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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Court appeals against defence employees to be curbed


The committee had noted that the ego and prestige based approach reflected how officers dealing with the subject were unable to come to terms that cases had been decided against their stand


In a major move with far reaching consequences on litigation involving soldiers and other defence employees, the Defence Minister has accepted the recommendation of an expert panel wherein it was provided that further appeals would not be filed by the Ministry of Defence on all subjects which have attained finality at the High Courts or Supreme Court.

The Committee comprising former Adjutant General Lt Gen Mukesh Sabharwal (retd), former Military Secretary Lt Gen Richard Khare (retd), Punjab and Haryana High Court Lawyer Maj Navdeep Singh, former Judge Advocate General (JAG) Maj Gen T Parshad and Kargil disabled veteran Maj DP Singh had strongly deprecated the tendency of the Defence Ministry, long known to be a chronic litigant, of filing individual appeals against court and tribunal decisions in favour of employees on the pretext of the judgements being ‘against government policy’.

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The committee had noted that an unexplained urge was being shown by government officers to litigate who wanted to file multiple cases even where the law had already been settled, with a hope that in some odd stray case, a judgement would be rendered against an employee which could then be flaunted to deny benefits to similarly placed employees.

The committee had noted that the ego and prestige based approach reflected how officers dealing with the subject were unable to come to terms that cases had been decided against their stand. The panel had stated that there should be ‘quietus’ on issues which have attained finality at the HC or SC.

Accepting the recommendation, the Defence Minister is also learnt to have approved another related suggestion which additionally covers civilian employees wherein noting that the effort of the system was to wear down employees by filing multiple appeals, the panel had recommended that the government should gracefully accept court verdicts as far as possible and appeals should be an exception and not the rule.

Challenges of tribunal orders will be made in the HC only in exceptional cases and appeals undertaken in the Supreme Court restricted to the rarest of rare cases. The Committee had noted that the culture of appealing must cease and officers should ‘concentrate upon improving governance and administration rather than waging a litigative war against their own junior employees who have limited means’.

In its strongly worded observations, the committee had also noted that the official establishment was indulging in litigation of ‘luxury’ and that litigation should not be treated as a war or a sport which must be won at all costs. The panel had expressed surprise that instead of focussing on reducing appeals and faster implementation of orders as propounded by the Defence Minister, certain officers had presented views during their depositions on ways and means to file “faster appeals” which ran counter to the very intentions of the government.


When contacted, Maj Navdeep Singh, who was a member of the Committee, called it a “much needed reform” but cautioned that the “political executive must ensure its implementation in letter and spirit and must not allow the legal-official ecosystem to hold political will to ransom”.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sector-wise Budget 2017-18 : Highlights – At a Glance


Opening Remarks

·       Our govt was elected amidst huge expectations; underlying theme was good governance
·       Massive war against black money has been launched
·       Govt now seen as a trusted custodian of public money
·       Focus on energizing youth to reap benefits of growth
·       World economy faces considerable uncertainty
·       Three major challenges for emerging economies: US Fed stance, uncertainty over commodity prices especially oil prices, signs of increasing retreat from globalization as protectionist fears build up 

Tax Administration

·       Black Money: No cash transaction above Rs. 3 lakh
·       Transparency in political funding: Parties continue to receive anonymous donations; proposed system to c lean up limits maximum amount of cash donations to Rs. 2000/=. No limit to payment through cheques or digitally. Amendment proposed to RBI Act to issue electoral bonds. Every party will have to file returns within specified time
·       Exempt FPI Category 1 & 2 investors from indirect provisions
·       Time period of revising tax returns reduced to twelve months income
·       Personal Income Tax: Rate reduced to 5% for income bracket Rs 2.5-5 Lakh. All categories to get uniform benefit of Rs 12.500 per person. Levy of  10% surcharge on bracket Rs 50 Lakh-Rs 1 Crore
·       Personal Income Tax: To have simple one page form for taxable income up to Rs 5 Lakh
·       Direct tax collection not commensurate with income/expenditure pattern of India
·       We are largely a Tax non –compliant society; predominance  of cash in society enable tax evasion
·       After demonetization; data received  will increase tax net
·       Real Estate: Changes in capital gain tax
·       Concessional withholding rate will be extended to 30 June2020 and for  rupee-denominated masala bonds
·       Start-ups: Relaxing holding rules
·       MAT not to be abolished at present; to allow carry forward for 15 years
·       Corporate tax rate: MSME’s rate (annual turnover less than Rs 50 Crore) reduced to 25%
·       Limit of cash donation for Charitable Trusts reduced to Rs 2000/=

Fiscal Management

·       Total Budget expenditure  Rs 21 trillion
·       Rs 3,000 crore to implement various budget announcements
·       Defence expenditure  excluding pensions is Rs 2,74,114 Crore
·       Consolidated outcome budget for all ministries being created
·       FRBM review panel has recommended debt-to-GDP of 60%
·       Fiscal deficit for FY18 pegged at 3.2% of GDP
·       Revenue deficit for FY 18 at 1.9%
·       Public Service
·       To use Head post office for  passport services
·       Defence: Centralized defence travel system developed
·       Defence: Centralised Pension distribution system to be  established
·       Govt recruitment: To introduce two-tier exam system
·       Considering introducing laws to confiscate assets of economic defaulters
·       High-level panel chaired by PM to commemorate Mahtama Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary

Digital Economy

·       India at cusp of digital revolution
·       Govt to launch 2 scheme including cash back scheme for merchants
·       AADHAAR  Pay for people who don’t have mobile phones
·       Focus on rural and semi-urban areas
·       To strengthen financial inclusion fund
·       Panel on digital payments has recommended structural reforms
·       To create payment board at RBI

Financial Sector

·       FDI policy: FIPB to be abolished
·       Commodities market: Panel to study legal framework for spot & derivative market
·       Resolution mechanism for financial firms
·       Cyber security: Computer emergency response to be set up
·       Listing of PSEs will foster public accountability; revised mechanism for time-bound listing
·       To create integrated public sector oil major
·       Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana: Lending target at 2.44 trillion
·       Stand-up India scheme: Over 16,000 new enterprises have been set up

Infrastructure

·       Total Capex & development expenditure of railways pegged at Rs 1,31,000 Crore
·       Railways: Passenger safety fund corpus set up. Unmanned level crossing to be eliminated by 2020
·       Railway lines of 3,500km to be commissioned
·       To launch dedicated tourism/pilgrimage trains
·       500 stations to be made differently-abled friendly
·       Cleanliness in Railways: To introduce Coach Mitra facility. By 2019, bio-toilets for all coaches
·       Railways to offer competitive ticket-booking facility. Service charge withdrawn from IRCTC
·       New metro rail policy to be announced
·       Roads sector: National highways allocation at Rs 64,000 Crore
·       AAI Act to be amended to enable monetization of land resources
·       Transport sector: Allocation at Rs 2 trillion
·       Telecom Sector: Allocation to Bharat Net programme at Rs 10,000 Crore
·       Digi-gau initiative to be launched
·       To make India global hub for electronics manufacture
·       Export infra: New restructured central scheme to be launched
·       Total allocation for infrastructure Rs 3.96 trillion

Poor & Underprivileged

·       Women: Mahila  Shakti Kendras with Rs 500 Crore corpus
·       Stepped up allocation to Rs 1,84,632 Crore for various schemes for women and children
·       Affordable housing to be given infrastructure status
·       Action plan to eliminate leprosy by 2018, TB by 2025, reduce IMR to 29 in 2019
·       To create additional PG medical seats
·       Two new AIIMS in Jharkhand & Gujarat
·       New rules for medical devices
·       Labour rights: Legislative  reforms to simplify existing labour laws
·       Allocation to SCs increased to Rs 52,393 crore; STs to Rs 31,920 crore, Minority affairs Rs 4,195 crore

Youth

·       Education: System of measuring annual learning outcomes, emphasis on science
·       Innovation fund for secondary education
·       Reforms in UGC: Colleges to be identified based on ranking  and given autonomy
·       Propose to leverage IT with launch of SWAYAM  platform for virtual learning
·       National testing agency to be established for all entrance exams, freeing CBSE & AICTE
·       100 Indian international skill centres to be established with courses in foreign language
·       To launch skill acquisition and knowledge awareness  -  Rs 4,000 crore
·       Special  scheme for  creating employment in leather/footwear sector
·       Tourism: Five special zones to be set up

Farmers

·       Farmer  credit fixed at record level of Rs 10 trillion; will ensure adequate flow to underserved areas
·       Soil health cards: Govt to set up mini-labs in Krishi Vignan Kendras
·       Long-term irrigation fund in Nabard-corpus at Rs 40,000 crore
·       Model law on contract farming to be circulated
·       Dairy processing infra fund with corpus at Rs 8,000 crore
·       Dedicated micro-irrigation fund with Rs 5,000 crore corpus

Rural Population

·       Mission Antyodaya to bring 1 crore  households of pverty
·       MGNREGA: Participation of women now at 55%
·       MGNREGA: Rs 48,000 crore allocated
·       MGNREGA: using space technology in a big way
·       Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yogna: Rs 1,9000 crore allocated; along with states, Rs 27,000 crore to be  spent in FY18
·       Pradhan Mantri Awas Yogana: Rs  23,000 crore allocated
·       100% village electrification by May 2018
·       Rural livelihood mission: Rs 4,500 crore allocated
·       Mason training for 5 lakh people
·       Panchyat Raj: HR resource programme to be launched

·       Rs 1,87,223 crore for rural programmes

Monday, January 16, 2017

An Appeal from IESM : Maj General Satbir Singh, SM

FAST UNTO DEATH

Has been started at Jantar Mantar on 15 Jan 2017 by Mrs Sudesh Goyat, Hav Major Singh and Hav Mahendra Kumar after continuous Relay Hunger Strike for 581 days for rightful One Rank, One Pension (OROP).

  Please support this cause for our War Widows and Veterans and share our Woes with the maximum number of people so that the Government realises or resolve and gives us  
Our rightful dues
as passed twice by Parliament

Friends,

1.   We the members of the Defence Family present at
JANTAR MANTAR pleaded with and persuaded Mrs Sudesh Goyat, Hav Major Singh and Hav Mahender not to sit on FUD but they remained determined. All three expressed anguish at the apathetic attitude of present Government towards all  the members of Defence Fraternity and did not relent to our requests.

2.   It is sad that the Government continues to adopt a negative attitude to the most genuine demand of Actual OROP. It is indeed a pity that
The One-Man Judicial Committee report has neither been made public nor processed even after its submission on 26 Oct 2016.

3.   For Those Who May be Having any Doubts: No one is playing politics within our own Defence Family. You are all senior offrs capable of Objective Analysis and we expect the same from you. You need to get to reality. It is 
581 days and the Government has not moved a bit towards granting us the Actual OROP. Not only this, the Government has carried through the wrong OROP to 7th CPC. How can one say that it will get corrected with 7th CPC?

There are 36 Anomalies of 7th CPC pointed out by the three Services Chiefs. The Government continues to ignore our rightful dues and at every opportunity says that they have given OROP.

4.   Friends, LET ME CLARIFY ONCE AGAIN THAT I OR ANY OTHER MEMBER OF 
General  Body UFESM/IESM HAS NOT AND WILL NOT JOIN ANY POLITICAL PARTY  TILL THE PROTEST MOVEMENT IS ON. LIKE 2014 Lok Sabha ELECTIONS,  FOR OROP, WE WILL USE THE UNITED POWER OF VOTES IN ALL FUTURE ELECTIONS.

5.  
I appeal to all members of the Defence Fraternity to visit JANTAR MANTAR REGULARLY TO EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT AND SOLIDARITY TO THE CAUSE OF SOLDIERS.

WE ARE WORKING RELENTLESSLY FOR 6.45 lakh DEFENCE WIDOWS, 24 lakh ESM AND 15 lakh SERVING PERSONNEL. TODAY'S SERVING IS TOMORROW'S VETERAN.

We pray for the well being of the THREE Brave Hearts ON Fast Unto Death for the sake of Defence Fraternity.

Jadd Dulda Khoon Shaheedan da,

Taqdeer Badaldi Quaman di