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NEW DELHI: The government has unveiled a new Prime Minister Crop Insurance Scheme with premium to be paid by farmers as low as 1.5 per cent of sum assured for all rabi crops and 2 per cent for kharif crops.

The scheme comes without any cap on overall premium rate to ensure full claims, which means there is no upper limit on the subsidy the government provides towards balance premium.

"This scheme will be like a suraksha kavach (shield) for farmers and remove an atmosphere  ..

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Employee News & Information / Wage hike and trade union action
« Last post by chhaterdhari on December 21, 2015, 09:26:09 AM »
Comrades ,
The 7th CPC has cheated the 35 lakhs Central Government Employees and 50 lakhs pensioners, by announcing meagre 14.29% wage hike, in actual term of increase for serving employees after deduction of Income tax, enhanced subscription of CGEIS, licence fee, CGHS etc the net increase is actually varies from 1% to 4 % increase.

The similar situation was existing for central Government employees during the 5th CPC , as the 5th CPC had recommended 20% wage hike after strike notice was served then the Third Front Government agreed to provide 40% wage hike, recently the 6th CPC had provided 54% wage hike.This is lowest wage hike by any pay commission.

The Central Government Employees are having 10 years wage revision against the basic principle of 5 years wage revision adopted by all other Government agency such as Banks Employees, PSU employees etc. The bank employees were initially offered around 10% wage hike , after sustained trade union action they got 15% wage hike from with effect from 1st November 2012. Cumulatively it works out to more than 35 % wage hike for 10 years. The AP and Telangana state government employees got recently 40 % wage hike the pay commission of AP had also adopted Dr. Aykroyd formula and 15th ILO norms and fixed at Rs 13,000/- minimum wage as on 1st July 2013 , if we calculate the minimum wage on this basis for the Central Government Employees the minimum wage works out to Rs 25,000/- and fitment formula of 3.57 .

Comrades let us fight united under the NJCA banner to achieve a decent wage hike, the 7th CPC has erred in the calculation of minimum wage for the Central Government Employees it has fixed at Rs 18000/ against the staff side demand of Rs 26,000/-. while calculating the minimum wage as per Dr. Aykroyd formula and 15th ILO norms the 7th CPC has taken wrong prices of the essential items for example the price of one kg of pulses as Rs 97.84 against the market price of Rs 180/- , similarly the price of one kg of rice and wheat as Rs 25.93 against the market price of Rs 50/- & Rs 40, and 7th CPC has modified the Dr. Aykroyd formula and 15th ILO norms. The 7th CPC has taken 125% DA into consideration, at present the DA is likely to cross 125% , the prices of essential commodity including rice and pulses are showing increase in last month and further rise due to floods and draught in many states.

Overall the 7th CPC has erred in calculation of minimum wage for the Central Government Employees there by denying the correct fitment formula and justify wage hike. Comrade it is time to mobilize, educate and prepare for trade union action. Like bank employees we should also get justify wage agreement.

Comradely yours

General Secretary

“7th Pay Commission Report – From the perspectives of various employees and employees’ unions”

On November 19, the 7th Central Pay Commission submitted its report on the salaries, pensions, and benefits for more than 50 lakh Central Government employees.

Within hours, the websites and news media began to give their elaborate interpretations and opinions about the recommendations. Mr. Krishnan, the secretary of Confederation of Central Government Employees & Workers, on his website, gave a scathing review of the report, listing out all the drawbacks and disappointments. This was followed by similar opinions from almost all the other employees associations.

Employees’ expectations versus disappointments

Minimum wages : NCJCM demanded that the minimum wages be raised to Rs.26,000. Reports said earlier that the numbers range from Rs.24,000 to 21,000. But, the Pay Commission had fixed it as Rs.18,000. Criticism about the minimum wages that are going to be enforced for the next ten years is the great disappointment.

House Rent Allowance : House Rent Allowances have been brought down from the current 10, 20 and 30 percent to eight, 16, and 24 percent. NC JCM had asked for an increase to 20, 40, and 60 percent. Popular opinion says that even if the idea of increasing HRA was unacceptable, the commission didn’t have to reduce it.

Date of increment: There was disappointment because the report didn’t say anything about adding the date of increments, such as January 1 and July 1.

Date of implementation : NC JCM demanded that the new recommendations be implemented with effect from 01.01.2014, but the commission has prescribed 01.01.2016 as the date of implementation.

Multiplication Factor : The 6th Pay Commission recommended that the Grade Pay be calculated at 40 percent from the higher pay band and a Multiplication Factor of 1.86 be used on it. The 7th Pay Commission had recommended only 2.57 and has completely removed the Grade Pay structure. The NC JCM had insisted that it be fixed at 3.7.

Promotion and Increment : The Pay Matrix table was prepared only with 3 percent increment. Everybody expected in the benefit of promotion, there will be two increments or a 5 percent hike. The 7th Pay Commission instead made no changes to this. The employees are also disappointed that promotions are not likely to bring in a noticeable financial improvement. The Grade Pay hike, which was implemented in the 6th Pay Commission, has now been removed.

MACP Promotion Scheme : Four or five promotions were expected under the much-awaited MACP scheme. But the new report recommends the same 10, 20, and 30 years routine, with stricter guidelines for promotions. This could lead to complications for those who weren’t given any promotions for more than 10 years, to get one through the MACP upgradation.

Allowances and advances : The Pay Commission has recommended the abolishing of about 52 allowances, including the “Family Planning Allowances.” It has also recommended the abolishing of all kinds of advances, including the LTC advance.

And also disappointed in the topics of New Pension Scheme, LTC, Transport Allowance, Children Education Allowance, CGEGIS, Fixed Medical Allowance and GDS Issues.


बढ़ सकता है प्रधानमंत्री और सांसदों का वेतन height=287

नई दिल्ली : दिल्ली विधानसभा में विधायकों को वेतन और भत्ता बढ़ाए जाने का विधेयक पारित हो जाने के बाद अब केंद्र की एनडीए सरकार भी इस मसले पर विचार कर रही है। इस दौरान यह बात सामने आई है कि केंद्र सरकार प्रधानमंत्री, मंत्रियों और सांसदों के वेतन और भत्ते बढ़ाने के लिए सदन में विधेयक ला सकती है। दरअसल सरकार का मानना है कि लोगों का वेतन सरकार के कैबिनेट स्तर के सचिव की तुलना में समानांतर लग सकता है। दूसरी ओर 7 वें वेतन आयोग की सिफारिशों को लागू किए जाने के बाद से सचिवों का वेतन इन लोगों से अधिक हो जाएगा। फिलहाल इस तरह का प्रस्ताव पारित किया गया है कि सांसदों का वेतन कैबिनेट सचिवों के वेतन से 1000 रूपए अधिक किया जाए। हालांकि इस पर फिलहाल विचार हो रहा है। दरअसल मंत्रियों का वेतन कैबिनेट सचिव से 10000 रूपए अधिक किया जा सकता है। दूसरी ओर प्रधानमंत्री का वेतन कैबिनेट सचिव से 1.5 गुना अधिक रखे जाने की बात भी की जा रही है। साथ ही यह भी तय किया जा रहा है कि भविष्य में वेतन आयोग लागू किए जाने की बात भी सामने आ रही है। दिल्ली विधानसभा द्वारा इसे लेकर बिल पारित किया गया। उल्लेखनीय है कि यदि 7 वां वेतन आयोग लागू हो रहा है तो फिर कैबिनेट स्तर के सचिव का वेतन ही 2.25 लाख रूपए हो जाएगा। ऐसे में प्रधानमंत्री का वेतन और अन्य मंत्रियों का वेतन भी बढ़ाना होगा। सरकार के विभागीय अधिकारी का सबसे ज़्यादा वेतन 2.50 लाख तक सीमित हो जाएगा। ऐसे में सांसदों का वेतन बढ़ाए जाने की मांग भी की जा रही है।

SOURCE - newstracklive
Rail Employee / 7th CPC: Fresh hope for realty demand
« Last post by chhaterdhari on December 08, 2015, 07:17:38 PM »
After witnessing sliding profits over the past three years, the residential real estate market is in desperate need of a stimulus to revive the sector.

While the government’s decision to relax the foreign direct investment norms in real estate last month is expected to play a critical role in addressing the concerns on the supply side, the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission is being termed a potential game changer on the demand side. The pay panel proposes a hefty salary and pension hike for Central government employees and pensioners.

According to experts, with the real estate market burdened with a large volume unsold inventory, just removing the supply-side bottlenecks won’t help as the lack of demand will keep the markets under pressure. However, the demand might witness a surge as a higher disposable income in the hands of a substantial chunk of the population might just motivate investment in residential property.

A report prepared by Neelkanth Mishra, Prateek Singh and Ravi Shankar of Credit Suisse says that the Pay Commission recommendations will have a significant impact on the real estate cycle in small towns as more than 80 per cent of Central government employees reside in tier II, III cities.

The Pay Commission boost

The report analysing the impact of the recommendations point out that as state governments and Central PSUs follow through the CPC (recommended hike of 23.6 per cent) proposals, almost 3.4 crore individuals (employees and pensioners) will witness increase in their incomes. The housing and transportation sectors will be the biggest beneficiaries of the rise in income and spending capacity of government employees.

“Altogether around 80 per cent of the beneficiaries would see an increase of less than Rs10,000 per month and account for 50 per cent of the payout. The rest would get around Rs 24,000 more every month on an average,” said the report.

According to Credit Suisse, out of the total state and central employees, the 6O lakh, who will see around Rs 24,000 salary increase per month, are likely to be instrumental in lifting the housing sector demand.

The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) classifies the country’s population into 12 classes (fractiles) demarcated by monthly per capita income.

The report states that while spending on food and transportation goes up the most when disposable incomes rise for those between the 10th and 11th fractiles, it also pointed to the fact that as households move from the 11th to the 12th fractile (8.3 per cent of households), the spend on rent rises 3.1 times and there is a similar impact on home ownership too.

“Most of this impact is likely in the smaller cities (only 20 per cent of central government employment is in the tier I cities). The Pay Commission recommendation, in our view, is an important milestone in the real-estate cycle in the smaller towns, recent weakness was likely the effect of the last pay commission fading,” said the Credit Suisse report.

While the Centre may take six months in implementing the recommendations, a 3-5 per cent higher increase than recommended would take the hike in the comprehensive wage bill to Rs 4.5-4.8 lakh crore which is expected to be spread over a period of two years starting from June 2016 as states and Central PSUs take their decisions. “We estimate 75 per cent of the increase should occur in FY17, and the rest in FY18,” said the report.

While the report says that impact on housing and real estate will be substantial and lift demand, there are some who feel that the benefits may not be huge.

“I think the Pay Commission recommendations will also be inflationary so the actual benefit that may come to employees may only be around 10 per cent as against a hike of 23.5 per cent. And if the developers decide to increase the price then it would be a dampener,” said Samantak Das, chief economist & national director, Knight Frank India.

The supply side effect

While the government had, in 2005, eased the foreign direct investment norms for real estate sector and allowed 100 per cent FDI in townships, housing and built-up infrastructure and construction developments, it had imposed certain conditions.

However, with ambitious targets like ‘Housing for All’ and Smart Cities in the pipeline, what the government needs is a thriving real estate market and thus, in November, the Centre decided to do away with some of the restrictive conditions.

While the earlier policy required a minimum of 20,000 square meters of development and a minimum capital of $5 million, the government has now removed those conditions and it is expected that these will result into higher investment flow into city-centric developments where the condition of 20,000 square metres was a dampener.

Along with this, the need to bring in investment within six months of commencement of the project has also been removed.

Das, however, said that FDI will not flow in till the time demand for residential housing picks up as investors will only come if the market is good.

“While the office market has picked up, residential market is expected to take at least 12 more months to pick up. The market is still full of unsold inventory and till the time it gets absorbed, the sector will remain weak,” said Das.

 SOURCE - indianexpress
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September 15 is International Democracy Day and the theme for this year is "Space for Civil Society", terribly important for many reasons, not the least being that democracy is first and last about “government by the people”. Civil society refers to the ways in which those people organise themselves to act together in groups, short of entering the political process.

Civil society is a platform where the government and the people interact. It is also an important means for their participation. The expectation seems to be that parliaments around the world will mark this day with some reflection, but surely a day for democracy belongs to the people and nothing less than that?

You might say that in a democracy, everyday should belong to the people. That sounds correct, but what does it mean?

The simplest expression of that belonging—the Facebook ‘like’ of democracy—is voting. In the last election in India, in 2014, 66.4% of the 83.41 crore eligible voters cast their vote. This was the highest turnout ever. Across India, except the south, voter turnout in cities showed an improvement over the pathetic numbers of previous state and local elections. In other words, in the last election, we seemed to have exercised considerable ownership over the process.

But what about that second marker of democratic citizenship— willingness to enter and participate in the political process? Although the countless aspirants that make up the political rank and file suggest otherwise, by and large we see a reluctance to enter the fray. When someone, neither born to the vocation nor drawn into activism as a youth, decides to contest an election we are always surprised. Underlying that surprise is our view of politics as an undesirable line of work. Power is always desirable of course, but with a realistic assessment of how many will actually enjoy power. We associate politics with the dissipation, corruption and other abuse of power. We rarely associate politics with public service. The Aam Aadmi Party’s slate last year was remarkable because they had inspired so many “ordinary,” “respectable” people to enter politics. Among those who contested election from AAP were prominent social and political activists like Medha Patkar and Dayamani Barla. The last time this happened was probably during the freedom movement.

The electoral process is only the beginning though— for both the government and the citizens in a democracy. We press for transparency in government, but as citizens, most of us do not have the time, the capacity, the ability or the interest to keep track of what the government is sharing with us. We rarely even take cognizance of information in the public domain, such as what bills are being debated on a given day. Quite naturally, most of us spend very little time thinking of what the government is not telling us. Nor do we go over government balance sheets with a fine-toothed comb. When the government presents its accounts to us, we are barely paying attention, leave alone asking questions. The most criminal form of negligence on our part is that we are content to let government actions go unquestioned for the most part. We think very little of the morality of politics, but we do not think enough about it to enforce any ethical standards on government.

This work falls to civil society. Standing between formal political processes and actors, and the large unorganised, amorphous, anonymous and apathetic mass called the citizenry, civil society picks up the slack on both sides. The development NGO sector takes the government’s work further. From polio vaccination drives to evangelising organic agriculture to running schools, their work starts where the state’s reach ends. This is also true of NGOs that organise neighbourhood cleanliness drives or neighbourhood watch in cities. The human rights NGO sector does what individual citizens are supposed to do in a democracy— monitor state actions, hold them to global human rights standards, ask questions relentlessly and hold governments accountable. That such NGOs should operate in an adversarial relationship with the state is natural; what is unfathomable in a democracy is that citizens should also regard them with suspicion.

It is very apt that we reflect on this irony on a Democracy Day devoted to reclaiming space for civil society. Human rights NGOs speak for us, and human rights defenders in such organisations devote their lives (at great risk) to the battles that we do not have the time or the resources for, but that secure the freedom we price. Governments are human rights predators, perhaps by their very nature, and without the checks and balances that Montesquieu wrote about centuries ago, would leave us no wriggle room on trivial choices such as what to wear and on important choices such as what to believe. The right to write this article would not exist without a human rights vanguard to defend it. And yet, when the chips are down, we believe what governments tell us about those who would defend us, and subject them to the scepticism and questioning to which we have no time to subject governments. It’s a political form of capture-bonding (Stockholm Syndrome), perhaps peculiar to democracies?

Also read: A handy guide to helping NGOs effect social change

But what of the government? Does it play no role in democratic politics? Is it merely the outcome of democratic processes? Is it a monster inimical to the rights and accountability that are integral to democracy?

Governments (politicians and bureaucracy) stay democratic by endeavouring for maximum transparency, believing themselves to be accountable and reaching out to people at every turn. They are also democratic when they are as diverse as society and therefore, representative of it. Recent field studies on women’s participation are making the point that participation (and representation) should be meaningful— that is, it is not enough to just elect or select people from all groups and sectors to be part of something, they should be taken seriously and listened to carefully.

Government outreach to the public has two parts. First, when a citizen needs clarification about processes or decisions, or information, there should be a place they can go to and actually get answers. Helplines, an ombudsman (Lokpal), information officers and the Right to Information are part of this. Through this mechanism, citizens do not just figure procedures (getting a voter ID, for example) out for themselves but are also able to hold the government responsible (“hamara paisa, hamara hisaab” as Aruna Roy likes to quote). Second, before the government embarks on small or large schemes—tree demolition in a neighbourhood, infrastructure projects that cut through residential communities, large dams in a river valley, land acquisition or nuclear power plants—they should ask local people what they think. No excuse (“people are ignorant” or “nobody will come to a meeting”) is acceptable in the absence of effort. It may be that a government gazette notice will reach no one and therefore, meet with zero citizen expression of interest. This is where civil society, in the form of residents’ or neighbourhood associations, can help. There are also NGOs able to take technical information to the public and able to facilitate dialogue. But government should be willing to reach out to them without feeling a loss of prestige or power. 

Voting is just the beginning. A polity is democratic when citizens, civil society and government are able to keep vigil and cooperate with each other simultaneously. Like a schoolkid’s braid, it is in the equal weightage and the even intertwining of the three strands that its beauty (and lasting value) lies— and as all strands in a braid are made up of hair, so are all strands in a democracy made up of and dependent on people. These people, we have always been told, get the government they deserve and nowhere is that truer than in the case of a democracy.

This Democracy Day, take ownership. Resolve to be informed. Resolve to be pro-active. Resolve to participate and resolve to include. Resolve to speak out and resolve to listen. “The world’s largest democracy” is an empty boast without our engaged citizenship.

Swarna Rajagopalan is a political scientist by training. She is also the founder of The Prajnya Trust, whose public education mandate extends to peace and citizenship.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to reach out to India Inc and meet top businessmen comes at a time when the global operating environment has become increasingly complex. Since he came to power in a blaze of glory 15 months ago, a lot has changed in the world and not enough, in a positive sense, for business in the country. The two biggest changes have little to do with India but cast a long shadow. China appears to be heading for its first growth crisis in decades, and the United States is well on the road to recovery. The former poses a challenge because if Shanghai sneezes, the emerging markets catch a cold, and foreign money heads for the exit at a rapid pace. A fall in Chinese demand for goods, and an erosion--however controlled--in the value of the yuan are both bad for Indian exporters. The other big development, a US recovery, could lead to an interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve next week, a move that could accentuate the outflow of foreign money. In all this, the rupee has repeatedly hit two-year lows; if it weren't for the fortuitous softness in global crude prices, India's import bill would have gone through the roof.

There is some talk of India replacing China as the engine of global growth. This is delusional thinking. China's economy is about five times the size of India's; its foreign reserves are $3.6 trillion, about 10 times India's (and this after a record $93.9 billion fall in the Chinese kitty last month). China is still a manufacturing powerhouse; a short-sighted focus on services and red tape ensured that India's factories never came close to threatening global domination. That said, it is probably a fair point that India could use the current discomfiture of its neighbour to some advantage, but then it needs to get its act together fairly rapidly. So Mr Modi's three-hour meeting with the heads of Indian industry was timely, and suggestions appear to have flowed freely: Focus on agriculture to spur rural incomes, tackle corruption, get stalled projects moving. The PM noted the greater risk-taking ability of private sector firms and asked them to increase investments. Everyone would like a rate cut, but the Reserve Bank of India will act on data, as it should.

Dialogue is all very well, but the government needs to get its act together on the law-making front. Attempts to rewrite the land Bill ended in a fiasco; political point-scoring has ensured that it's touch and go for the Goods and Services Tax to come into force by April. India Inc was one of Mr Modi's biggest constituencies going into last year's elections, and support has, by and large, held. Using a crisis in global markets as an excuse to get the country's economic house in order is one way of keeping that relationship healthy.
महीनों तक मानवीय संकट के भयावह स्तर को खारिज करने के बाद अंतत: ब्रिटेन के प्रधानमंत्री डेविड कैमरन ने सीरिया-युद्ध के शरणार्थियों की मदद को लेकर अपनी ठोस प्रतिबद्धता जताई है। हमें यह बताया गया है कि ब्रिटेन 20,000 शरणार्थियों को जगह दे सकता है, जो कि दुनिया के सबसे अमीर देशों में से एक है। उन 20,000 शरणार्थियों के लिए जाहिर तौर पर यह एक बड़ी राहत की बात है।

लेकिन इस मामूली कवायद के बाद जो लाखों लोग बेघर रह जाएंगे, उनके लिए यह बहुत सुकून की खबर नहीं है। इस देश में जिनकी अंतरात्मा वैश्विक हलचल देखकर व्यथित है, उन्हें यह शायद ही नैतिक समाधान लगे, क्योंकि वे भूमध्यसागर पार करने के दौरान पुरुषों, महिलाओं व बच्चों के डूबने की खबर हर हफ्ते सुनते-देखते आ रहे हैं।

जब गरीब और बदतर हालात वाले देश, जैसे लेबनान और जॉर्डन लाखों लोगों को पनाह दे सकते हैं, जब जर्मनी एक बड़ा प्रयास कर सकता है और जब अतीत में हमने बड़ी संख्या में युगांडा, कोसोवो और वियतनाम से कूच किए लोगों को जगह दी, तब तो यह कदम अपर्याप्त है, आर्थिक और नैतिक, दोनों रूपों में।
 एक बड़ा मसला यह भी है कि पूरे यूरोप में फैल चुके सीरियाई लोग ब्रिटेन में जगह नहीं पा सकते, क्योंकि ये जो जगहें दी गई हैं, वे लेबनान और जॉर्डन के शिविरों में रह रहे शरणार्थियों के लिए आरक्षित हैं।

यानी ये वे परिवार हैं, जो खुद को किसी तरह यूरोप में ला चुके हैं और यहां आने की इच्छा जता चुके हैं। उन्हीं लोगों को यहां पर जगह दी जाएगी। इसका एक मतलब यह भी हुआ कि जब बहुत सारे सीरियाई सुरक्षित ठिकाने के काफी करीब हैं, तब उनके घुसने पर मनाही है। जाहिर है, यह एक विकृत चयन है।

जॉर्ज ओस्बॉर्न और डेविड कैमरन ने यह दावा किया कि साल 2013 में सीरिया में हवाई हमले के लिए पार्लियामेंट ने वोट किया था, तब भी यह देश आज तक इस झमेले में नहीं फंसा। लेबर पार्टी और खास तौर पर उसके तब के नेता एड मिलिबैंड इसके पक्ष में नहीं थे, और अंतत: अमेरिका को अपने तईं हस्तक्षेप करना पड़ा।   
द इंडिपेंडेंट, लंदन
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