long-term frame work for research collaboration by setting up of Centre for Railway Research (CRR) at IIT, Kharagpur.  A detailed estimate of Rs.20.38 Cr. has been sanctioned for the work of ‘Setting up of a Railway Research Centre at IIT/Kharagpur’.  An amount of Rs.4.19 crore has also been released to IIT/Kharagpur for setting up the CRR.  Few projects have been worked out by the team of IIT and RDSO officers and are under process of scrutiny for final sanction for the budget 2011-12.


The Ministry of Railways has decided to extend the benefit of Safety related Retirement Scheme (SRRS) to other categories of staff in addition to drivers and gangmen with a Grade Pay of Rs. 1800/- p.m. The qualifying service has been reduced from 33 years to 20 years and the eligibility age group from 55-57 years to 50-57 years for seeking retirement under the scheme. It has been decided to modify the nomenclature of the scheme as Liberized Active Retirement Scheme for Guaranteed Employment for Safety Staff (LARSGESS) with Grade Pay of Rs. 1800/-.  However, the employment under the scheme would be guaranteed only to those found eligible/suitable and finally selected as per procedure.


Metro Railway, Kolkata got the status of 17th Zone of Indian Railways. The Minister of Railways Mamata Banerjee laid the foundation stone for conferring on Metro Railway the status of 17th Zone at a function in Kolkata on 29th December 2010. This will be in addition to the existing 16 Zonal Railways of Indian Railways. At present, Metro Railway, Kolkata is on the threshold of a high growth phase. A number of new works have been sanctioned recently, as a result of which the network of Metro Railway, Kolkata would expand fast. The passenger traffic, which has been steadily growing, is likely to grow even faster with the completion of these new works. On this occasion, Mamata Banerjee also commenced the work of Joka- Majherhat section in the first phase of Joka-BBD Bag Metro Railway in Kolkata.


In a major milestone development in the field of Wagon Manufacturing in the country, the two major PSUs of Government of India came together to set  up a trend setting Wagon Manufacturing Factory in Joint Venture (JV) at Kulti near Asansol in Bardhman district of West Bengal. This JV agreement came as the fulfillment of the announcement made by the   Minister of Railways, Mamata Banerjee in the Railway Budget 2010-11 wherein she had announced the setting up of State-of-the-art Wagon Manufacturing Factories in Joint Venture/PPP at five locations, including Bardhaman.  The other locations are Secunderabad, Bhubaneshwar/Kalahandi, Haldia and Guwahati.


Under the aegis of the Ministry of Railways, the long standing issue of implementation of the tripartite memorandum of settlement of wage revision of workers of M/s Braithwaite, Kolkata was resolved. The wage revision benefitted about 350 employees and became effective from 01.10.2010. This resulted in an increase of Rs. 3500- 4000 per employee per month. Similarly, the process of wage revision was initiated at M/s Burn Standard, Kolkata. As in M/s Braithwaite, the revision in pay became effective for M/s Burn Standard from 01.10.2010. The management of M/s Burn Standard had been authorized to formalize a tripartite memorandum in this regard.



Considering great hardships being felt by the land losers on acquisition of their land, Railways have come out with new guidelines for land acquisition with humanitarian considerations.  Some of these guidelines are; i) Providing job to one member of each family of land losers; ii) Acquisition of private land shall be done only when very essential and unavoidable; iii) Planning of projects in a manner so as to cause minimum acquisition of land particularly agricultural land and dislocation of land owners; iv) Land to be acquired with compassion for land losers and with full transparency.  Project affected persons shall be apprised of project alignment and other details including compensation payable to them by undertaking public consultation meetings.and; v) Use of modern technology including use of reinforced, retaining wall to be encouraged so as to minimize width of land to be acquired.


In a major initiative, the Ministry of Railways took a step forward in augmenting its own internal power generation to meet its electricity requirements when it signed an Memorandum of Understanding with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a PSU under the Ministry of Power, Government of India for a Joint Venture captive power plant at Adra in West Bengal on 31st October 2010. The Adra power plant will have capacity of 1320 MW (2 units of 660 MW, super critical units). This power plant will employ super critical technology which is more environment friendly.


Rail Coach Factory (RCF), rolled out country’s first air conditioned double decker coach. A totally new coach shell design capable of running at a speed of 160 kmph was developed by RCF engineers in tandem with Research Design and Standard Organisation (RDSO) within a short span of just nine months. In the new design, 128 passengers can be seated as compared to 78 passengers in Shatabdi chair cars, thus increasing the capacity by almost 70 per cent.  A full rake of this train is presently under trials and commercial run is expected soon after all mandatory clearance.


The Union Cabinet approved the proposal of the Ministry of Railways for payment of Productivity Linked Bonus (PLB) to the Railway employees to the extent of 77 days’ wages for the financial year 2009-10. Approximately 12.92 lakh non-gazetted Group B, C and D employees were benefited from the decision.  This was the highest PLB payment ever to be made by Railways. PLB is based on the productivity indices reflecting the performance of the Railway.


            Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Human Resource Development for setting up 50 Kendriya Vidyalayas, 10 Navovidyalaya type of Vidyalayas as and Degree colleges. Six Kendriya Vidyalayas have already been sanctioned and joint survey is already in progress for other Vidyalayas.


For providing healthcare facilities to railway passengers, Indian Railway employees and their families, and public living around such areas a MoU was signed between Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for opening of OPD & Diagnostic Centres, Secondary Level General Specialty Hospitals and Tertiary Level Hospitals. Railways have identified the land, which is not operationally required by it, and Ministry of Health &
Family Welfare will develop healthcare infrastructure. Medical and Nursing Colleges, for wards of Railway employees, Medical Department is taking steps to  open Medial and Nursing colleges on Railway land with existing Railways Hospitals under public private partnership. To start with five places have been identified i.e. Chennai, Guwahati, Khargpur, Secundrabad and Lucknow. The construction work of Nursing College at Majerhat is under progress and will start functioning in the next academic session. Doctor on long distance trains  For managing the medical emergencies while traveling in train a doctor along with one paramedic staff, with medicines and disposables and resuscitation equipments have been provided in all the Duronto trains as a pilot project.


ailways sports persons bagged 25 medals for India which included 13 Gold medals, 3 Silver medals and 9 Bronze medals in the 19th Commonwealth Games (CWG 2010) which was held in Delhi in October 2010.   Railway players also  won 15 Medals in the 16th Asian Games for India which was held  in Guangzhou, China in November 2010 which included 7 Gold medals, 1 Silver Medal and 7 Bronze medals.    Ministry of Railway has announced to formulate new sports policy which will further promote the cause of sports and games so that Railways is able to produce many more talented sports persons. The new policy will  be formulated in such a way so that it provides sufficient encouragement, incentive, better career prospects and better professional support to Railway players.  The new policy would include incentives for railway coaches also and the provision for best professional facilities to railway sports persons.
Indian Railways brought laurels to the nation when Railways’ Shri Sushil Kumar became the first Indian to win Gold Medal in the World Wrestling Championship held in Moscow and Railways’ team stood 2nd in the prestigious 14th USIC (Union of International Railways) International Shooting Championship which was held in Krakow (Poland) from 23rd to 27th August, 2010.


All India Consumer Price Index Numbers for Industrial Workers on Base 2001=100 for the Month of November, 2010

 All India Consumer Price Index Number for Industrial Workers (CPI-IW) on base 2001=100 for the month of  November, 2010 increased by 1 point and stood at 182 (one hundred and eighty two).
During November, 2010, the index recorded an increase of 6 points each in Siliguri, Jamshedpur, Tiruchirapally and Bhilai centres, 5 points each in Giridih, Coimbatore, Mariani Jorhat, Rourkela and Selam centres, 4 points in 4 centres, 3 points in 6 centres, 2 points in 13 centres  and 1 point in 17 centres. The index decreased by 4 points in Ghaziabad centre, 2 points in Agra centre, 1 point in 11 centres, while in the remaining 16 centres the index remained stationary.
            The maximum increase of 6 points each in Siliguri, Jamshedpur, Tiruchirapally and Bhilai centres is mainly on account of increase in the prices of Rice, Goat Meat, Onion, Vegetable & Fruit items, Firewood, etc. The increase of 5 points each in Giridih, Coimbatore, Mariani Jorhat, Rourkela and Selam centres is due to increase in the prices of Rice, Mustard Oil, Goat Meat, Eggs (Hen), Onion, Vegetable & Fruit items etc. However, the decrease of 4 points in Ghaziabad centre is due to decrease in the prices of Arhar Dal, Vegetable items, etc. and the decrease of 2 points in Agra centre is due to decrease in the prices of Urd Dal, Moong Dal, Vegetable items, etc.
The indices in respect of the six major centres are as follows :

1. Ahmedabad      2. Bangalore
180                               183

3. Chennai             4. Delhi
165                               168

5. Kolkatta              6. Mumbai
    177                           182

The All-India (General) point to point rate of inflation for the month of November, 2010 is 8.33% as compared to 9.70% in October, 2010. Inflation based on Food Index is 5.35% in November, 2010 as compared to 7.73% in October, 2010.


Child Care Leave to Central Government employees -DOPT- Clarification regarding

No. 13018 /1/2010-Estt. (Leave)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, P.G. and Pensions
(Department of Personnel & Training)

New Delhi, the 30th December, 2010


Subject:    Child Care Leave to Central Government employees - regarding

The undersigned is directed to say that subsequent tu issue of this Department OM of even number dated 07/09/2010, this Department has been receiving references from various Departments, seeking clarifications. The doubts raised are clarified as under:-

      1. Whether Earned Leave availed for any purpose can be converted into Child Care Leave? How should applications where the purpose of availing leave has been indicated as 'Urgent Work' but the applicant claims to have utilized the leave for taking care of the needs of the child, be treated?

Child Care Leave is sanctioned to women employees having minor children, for rearing or for looking after their needs like examination, sickness etc. Hence Earned Leabe availed specifically for this purpose only should be converted.

2.       2.Whether all Earned Leave availed irrespective of number of days i.e. less than 15 days, and number of spells can be converted? In cases where the CCL spills over to the next year (for example 30 days CCL from 27th December), whether the Leave should be treated as one spell or two spells'?

No. As the instructions contained in the OM dated 7.9.2010 has been given retrospective effect, all the conditions specified in the OM would have to be fulfilled for conversion of the Earned Leave into Child Care Leave. In cases where the leave spills over to the next year, it may be treated as one spell against the year in which the leave commences.

3.       Whether those who have availed Child Care Leave for more than 3 spells with less than 15 days can avail further Child Care Leave for the remaining period of the current year'?

No. As per the OM of even number dated 7.9.2010, Child Care Leave may not be granted in more than 3 spells. Hence CCL may not be allowed more than 3 times irrespective of the number of daya or times Child Care Leave has been availed earlier. Past cases may not be reopened.

4.       Whether LTC can be availed during Child Care Leave?

LTC cannot be availed during Child Care Leave as Child Care Leave is granted for the specific purpose of taking care of a minor child for rearing or for looking after any other needs of the child during examination, sickness etc.

Hindi version will follow.

(Simmi R. Nakra)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Proceedings of the Interactive Session on e-service book - DOPT Order

No.21011/30/2009-Estt. (Allowance)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension
Department of Personnel & Training
New Delhi, December 24, 2010

Subject: Proceedings of the Interactive Session on e-service book held on 14th December. 2010 at North Block, New Delhi.
The undersigned is directed refer to the D.O. of even number dated 2nd December, 2010 from Ms. Marnta Kundra Joint Secretary, regarding Interactive Session of Nodal Officers on e-service book on 14th December, 2010. The detailed discussion on various issues including the current status of the implementation was held. The Proceedings of the Session are enclosed. All Ministries/Departments are requested to take further necessary action.
(Simmi R. Nakra)
Department of Personnel & Training

Proceedings of the two interactive Sessions on 14th December. 2010 at 10:30 AM and 03:OO PM in Room No.72, North Block, New Delhi in connection with e-service book

The Interactive Sessions of nodal officers on e-Service Book implementation was held on 14 12.2010 at 10:30 a.m. & 3.00 p.m. in Room No.72, North Block, New Delhi under the Chairpersonship of JS(Estt.), Ms. Mamta Kundra. The officials of this Department and NIC besides the representatives from the Ministries/Departments attended the session.
2. Smt. Simmi Nakra, Director, Department of Personnel & Training, welcomed all the participants to the Interactive Sessions. The background of the e-service book project was explained to them and the benefits of the system were outlined. It was stressed that employee profiles may be generated and employee feedback may be recorded. The participants were advised to start current entries in the e-service book format along with the previous entries, which could be taken care of in a phased manner by them. This would ensure that the e-Service Books become current quickly. The Joint Secretary (Establishment), Ms. Mamta Kundra, essayed that the basic objective of the Sessions was to seek suggestions and feedback on the issues related to e-Service Book. She stressed upon the importance of service book for the employee and how the e-format would be beneficial in facilitating quicker implementation.
3. The participants were also apprised of the MIS reports generated from the system. A brief was given to the participants with regard to the requirements for the Plan Scheme and they were requested to send the information as sought in the Questionnaire and prescribed proforma immediately. Shri G. K. Gaur, Sr. Technical Director, NIC, gave a brief presentation on the responses to the questionnaire and proforma received from some Ministries. He stressed upon the fact that his sample was too small to reach to some definite conclusion. It was therefore requested that remaining Ministries/ Departments may immediately forward their responses for better appreciation of the issues.
4. During the discussion various issues were raised by the participants. The representative of Ministry of External Affairs, Shri Arun Kumar Chatterjee, highlighted the security angle of the service book data. He requested the NIC to look into this aspect to ensure that the data may not be fiddled with. He also highlighted the specific issue of frequent postings abroad in case of MEA officials and associated maintenance of their service records. It was also mentioned that the Service Books of the officials joining the ministries from outside Delhi are manual service books compared to e-Service Book here and again after completion of their tenure they would have to be provided with manual service book. It was informed that the purpose of the Plan scheme is to introduce e-Service Book throughout the Government in a phased manner and hence all employees will be covered in due course.
5. Some of the suggestions received during the session include:
The ‘Help Desk’ has to be more proactive. A ‘Call Centre’ type help desk was suggested. Details of spouse, such as working or not working, place of work, date of birth, etc., may be added in the parameters to enable the user Ministry to have firsthand knowledge of status of spouse. Name & designation of the employee should be reflected automatically on all pages once the service book is opened. Service verification page is not user friendly. Mostly the Drawing & Disbursing Officer furnishes a certificate and on the basis of it service is verified as qualifying service or otherwise. Further discussion was held on the issue of verification. NIC was requested to devise a proper system for verification of the data as there is no provision of digital signature. LTC field is not restricted to one of the members of the family but instead names of all the members furnished in the family details are reflected. There needs to be some arrangement for e-service book to be sent electronically to the Pay & Accounts division for issuing “Qualifying Service” Certificate as well as at the time of settlement of retirement benefits. The leave format in the e-service book needs to be simplified and made more users friendly. At present it is just the replica of physical service book. The balance of leave does not reflect automatically. The previous account of leave is also not reflected. It was also decided to look at the leave format in the physical service book. Information entered in any field cannot be deleted. It was clarified by NIC that information once fed cannot be deleted. Only new information can be added
6.The participants were requested to intimate change of Nodal Officer/administrative officers/officials immediately for the security and authenticity of the data. They were informed that MIS reports generated with a perspective and the access to these would be provided to JS and above level officials in the Ministry, If the need for generation of some more reports was felt, the concerned Ministry may inform DOPT. It was also stressed that any other issues or suggestions which could not be highlighted in the Session could be mailed at
7. The Ministries/Departments were requested to furnish the Questionnaire and Proforma A & B, including information in respect of attached and subordinate offices, at the earliest. For updated information on e-service book, the webpage, viz., is required to be seen from time to time by the Ministries/Departments.
The Session ended with a vote of thanks

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


The State government has issued orders revising the pay scales of employees of the Kerala State Cooperative Bank with retrospective effect from April 1, 2007.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Cooperation and Coir Development Minister G. Sudhakaran said the government had accepted the pay revision report of a panel headed by the Principal Secretary (Cooperatives), according to which the minimum upward revision for the last grade employee will be Rs.1,500 and that of Chief General Manager will be Rs.11,000.

The KSCB will have to incur an additional burden of Rs.18 lakh a month or Rs. 2.16 crore a year. The Board of Directors had been authorised to work out the details of arrear payment.

He said the existing running master scale of Rs.6,000-37,700 had been revised to Rs.7,825-50,450. The following are the revised pay scales for various categories of employees with the existing scale in brackets: Peon/attender 7,825-20,975 (6,000-14,775), Clerk: 9,625-28,375 (7,375-19,975) Junior Assistant: 11,750-32,050 (8,925-24,775) Accounts Officer: 14,375-38,350 (10,975- 29,300), Deputy General Manager: 20,975-48,950 (15,925-36,575) Chief General Manager: 25,075-50,450 (19,250-37,700).

Employees would get 6.25 per cent fitment and 24 per cent dearness allowance along with the basic pay from the date of opting for the new scale or from April 1, 2007. The pay revision committee's recommendation for one increment for 10 years of service and two increments for 20 years service also have been accepted.

Employees would get a house rent allowance of 10 per cent of the salary, subject to a limit of Rs.2,000, besides three stagnation increments. The commission's recommendation for higher grade promotion for the sub-staff category depending on the years of service has also been accepted.

The government had sanctioned special pay for qualified employees ranging between Rs.500 to 700, over and above the pay committee's recommendation with a view to induct professionalism in its services.

The Minister pointed out that the government had sanctioned the pay revision even though the KSCB was going through difficult times. Bank Chairman Koliyakode Krishnan Nair said the bank was in the red mainly on account of the inhospitable attitude of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), which had failed to extend refinance for farm loans.

Despite this, the bank had advanced farm loans, suffering loss in interest component to the tune of Rs. 12 crore.

source : The hindu

Pension Rules for Employees of PSUs

Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) has issued orders which, inter alia, provide pension scheme within 30% ceiling of Basic Pay and DA. The Pension Scheme is to be framed and operated by the Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).

DPE has issued orders enhancing Gratuity to Rs. 10 lakh in respect of CPSEs employees.


Swavalamban Benefit for NPS Account Holders

Eligible Account Holders are Required to Submit Declaration form to the PoPs

Under the Swavalamban guidelines approved by the Govt. of India, all NPS accounts opened in 2009-10 will be entitled to the benefit of Government co-contribution of Rs. 1,000 subject to fulfilling the prescribed eligibility criteria. A list of eligible account holders is available on the Website of Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) as well as the concerned PoPs.

The PFRDA has requested the concerned NPS account holders to submit the requisite declaration form to the PoPs at the earliest to avail of the Swavalamban benefit. A copy of the Swavalamban declaration form can be downloaded from the website of the PFRDA / PoPs / NSDL.


Reimbursement of cost of Safety Shoes in favour of Trackmen (Gangmen)-NFIR

Reimbursement of cost of Safety Shoes in favour of Trackmen (Gangmen), Keymen, Mates, Gatemen & Trolleymen - NFIR's on 27th & 28th December, 2010
National Federation of Indian Railwaymen

Affiliated to :
Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC)
Internatinal Transport Worker's Federation (ITF)

No.9/2010 (PNM)            
Dated - 28-12-2010

The General Secretaries of
Zonal Unions of N.F.I.R.

Dear brother
Sub: Reimbursement of cost of Safety Shoes in favour of Trackmen (Gangmen), Keymen, Mates, Gatemen & Trolleymen - NFIR's on 27th & 28th December, 2010.

The demand of NFIR for enhancement of reimbursable amount to not less than Rs.1000/- towards the cost of Safety Shoes for Tarackmen, Keymen, Mates, Gatemen and Trolleymen was discussed in the PNM Meeting held on 27th & 28th December, 2010 with the Railway Board.

Consequently the Railway Board has agreed to revised the amount. It is expected that revision would be Rs.900/-.

The Trackmen category should be informed accordingly.

Yours fraternally,
General Secretary


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Achievements of Ministry of Labour & Employment in the year 2010


The Ministry of Labour & Employment has made serious efforts to implement various provisions mandated relating to enhancement of the welfare and well-being of farmers, farm labour and workers particularly those in the unorganized sector, ensuring the fullest implementation of minimum wage laws for farm labour, striving for elimination of child labour, examination of labour laws that create an Inspector Raj and harmonization and streamlining of procedures.

·         Amendments have been carried out in 5 Acts namely the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923, the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948, the Plantations Labour Act, 1951 and the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.  Proposals to amend 10 Acts are at various stages of consideration.
·         The ‘National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace’ and the ‘National Policy on HIV / AIDS and the World of Work’ have been announced. The ‘National Employment Policy’ is being formulated.
·         The ‘Report to the People on Employment’ has been placed in the public domain.
·         27 States / Union Territories have taken initiatives to implement the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY). About 2.23 crore cards have been issued till 15.12.2010.
·         The coverage under RSBY has been expanded to include construction workers.  Cabinet approval has been obtained to cover street vendors also.
·         The National Floor Level Minimum Wage has been revised from Rs.80/- to Rs.100/- per day w. e. f. 01.11.2009.
·         ‘Pehchan Identity Card’ Scheme for Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) beneficiaries has been launched.
·         The wage ceiling for coverage of employees under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 has been enhanced from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.15,000/- per month w.e.f. 01.05.2010.
·         The ‘Modernization Project’ is being implemented in the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) with technical assistance of National Informatics Centre (NIC).
·         Employment of children has been prohibited in two more occupations, namely, ‘Circus’ and ‘Caring of Elephants’.
·         About 6.47 lakh children have been mainstreamed under the National Child Labour Project (NCLP).
·         Vocational Training is being provided through a network of 2,178 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and 6,464 Industrial Training Centres (ITCs) where about 1.19 million training seats are available.
·         Upgradation of 100 ITIs with domestic resources, 400 ITIs with World Bank assistance and 1,396 ITIs under PPP mode was undertaken.
·         ‘Skill Development Initiative’ (SDI) Scheme for training school drop-outs and existing workers especially in the informal sector under Modular Employable Skills (MES) framework was implemented.
·         Kaushal Vikas Yojana to set up new  1,500 ITIs and 5,000 Skill Development Centres, Skill Development Plan for Youth , supplementing infrastructure deficiencies in  ITIs in NE states and Sikkim and modernization of all 969 Employment Exchanges in the country under e-governance plan are being taken up.
·         ILO Convention No. 127 concerning Maximum Weight for manual transport has been ratified.
·         Labour Bureau has conducted eight quarterly quick employment surveys to assess the impact of economic slowdown on employment.
·         Labour Bureau has conducted the Annual Survey of Employment & Un-employment for the reference period 2009-10.

The details are given below:
Legislative Initiatives:
The Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1923 has been amended to make it gender neutral. The Act will now be called ‘the Employees’ Compensation Act, 1923’. Besides , the compensation under the Act  has been enhanced  from Rs.80,000/- to Rs.1,20,000/- in case of death, from Rs.90,000/-to Rs.1,40,000/- in case of disablement and from Rs.2,500/- to Rs.5,000/- towards  funeral expenses.  The employee shall be reimbursed the actual medical expenditure incurred by him for treatment of injuries caused during the course of employment without any ceiling. A new Section 25A has been added for the Commissioner to dispose the matter relating to compensation under this Act within a period of three months from the date of reference. The wage ceiling limit for working out compensation has been increased from Rs.4,000/- to Rs.8,000/- per month .
The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 has been amended first to cover teachers in educational institutions and again to enhance the ceiling on gratuity from Rs.3.5 lakh to Rs.10 lakh.
The Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 has been amended to improve the quality of service under the scheme and also to enable ESI infrastructure to be used to provide health care to workers in the unorganized sector.
            The Plantations Labour Act, 1951 has been amended for providing safety and occupational health care to plantations workers.
            The Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 has been amended  to amplify the term ‘appropriate government’ defined under section 2(a) of the Act, enhance the wage ceiling from Rs.1,600/- to Rs.10,000/- per month to cover workmen working in supervising capacity, provide direct access for the workman to the Labour Court or Tribunal  in case of disputes arising out of Section 2(A) of the Act, expand the scope of qualifications of Presiding Officers of Labour Courts  or Tribunals, establish Grievance Redressal Machinery and empowering the Labour Court or  Tribunal to execute the awards etc.
New Policy:
The National Policy on Safety, Health and Environment at Workplace and the National Policy on HIV / AIDS and the World of Work have been announced.
Important Schemes For Unorganized Sector Workers:
A Health Insurance Scheme for the poor titled ‘Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana’ (RSBY) is being implemented from 01.04.2008. The scheme envisages provision for issuing a smart card to the beneficiary. This card facilitates cashless transaction up to Rs.30,000/-. 27 States / Union Territories have initiated the process to implement the scheme and 24 States / Union Territories have started issuing cards.  More than 2.18 crore cards have been issued. So far as other target groups are concerned, construction workers have been covered and Cabinet approval has been obtained to cover street vendors also. Steps are being taken to extend the scheme to cover railway porters and Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGREGA) beneficiaries who have worked for more than 15 days during the preceding financial year etc. The National Social Security Fund has been set up for unorganized sector workers with an initial corpus of Rs.1000 crore. This Fund will support schemes for weavers, toddy-tappers, rickshaw pullers, beedi workers etc. Welfare Schemes relating to group insurance, medical cover, scholarship, pension, housing etc. for building and other construction workers, cine, beedi and non-coal mine workers are in operation.
The National Floor Level Minimum Wage has been revised from Rs.80/-per day to Rs.100/- per day w. e. f 01.11.2009. In the Central Sphere, minimum rates of wages were revised for workers in the Employment of  ‘agriculture’ , stone breaking and stone crushing’ , sweeping and cleaning’ , watch and ward’, ‘loading and unloading’ , ‘construction’, and ‘non-coal mines’ w.e.f. 01.10.2010 in the range of Rs.146/- to Rs.310/- per day for different categories of workers in different areas. The Central Government has notified the Payment of Wages (Nomination) Rules, 2009 defining the procedure for nomination and restricting the nomination by workers to his family members. The Central Government has re-constituted two Advisory Boards namely Minimum Wages Advisory Board (MWAB) vide notification in the Gazette of India (Extra Ordinary) S.O. 1334 (E) dated 7th June, 2010 and Central Advisory Board (CAB) vide notification in the Gazette of India (Extra Ordinary) S.O. 2064 (E) dated 23rd August, 2010 under Section 7 and 8 respectively of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948. The first meeting of the MWAB and CAB was held on 23.09.2010 and 07.10.2010 respectively.
Social Security: Employees’ State Insurance Corporation    
New geographical areas covered by the ESI Scheme were 46 in 2008-09, 53 in 2009-10 and expected to be 60 in 2010-11. The number of insured persons was 1.43 crore, number of beneficiaries 5.55 crore and number of factories / establishments 4.6 lakh in 2009-10. The functioning of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) is being improved through the use of information and communication technology under IT based e-governance project ‘Panchdeep’. A ‘Pehchan Identity Card’ Scheme for Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Beneficiaries has been launched.  Every beneficiary will be issued two Smart Cards – one for himself and another for the family. This would enable Insured Persons (IPs) and their family members to avail benefit from anywhere any time, even if they are living at separate locations. The wage ceiling for coverage of employees under the ESI Act, 1948 has been enhanced from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.15,000/- per month w.e.f. 01.05.2010. ESIC has decided to enter the field of Medical Education recently and 29 Institutions would be set up including medical colleges, nursing colleges, dental colleges, post graduate institutions and training schools etc. One Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences & Research at Bangalore and one Dental College at Rohini, Delhi have already been started. It has been decided to modernize/upgrade/expand all ESI hospitals in a phased manner. Accordingly, 118 major projects are underway. New Hospitals at Manesar (Haryana), Bhiwadi (Rajasthan), Baddi (Himachal Pradesh), Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) and Peenya, Bangalore (Karnataka) are going to be commissioned in near future. Sophisticated equipments i.e. MRI & CT scan have been installed in ESIC Hospitals at Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.
Social Security: Employees’ Provident Fund Organization  
            The ‘Modernization Project’ is being implemented with technical assistance of National Informatics Centre (NIC).  This project is conceptualized in two phases.  The first phase that has currently been implemented covers services that are rendered to members i.e. claims settlement and issue of annual accounts slips.
            The following benefits are likely to accrue: The time period for settlement of a claim of any type is expected to be less than 30 days.  Annual accounts slips of members: The shift from the present manual to the new system would make accounts slip preparation both quicker and accurate. Electronic payments: In the new system payments to members would be made through NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) mode.  This will ensure that claims once settled will be credited to members’ accounts within 2 days instead of sending cheques by post which is time consuming. Database update and cleaning: The new system has a robust database in the backend and provides opportunity for gradual cleaning and updating of the database.  A clean and updated database translates into better servicing for members.
Child Labour:
            In pursuance of Government’s commitment to eliminate child labour in hazardous areas, the National Child Labour Project (NCLP) Scheme covers 271 districts. Over 6.47 lakh children from special schools of NCLPs have been mainstreamed into the formal education system so far. The Mid Day Meal Scheme of Ministry of Human Resource Development has been extended to children of NCLP schools w. e. f. 1st October, 2009, by way of convergence. Employment of children has been prohibited in two more occupations, namely, ‘Circus’ and ‘Caring of Elephants’. Accordingly, employment of children stands prohibited in 18 occupations and 65 processes under the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986.
Employment and Training:
Vocational Training with a view to creating a world-class skilled labour force is being given maximum importance. To help the youth build their career, training courses are offered through a network of 2178 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and 6464 Industrial Training Centres (ITCs) located all over the country.  About 1.19 million training seats are available in these Institutes.   Action continued for upgradation of 100 ITIs with domestic resources, 400 ITIs with World Bank assistance and 1396 ITIs in specific trade and skills under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode so as to create Centres of Excellence for producing multi-skilled workforce of world standard. The ‘Skill Development Initiative’ (SDI) Scheme was started in 2006-07 for the school drop-outs and existing workers especially in the informal sector. Action was taken to achieve the objective to train one million persons in first five years in Modular Employable Skills (MES) framework and thereafter one million every year. Apprenticeship Training is offered to the school leavers and the ITI passed-out persons through a network of 25,472 establishments in 235 designated trades with an objective to provide skilled workers for the industry.  A quota of 2.94 lakh has been fixed to engage apprentices in these designated trades. Skill Development Courses in diversified areas exclusively for women are being offered through 1,213 ITIs / ITCs with the intake capacity of 51,804. However Basic, Advanced, Instructors Skill Training and Short-term courses are offered at National Vocational training Institute (NVTI) and 10 Regional Vocational training Institutes (RVTIs) exclusively for Women with about 3,764 training seats.  A special scheme to train youth of J&K region under SDI scheme is being launched. Under the scheme, 8,000 youths are proposed to be trained in 2010-11 and 8,000 in 2011-12 of which 25% will be trained within J & K itself and 75% will be trained outside the State. Training cost would be fully borne by the Central Government.  Trainees would be provided boarding, lodging & travel expenses, if they are required to stay away from their home. To facilitate an accelerated and sustainable transformation and for expansion of outreach of the vocational training , a scheme  has been prepared  to set up 1,500 ITIs and  5,000 Skill Development Centres (SDCs) in PPP mode  under  a project ‘Kaushal Vikas Yojana’ .
            For Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected areas also a scheme in being initiated to wean away youth from violent and destructive activities, namely, ‘Skill Development Plan for youth of 35 Districts affected by Left Wing Extremism’. As a short term measure 5,000 youth of the region would be trained in identified existing ITIs / ITCs. As a long term measure 228 ITIs and 927 SDCs are proposed to be set up in identified 35 districts across eight states affected by LWE.             A new centrally sponsored scheme for Upgradation of 20 ITIs and supplementing infrastructure deficiencies in 28 ITIs in NE states and Sikkim is being formulated.
            All the 969 Employment Exchanges in the country are  being modernized in Public Private Partnership mode at a cost of Rs.2,167 crore under e-governance  plan. Under the Project, a national web-portal will be developed, which on the one hand will have the requirement of the industry and on the other hand, the available skilled manpower. In addition, these Employment Exchanges will also assess the existing competencies of the job-seekers, provide them counseling and guidance and help in their placement in the industry. The National Employment Policy is being formulated and the Report to the People on Employment has been placed in the public domain.

Impact of Economic Slow-Down on Employment:
            The Labour Bureau conducted eight quarterly quick employment surveys to assess the impact of economic slowdown on employment in India covering units pertaining to important sectors like textiles, leather, metals, automobiles, gems and jewellery, transport, IT/BPO and handloom / powerloom etc.  As revealed by the results of different quarters studied so far, it may be observed that the employment increased by 6.38 lakh during October-December, 2009, by 0.61 lakh during January-March, 2010, by 1.62 lakh during April-June, 2010 and by 4.35 lakh during July-September, 2010. Thus overall estimated employment in the selected sectors has experienced a net addition of 12.96 lakh in September, 2010 over September, 2009.
            Labour Bureau has conducted the first annual labour force survey on employment and unemployment for the reference period from 1.4.2009 to 31.3.2010.  Based on the survey findings, on the basis of around 46 thousand households, the unemployment rate, by following Usual Principal Status (UPS) approach, has been observed to be 9.4%.
Labour Research & Education:
V.V. Giri National Labour Institute undertook Skill Gap Analysis in Gulbarga Region in Karnataka, conducted two international training programmes on ‘Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the World of Work’ and ‘Leadership Development’ and conferred the V.V. Giri Memorial Award in Labour & Employment to Prof. Ravi Srivastava. The Central Board for Workers Education  (CBWE) conducted 4,109 programmes for 76,029 workers of organized sector, 4,792 programmes for unorganized sector workers and 2,496 programmes for 1,01,310 rural sector workers during May, 2009 to September, 2010.
Government of India has ratified ILO Convention No. 127 concerning Maximum Weight. The Convention provides that no worker shall be required or permitted to engage in the manual transport of a load which by reason of its weight is likely to jeopardize his health or safety. The maximum limit has been fixed at 50kg.   A special Event was organized by Ministry of Labour & Employment on 04.02.2010 at New Delhi in connection with the celebration of the 90th Anniversary of International Labour Organization. Government of India participated effectively in the deliberations at various international fora like International Labour Conference of ILO G-20 Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting.
            The 43rd Session of Indian Labour Conference was held on     November 23-24, 2010 in New Delhi under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Labour & Employment. Minister of State for Labour & Employment Minister was Co-chairman of the meeting. The ILC deliberated on   Global Financial Downturn – its impact- job losses – comprehensive package for protection of labour force, etc.;             Problem of contract labour – social security, wages, etc. And amendments in the contract labour legislations; and Employment Generation and Skill Development.


CBSE to affiliate 5 Delhi schools with its international board

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will affiliate five schools in India with its ‘international board’. As many as 20 schools functioning in foreign countries are already affiliated with the CBSE International Board. Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of Nankana Sahib Public School, Ludhiana, said this after returning to the city from Bangalore, where she attended the 17th annual conference of CBSE Sahodaya School Complexes on December 20 and 21.

Waraich said: “This declaration was made by CBSE Chairman Vineet Joshi and Head (Innovative and Research), CBSE, Dr Sahdna Parashar. After already affiliating 20 schools in foreign countries in the session 2010-2011, it now plans to include five schools of Delhi from the coming academic session on an experimental basis. If the feedback is satisfactory, more schools will be affiliated to the CBSEIB.”

The conference was attended by nearly 500 CBSE school principals from across the country, with five of them from Ludhiana.

Pramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, who also attended the conference, said: “Many key issues such as school-based assessments, addressing resistance to change, teacher empowerment, supporting teachers in implementing continuous and comprehensive evaluation (CCE), embedding technology in CCE environment, strengthening formative learning, responding to diversity through CCE, dimensions of co-scholastic skills and life skills education, were discussed.”

Waraich said: “It was also decided to start an online filing of CCE card from January 15 for Class IX and X.”

Source;Indian express

Monday, December 27, 2010


 NEW DELHI: Bad news is in store for government employees contesting matters relating to their service conditions in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) as they may not be able to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court.

            Government employees not satisfied with CAT orders on their service matters will continue to appeal in High Courts as government's plan to enable them approach the apex court directly has received a thumbs down from the top law officer.

            Recently, the Department of Personnel had asked the Law Ministry whether the present system of CAT orders being challenged in High Courts be changed to fast track disposal of cases of government employees relating to their service conditions and employment rules.

            The Law Ministry referred the matter to Attorney General Ghoolam Vahanvati who opined against the move saying a 1997 Supreme Court judgment on the issue should continued to be followed.

            "As of now, the buck stops here (on the issue)," Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI when asked to comment on Vahanvati's opinion.

            He said his ministry was trying to find a solution. "But I would not like to add anything more to it," he added.

            When the CAT was established in 1985 by an Act of Parliament, its rules clearly stated that its judgments on service related matters of state and central government employees can only be challenged in the apex court.

            While the same rules is in operation even today, a 1997 Supreme Court ruling held that judicial review is the basic feature of the Constitution and a High Court's power on judicial review cannot be taken away.

            After the judgment, appeals against CAT rulings were entertained in High Courts.

            "The Armed Forces Tribunal Act has been borrowed from CAT. Appeals against Tribunal's orders can only be challenged in the Supreme Court. But in CAT's case, it has become a three tier system...the entire purpose of CAT has been defeated," said a CAT functionary.

            He said while CAT usually disposes off a case in six months, appeal in High Court often takes years.

            "They pay Rs 50 as fee to move CAT, but they have to pay thousands of rupees in High Court...if the matter reaches Supreme Court, the time and cost involved is massive," he said.

Source: Economic times

Sunday, December 26, 2010


After lots of hiccups, All India Railwaymen Federation’s proposal to give 2 AC pass to Grade Pay Rs. 4200, 3 AC Pass to Grade Pay Rs. 2800 & also 3 AC pass to staff with GP 1900, 2000 & 2400 travelling on duty, has finally been accepted by Railway Board. After kind approval of MR orders are likely to be issued shortly. General Secretary/AIRF has thanked all Railwaymen for keeping the patience & also extends greetings to Hon’ble MR & Board on resolving the Pass issue.


Stepping up of pay of senior Assistants/PAs Central Secretariat Service (CSS)/Central Secretariat Stenographers' Service (CSSS)

No.7/7/08-CS.I (A)
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, P.G. and Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training

2nd Floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan,
Khan Market, New Delhi-11003
Dated: 22nd December, 2010



Stepping up of pay of senior Assistants/ PAs of CSS/CSSS promoted prior to 01.01.2006 & Drawing less pay than assistants/PAs of CSS/CSSS promoted after 01.01.2006.

         A large number of references were received from various Ministries/Departments and service Associations regarding stepping up of pay of senior Assistants/PAs Central Secretariat Service (CSS)/Central Secretariat Stenographers' Service (CSSS) promoted prior to 01.01.2006 and drawing less pay than Assistants/PAs of CSS/CSSS promoted after 01.01.2006.

2.       The matter has been examined in consultation with Ministry of Finance. The Department of Expenditure vide UO No. 10/1/2009-IC dated 14.12.2009 (copy enclosed) had issued a clarification regarding manner in which pay of Assistants/PAs would be fixed consequent upon grant of revised pay structure of Grade Pay of Rs. 4600 in the pay band PB-2 to them on the basis of OM dated 16.11.2009.

3.       In this context, it is clarified that benefit of stepping up of pay as per Note 10 under Rule 7 of CCS(RP) Rules 2008 would be admissible to senior Assistants/PAs of CSS/CSSS promoted prior to 01.01.2006 and drawing less pay than Assistants/PAs of CSS/CSSS promoted after 01.01.2006.

4.       All Ministries/Departments may regulate stepping up cases of Assistants/PAs of CSS/CSSS accordingly.

(K.Suresh Kumar)
Under Secretary to the Government of India

to view rest of the order click below link

Saturday, December 25, 2010

                             WISHES YOU A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS

Friday, December 24, 2010

Probationers can be sacked: CAT

A person working on probation can be sacked from service without prior hearing if his or her performance is not satisfactory, the Central Administrative Tribunal has held.

"A probationer's services could be terminated if his performance is unsatisfactory and the termination would be valid from all angles," the CAT's bench of members Veena Chhotray and Shanker Raju said in their ruling.

The country's apex tribunal to adjudicate government employees' dispute on service matters gave the ruling on a petition by a trained graduate teacher, Narbda Singh, a resident of Kushinagar (UP), challenging the termination order from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS).

Singh opposed the order saying action was taken without being given an opportunity to present his case or to defend himself and that this had led to violation of the principles of natural justice.

The KVS justified its decision saying despite several opportunities and reminders he had failed to improve his performance prompting it to take the step under the KVS rules.

Satisfied with KVS's contentions, the tribunal rejected Singh's plea saying the termination did not violate the principles of natural justice.

"We do not find any punitiveness and victimisation in the termination order. The unsatisfactory performance is not the foundation of the order but is a motive as per the terms and conditions of the appointment letter.

"Such termination does not require prior hearing or following the principles of natural justice and the right to be heard," the tribunal said.

Source:Indian Express

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Special Allowanc to Gatekeepers of Civil engineering Level Crossings IdentifIed difficult gates.


RBE No. 180/2010
No. E(P&A)I-2009/SP-1/CE-1
     New Delhi dated 20.12.2010.

The General Managers,
All indian Railways and Production Units.

Sub: Special Allowanc to Gatekeepers of Civil engineering Level Crossings IdentifIed difficult gates.

Rel: Boards letter No. E(P&A)I-97/SP-1/CE.-1 dated 27.01.2003

Pursuant to implementation of the accepted recormmendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission relating to grant of Special Allowance, the issue relating to grant of Special Allowance to Gatekeepers posted at Civil Engineering Level Crossings. Identified as difficult gates, has been under consideration of the Board. This issue has also been raised by the Federations.

2. Board has decided, to revise the rate of Special Allowance admissible to Gatekeepers posted at Civil Engineering Level Crossings, identified as difficult gates from the existing rate of Rs 15O/-p.m to Rs 300/-p.m.

3. The rates of the Special Allowance may be increased by 26% every time the Dearness Allowance payable on revised pay scales goes up by 50%.

4 The other terms and conditions stipulated in Boarde above referred letter will remain the same.

5. These orders wourd be effective frcm 1st September 2008.

6. This issues with the concurrence of the Finance directorate of the Ministry of Railways.

(N. P. singh)
Railway Board.