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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

[triservicesveterans] SUGGESTIONS TO IMPROVE THE PENSION PAYMENT SYSTEM

Dear Mrs Damayanthi Garu,

1. I am indeed grateful to you for yeo-man service you are rendering to Defence fraternity.
2. I am bringing to your kind notice a typical case of non - professionalism displayed by branches of banks at grass root level and their CPPCs at State or Head Office level.

2. Smt Shakunatala Bhandarkar, wife of (late) Lt Col Ajit Bhandarkar, SC who was martyred in anti - terrorist operations in Jammu & Kashmir in 1999 is sanctioned Liberalised Family Pension (LPF).

3. Govt of India, Ministry of Defence was kind enough to enhance LPF to war widows vide Circular 456 of PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad w.e.f Jan 2006 and later it has been substantially enhanced by Circular 503 by PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad w.e.f.24 Sep 2012. As per judgment of hon'ble Supreme Court the LPF as on 24 Sep 2012 was to be paid w.e..f Jan 2006 vide Circular 548 of PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad.

4. Syndicate Bank, Shoolay Branch, Bengaluru calculated arrears of Smt Shakunatala Bhandarkar and it comes to Rs 30,52,745 (four sheets of Due & Drawn Statement attached). Though the amount has been credited into her account, local branch is not permitting her to withdraw any amount from this arrears as it is blocked. The reason given to this illogical & illegal action is as per policy of their CPPC any arrears more than Rs 5 lakhs needs clearance. From where and what kind of clearance is not known to the branch manager.

5. Look at the ignorance of the Shoolay branch of Syndicate bank when they are quoting Circular C - 144 in the Due & Drawn Statement which is applicable to Defence Civilians and not for Defence pensioners. The branches have no idea of defence pensions. All they do is to blindly follow whatever they get from their CPPCs.

6. There are large number of War widows of JCOs, NCOs and OR who are illiterate and these banks are playing havouc with them quoting some silly rules and are denying pension arrears.

7. Madam, having dealt with large number of complaints, to provide better customer service, I urge you in consultation with Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW) and if required with blessings of hon'ble RM to issue instructions to banks and PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad and other two PSAs as under:-

(a) All pension documents should be held by CPPCs centrally as branches have no expertise to go through them and fix pensions or work out pension arrears.

(b) All CPPCs to have common software for pensions and pension arrears. The software should be prepared by either Software Dept of PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad or CGDA and issued to all CMDs of banks to adopt common procedures and common documents. I have seen for the same rank, for same group, JCOs, NCOs, OR and Family Pensioners are being paid different amounts of pension arrears by different banks in the same village or town or city.

(c) CPPCs to get just 30 days to generate Arrear Statement and send them to branches for remitting arrears to pensioners along with Due & Drawn Statement.

(d) CPPCs to take help from Ex-Servicemen with knowledge on Defence Pensions if they are not clear of rules.

(e) All branches must give a Due & Drawn statement before remitting arrears. Either they do it themselves or get it from CPPCs.

(f) PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad gives routine circulars giving references to many letters of Govt of India which confuses banks and even crewed up Army Officers. The language used in these circulars should be simple, understandable and implementable. The circulars must give illustrations as to how to arrive pensions or pension arrears.

Even today most of the banks have not paid pension arrears of Jan 2006 (Circular 397) to Jun 2009 (Circular 547) as it is very difficult to arrive at pension as on Jan 2006 as per Circular 397 by comparing Annexure I and Annexure III for JCOs and OR. Even when pension arrears are paid these are not correct.

Many banks have paid pension arrears as low as Rs 1,500 when pension arrears are to be paid in the region of Rs 30,000.

(g) PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad and other PSAs must render a monthly report to Min of Def (ESW) as to how many grievances are received, how many have been resolved and how many are pending.

(h) PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad till date has not yet issued Corr PPOs of pensions as per 6th CPC though three and half years have elapsed. This shows how irresponsible the organisation is.

(j) Banks must have a priority shown as under by which pensions and pension arrears :-

(i) Priority I. War Widows (Veer Naris) and Family Pensioners to be paid before they remit to anyone else.

(ii) Priority II. NCOs and Sepoys.

(iii) Priority III. JCOs.

(iv) Priority IV. Officers including Honorary Lts / Capts and their equivalents.

8. Therefore, madam, we must give highest priority to war widows who sacrificed their husbands for defence of this great country. They must not be made to run around from pillor to post like Smt Shakunatala Bhandarkar is being forced to do. She has been credited in her account with Rs 30 lakhs plus but has not been permitted to withdraw.

9. May I humbly request you to kindly spare some time from your busy schedule to help Smt Shakuntala Bhandarkar by asking Chairman Syndicate Bank as to why pension arrears of this lady (Veer Nari) has been withheld and pay her penal interest @ 8% from 11 Dec 2015 (one month after issue of Circular 548).

10. I also urge you to ask CGDA to intervene and ask PCDA (Pensions) Allahabad to send a letter on Priority basis to release arrears of Rs 30 lakh plus with 8% interest from 11 Dec 2015 to Smt Shakunatala Bhandarkar.

11. The experiment of entrusting pension arrears to banks have failed and you have 90% of problems with banks as per your own dept’s statistics. So the only alternative is to link up all PSAs with all pension paying CPCCs.

Otherwise this problems will always persist till you become Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW). Profound regards for doing wonderful service to Ex-Servicemen and Family pensioners.

Yours Faithfully,

Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
President Tri Services Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association (TSEWA) Secunderabad
09 Mar 2016

PSU banks NPAs Rise by Rs 1lakh cr in 9 months of FY 16

Thus, there is an increase of Rs 94,666 crore over the nine months of the current fiscal 2015-16.

Bad loans of public sector banks (PSBs) have increased by nearly Rs 1 lakh crore during the first nine months of the current fiscal, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday. “The gross Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of the PSBs increased from 5.43 per cent as on March 2015 to 7.30 per cent as on December 2015,” he told Rajya Sabha in a written reply. Gross NPAs of PSBs increased from Rs 2,67,065 lakh crore in March 2015 to Rs 3,61,731 lakh crore in December 2015, he said. Thus, there is an increase of Rs 94,666 crore over the nine months of the current fiscal 2015-16.

In reply to another question, Jaitley said the government has taken specific measures to address issues in sectors such as infrastructure, steel and textiles incidence of NPAs is high. The government has also approved establishment of 6 new Debt Recovery Tribunals, to speed up recovery of bad loans of the banking sector, in addition to existing 33, he said. RBI has also undertaken steps which include formation of Joint Lenders’ Forum (JLF) for revitalising stressed assets in the system, flexible structuring for long term project loans to infrastructure and core industries and Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR) scheme. With regard to write offs, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said, “the percentage of amount recovered against the write-off done by PSBs has declined from 24.50 per cent in 2012-13 to 20.59 per cent during 2013-14 and further to 15.23 per cent during 2014-15.” In the recent years, Sinha said the rate of recovery (out of the written off amount) has declined due to exponential growth of the NPAs. “The reasons for increase in NPAs include slowdown in recovery in the global economy and continuing uncertainty in the global markets leading to lower exports of various products like textiles, engineering goods, leather and gems etc, factors like volatility in prices of raw material and the shortage in availability of power to some sectors,” he said. The banks have written off loans of 38 accounts worth Rs 8,033 crore during 2015-16, he said. In reply to another question, Sinha said an amount of Rs 1,30,156 crore as on December 2015, was classified as NPAs in PSBs for borrowers exceeding Rs 500 crore. Source: Deccan Herald

Spare the Service Chiefs

Spare the Service Chiefs

Major General Mrinal Suman

Internet and social media have become the most popular means of communication; both for acquiring knowledge and disseminating information. We, the veterans, have been using this facility quite extensively. Most of us are members of more than one yahoo groups. A single click of a key connects us to a vast circle of friends for informed discussion and exchange of viewpoints. Of late, the most striking feature of veterans’ emails is that the Service Chiefs are pronounced guilty for every act of omission and commission (whether real or perceived).

For every grievance with the environment, the blame is squarely laid at their door. They are accused of failing to safeguard the interests of soldiers and veterans. They have become the eternal fall guys, mostly for unwarranted reasons. Let me quote two recent examples. One, a photograph of the Naval Chief was circulated with an obnoxious caption, “This is demeaning. The CNS escorts Bharkha D while his ADC following carries her hand bag....occasion not known........” It went viral, forcing the Naval Attaché to CNS to clarify that he was carrying a pad and the Flag Lt (ADC) was carrying a notepad with an envelope. What a shame! Two, construction of a Kruppman bridge over Yamuna for a cultural event has been inviting critical comments – ‘the army is being misused’, ‘scarce military equipment is being used for a non-official function’, and so on. It is forgotten that the military does not exist in a vacuum.

It is an instrument of the state and owes its creation to it. It is for the state to employ its resources, as deemed fit. Is military equipment not an asset of the country? It is for the government to decide whether such support should be provided to a cultural event or not. It is not military’s prerogative to determine its justification. Incidentally, Kruppman equipment is not scarce. It is being manufactured in India – floats at Ordnance Parachute Factory Kanpur and superstructure at Ordnance Factory Ambernath. Moreover, launching and de-launching of equipment bridges is regularly practised by the Engineers. As a matter of fact, they have to struggle to get water obstacles for bridging training and go as far as the Rajasthan canal for the facilities. The government can certainly be criticised in case it forces the soldiers to do un-soldier-like or degrading duties. Launching of a bridge can certainly not be deemed demeaning. Every Kumbh Mala sees such bridges. Aid to the civil authority to prevent stampede is as vital, perhaps more, as the after-tragedy rescue assistance. Earlier, the criticism of the Chiefs was muted, discreet and implied. Now, it has become harsher, caustic and unseemly. In some cases, the comments have crossed all limits of propriety. Some veterans have resorted to calling them names. Here are some detestable extracts from the recent spate of emails:- · Chiefs are impotent. They can get us nothing. · Chiefs are a big letdown. · Chiefs toe the government line for ambassadorship and gubernatorial assignments. · Chiefs have reached so far in the ‘Yes Sir, Three Bags Full Sir’ syndrome that they feel they have no choice but to conform. · Chiefs have become ‘Ji Hazoors’ and forgotten even their comrades in arms. ·

Why cannot the Chiefs protest jointly and threaten to submit resignation rather than let the government neglect the services? It appears that some veterans want the Chiefs to routinely thump the table of the Defence Minister to make him accept the demands; and in case he does not agree, they ought to tender their resignations. In other words, the Chiefs should carry their resignation letters in their pockets at all times. Some expectations! Before belittling them for their perceived failure to get the soldiers their due, we must keep five points in mind. One, the Chiefs are not inept charlatans. They ought to possess some exceptional traits of character and demonstrated professional competence to rise to such high positions. A shallow person (or a fraud as we call in the services) can hoodwink the system for one or two promotions at the most. To be the head of a service means detailed scrutiny at numerous levels and it is not possible to fool the system for so long. Equally importantly, it must be accepted that they are human beings and hence not infallible. Two, the Chiefs head their services and shoulder the onerous responsibility of ensuring security of the nation. That is their primary duty. It is an enormous challenge for them to get necessary resources and equipment for the services. As the national budget is finite, they have to wage a continuous battle with the environment for a bigger allocation for the defence. Other issues (like pay scales and pensions) are important but not as critical as ensuring operational preparedness of the armed forces. Hence, their performance ought to be viewed in totality. It is unfair to judge them on the basis of a few issues of pay and allowances that are of concern to us. Three, the Chiefs are bound by the norms of service. They cannot share with the environment the enormity of their struggle to get the soldiers their due and the success achieved by them. One does not know how much we owe to the Chiefs for the grant of OROP, notwithstanding our dissatisfaction with its provisions. Four, will resignation by any Chief have any impact? Not at all. When one resigns, ten get ready to wait in the wings to pounce at the chair. When Admiral Shekhawat was unfairly removed, Vice Admiral Sushil Kumar Isaac reached New Delhi post haste in a BSF/RAW aircraft. When Admiral DK Joshi resigned, owning moral responsibility for the naval accidents, every eligible naval commander started assessing his chances. Similarly, when rumours were afloat of Gen VK Singh resigning prematurely, every army commander got his suitcases dusted for move to Delhi. One army commander went to the extent of getting himself medically upgraded to remain in the race. To aspire is human. Five, India is a democracy where the real power rests with the political leadership and, rightly or wrongly, it is exercised through the bureaucracy. The Chiefs are not as absolute in their powers as many of us presume. For every important decision, the ministry has to be approached. Rapport has to be established with the political leadership and the bureaucracy; personal equations with give-and-take approach always prove more beneficial in such an environment. An adversarial and threatening deportment achieves nothing. Many of us tend to cite the example of Pakistan. In Pakistan, the army Chief not only decides his own tenure but also that of the Prime Minister. Fortunately, that is not the case with India. Finally, a bit of heart-searching is always desirable before condemning others. Undoubtedly, all of us came across challenging situations in our professional lives which we considered to be grossly unfair and unwarranted. How many of us resigned in protest when still rising in career? Many of us become ‘tigers’ after supersession/superannuation, in the full knowledge that no harm can come our way. It was sad to see a senior veteran warning the Chiefs that the troops would obey their orders only if ‘the orders are legitimate and legal and not to please your bosses or others’. Ominous words indeed: it implies that it will be for the troops to decide whether the orders given by the Chiefs are legitimate and legal before obeying them. This piece is not in defence of the current incumbents; it is the institution of the Service Chiefs that needs to be protected. It is suffering incalculable damage. By calling them names, we the veterans, most unwittingly, are lowering their status; not only in the eyes of the serving soldiers but also the general public. How can the country hold the services in high esteem if we keep deriding our own Chiefs? *****

Healthcare, Education Facilities for NPPS Employees

Facilities for NPPS employees In respect of employees at the Nuclear Power Plant sites, healthcare facilities are provided to all the employees and their family members through Contributory Health Service Scheme (CHSS) of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) through hospitals established by NPCIL/DAE at the Nuclear Power Plant sites and/or hospitals empanelled for the purpose. The wards of employees are provided education facility upto 12th standard through Atomic Energy Central Schools (AECS) managed by Atomic Energy Education Society (AEES), an autonomous grant-in-aid institution of DAE.  With regard to people living in the vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants, NPCIL has been contributing in the areas of education, healthcare and infrastructure & skill development through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Neighborhood Development Programme (NDP). NPCIL is running primary health centers through NGOs and providing Out Patient (OPD) services. It also runs Mobile Medical Vans and conducts free medical camps. It has also upgraded several primary health centers and provided medical equipment, ambulances, prosthetic aids etc. A multi-specialty hospital is being set up at Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu under the Neighborhood Development Programme. In respect of education, school buildings have been constructed, improvements made in existing buildings, provisions for drinking water and toilet blocks made, educational aids including books, computers, bags & uniforms distributed and scholarships provided for meritorious students in neighborhoods of nuclear power plants. NPCIL extends support for infrastructure around nuclear power plants like construction of roads, bridges, school buildings, drinking water schemes, water tanks, bore wells, community centres, crematoria, multi-purpose halls solar street lights etc. In the last two years and the current year, infrastructure projects totaling to about Rs. 67 crore have been planned. This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in a reply to an unstarred question in Lok Sabha today. Source: PIB News

NOW THIS Kanhaiya Kumar IS BARKING AGAINST ARMYMEN

Indian Military Veterans

DEAR VETERAN BROTHERS,

PLEASE WATCH THIS MAN'S RANTINGS AND HIS SUPPORTERS CLAPPING HIM.

HE AND HIS SUPPORTERS ARE NOW TALKING TERRORISTS LANGUAGE.


WHY ARE THEY ALLOWED IN JNU STILL?

WHY ARE THEY NOT RUSTICATED?

THEY BE SENT TO SIACHIN AND DETAINED THEIR FOR A MONTH.

BLOGGER

(Source- Zeenews/youtube)

TNPSC Notification - Assistant Jailor in Prison Department - Recruitment 2016

Indian Military Veterans

TNPSC Notification - Assistant Jailor in Prison Department - Recruitment 2016
சிறைத்துறையில் ASSISTANT JAILOR பணியிடம்.
காலிப்பணியிடம் 104.
விண்ணப்பிக்க கடைசி தேதி - 8.4.2016.
தேர்வு நாள் - 24.7.2016.

TNEB 2175 POSTS: Syllabus,Online Registration & Notification ...

DA Hike for Telangana State Government Employees

Indian Military Veterans

HYDERABAD:  The state government has increased the dearness allowance (DA) from the present 12.052 pc to 15.196 pc for its employees with effect from July 2015.
The hike in DA is 3.144 pc. Orders to this effect were issued on Tuesday.
The DA hike will also be applicable to employees of zilla and mandal parishads, gram panchayats, municipalities, municipal corporations, agricultural market committees and zilla grandhalaya samasthas who are drawing pay in a regular scale in the revised pay scales 2015, teaching and non-teaching staff of aided institutions including aided polytechnics, and staff of universities.
The DA for State government employees drawing the revised UGC pay scales, 2006, has been hiked from 113 pc to 119 pc of the basic pay with effect from July 2015.
The DA was revised for state government employees drawing the revised UGC pay scales 1996, from 223 pc to 234 pc.
The detailed GO can be accessed through http://finance.telangana.gov.in.

Khadi may become Friday dressing in govt offices

Indian Military Veterans

NEW DELHI: Friday dressing may have a new meaning for government employees - wearing khadi to work.


The government is considering a plea from the Khadi & Village Industries Commission to appeal to employees to wear clothes made from the hand-spun fabric at least once a week as part of a plan to boost khadi production and benefit small weavers across the country.

"We are discussing this with the government and we will make an appeal. Employees can wear it to work on just one day," KVIC chairman VK Saxena told TOI, when contacted. Sources in the government said the entire exercise would be voluntary but the idea is to increase sales. "Even if everyone buys one khadi garment, imagine the rise in sales," said an officer. The central government currently has around 35 lakh employees, which does not include the railways and defence personnel.

Officers, however, are not opposed to the plan. "I wear handloom saris most of the time. It's not a big deal," said an officer. Another officer described it as a "good idea" and added that a lot of officers were already wearing Fabindia shirts and will probably need to add one from Khadi to their wardrobe. Separately, KVIC is entering into tie ups with companies such as Fabindia and Raymond to retail high-end khadi at some outlets.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emerged as a brand ambassador of sorts for khadi urging people to buy. This has already provided a fillip to sales. In fact, boosting production is now a major challenge for KVIC, which has separately sought to push khadi for uniform in government schools, defence forces, railways and Air India.

"We are not seeking charity. We are competing on the basis of quality and price," said Saxena pointing to a Rs 40 crore tender that KVIC recently bagged from railways. He also said that some private companies such as JK Cement had decided to completely shift to khadi uniforms.


He acknowledged that stepping up production was a focus area and said that he was targeting to increase the share of khadi in textiles production from 1% to around 3-3.5%. KVIC is seeking to step up push production growth beyond the 7% levels in recent years.

Centre has withdrawn its proposal to impose tax on Employee Provident Fund withdrawals

Indian Military Veterans
Tax on Provident Fund withdrawn

The Centre has withdrawn its proposal to impose tax on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawals.

From the very beginning, Central Government Employees unions all over the country have been opposing the government’s decision to impose tax on the money that they had been saving during their entire careers. After the Union Budget, the Central Government workers unions vehemently opposed the plan.

On February 29,  Arun Jaitley, the Finance Minister, presented the Union Budget for 2016-17 in the Parliament. It was announced that tax will be imposed on 60 percent of the EPF. The decision was met with stiff opposition all over the country. The opposition parties demanded that the tax on Provident Fund be withdrawn.

Arun Jaitley informed that decision in this regard will be made during the debates on the Budget. Accordingly, during the Parliamentary debate yesterday, Arun Jaitley voluntarily announced the decision to withdraw the taxes on Provident Fund. He added that tax exemption for Rs.1.5 lakhs will be given for the contribution made for pension funds.

The decision to exempt 40 percent of the PF funds from taxes stays. When the government made the announcement to impose taxes, the opposition parties and trade unions all over the country accused it of imposing new taxes whenever it faced cash crunch.

The government had clarified that the decision to impose tax on PF savings was not meant for increasing the revenue of the government, but to encourage workers to join pension schemes. But, it has now announced that the tax has been withdrawn.

Members of the Parliament have welcomed the government’s decision to withdraw the taxes on PF savings. It has to be mentioned here that Arun Jaitley, in his statement, had said that the taxes will encourage people to save more.

Congress Vice President, Rahul Gandhi said that the government has succumbed to the pressure from the people and has withdrawn the taxes on PF savings.

Suspension of Group ‘A’ Officers of CSS/CSSS – DOPT ORDER

Indian Military Veterans
Suspension of Group ‘A’ Officers of CSS/CSSS – DOPT ORDER
F.No.136/1/2016-AVD.I/D
Government of India
Ministry of Personnel, P.G. & Pensions
Department of Personnel & Training
North Block, New Delhi
Dated 8th March, 2016
OFFICE MEMORANDUM
Subject: Suspension of Group ‘A’ Officers of CSS/CSSS – reg.
The undersigned is directed to say that recently it has come to the notice of this Department that Ministries / Departments have placed Group ‘A’ Officers of Central Secretariat Service and Central Secretariat Stenographer Service under suspension without referring the matter to D/o Personnel & Training.
The powers of Appointing Authority in respect of Group ’A’ CSS/ CSSS Officers are exercised by Minister-in-charge of Department of Personnel & Training being the Cadre Controlling Authority. Further, for a cadre post of CSS, the power to take disciplinary action including suspension lies with the Cadre Controlling Authority i.e. D/o Personnel & Training. Accordingly attention is drawn to entry no. 41 ( e) of Govt. of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961 read with Rule 12 of CCS(CCA) Rules, 1965 whereby the DoP&T was made Disciplinary Authority in respect of the officers belonging to centralised cadres of CSS (Grade ’A’ and above). Therefore, any Group ‘A’ CSS/ CSSS Officer may be placed under suspension with the approval of the Minister-in-charge of Department of Personnel & Training.
All the Ministries/ Departments are, therefore, requested to forward the proposals, if any, for placing Group ’A’ Officers of CSS/CSSS under suspension with the approval of their concerned Minister-in-charge to this Department in conformity to the guidelines mentioned in this Department’s OM No. 134/9/93 -AVD.I dated 15/11/1993.
(Sher Bahadur)
Under Secretary to Govt. of India

Indian Army faces shortage of 9,106 officers

Indian Military Veterans

Indian Army faces shortage of 9,106 officers


There is a shortage of 9,106 officers in the Indian Army and 1,265 officers in the Navy, the government said Tuesday.
“In army (excluding Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps and Military Nursing Service), as on July 1, 2015, against the authorised strength of 49,631 officers, held strength of officers is 40,525 with shortage of 9,106,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said in a written response to a question in Lok Sabha.
The Navy, as on January 31, 2016, faced shortage of 1,265 officers. As of November 1, 2015, Air Force did not show any shortage of officers, Parrikar said.
The expenditure incurred on salary and allowances in financial year 2014-15 was Rs 94,233 crore for defence personnel and 35,458 crore for para-military forces.
Replying to another question, he said the strength of woman officers in the Indian Coast Guard is 27, which includes 17 pilots and 10 observers. The woman officers, employed for aviation duties, are involved in operations like prevention of illegal activities at sea and maritime surveillance.
PTI

Raghuram Rajan explains why corrupt politicians win elections in India

Indian Military Veterans


Rajan has a good theory about this. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)


This is an excerpt from a speech India’s Reserve Bank of India chairman Raghuram Rajan delivered this week. The full text is available here.
Even as our democracy and our economy have become more vibrant, an important issue in the recent election was whether we had substituted the crony socialism of the past with crony capitalism, where the rich and the influential are alleged to have received land, natural resources and spectrum in return for payoffs to venal politicians.
By killing transparency and competition, crony capitalism is harmful to free enterprise, opportunity, and economic growth. And by substituting special interests for the public interest, it is harmful to democratic expression. If there is some truth to these perceptions of crony capitalism, a natural question is why people tolerate it. Why do they vote for the venal politician who perpetuates it?
A hypothesis on the persistence of crony capitalism
One widely held hypothesis is that our country suffers from want of a “few good men” in politics. This view is unfair to the many upstanding people in politics. But even assuming it is true, every so often we see the emergence of a group, usually upper middle class professionals, who want to clean up politics. But when these “good” people stand for election, they tend to lose their deposits. Does the electorate really not want squeaky clean government?
Apart from the conceit that high morals lie only with the upper middle class, the error in this hypothesis may be in believing that problems stem from individual ethics rather than the system we have. In a speech I made before the Bombay Chamber of Commerce in 2008, I argued that the tolerance for the venal politician is because he is the crutch that helps the poor and underprivileged navigate a system that gives them so little access. This may be why he survives.
Let me explain. Our provision of public goods is unfortunately biased against access by the poor. In a number of states, ration shops do not supply what is due, even if one has a ration card – and too many amongst the poor do not have a ration card or a BPL card; Teachers do not show up at schools to teach; The police do not register crimes, or encroachments, especially if committed by the rich and powerful; Public hospitals are not adequately staffed and ostensibly free medicines are not available at the dispensary; …I can go on, but you know the all-too-familiar picture.
This is where the crooked but savvy politician fits in. While the poor do not have the money to “purchase” public services that are their right, they have a vote that the politician wants. The politician does a little bit to make life a little more tolerable for his poor constituents – a government job here, an FIR registered there, a land right honoured somewhere else. For this, he gets the gratitude of his voters, and more important, their vote. Of course, there are many politicians who are honest and genuinely want to improve the lot of their voters. But perhaps the system tolerates corruption because the street smart politician is better at making the wheels of the bureaucracy creak, however slowly, in favour of his constituents. And such a system is self-sustaining. An idealist who is unwilling to “work” the system can promise to reform it, but the voters know there is little one person can do. Moreover, who will provide the patronage while the idealist is fighting the system? So why not stay with the fixer you know even if it means the reformist loses his deposit?
So the circle is complete. The poor and the under-privileged need the politician to help them get jobs and public services. The crooked politician needs the businessman to provide the funds that allow him to supply patronage to the poor and fight elections. The corrupt businessman needs the crooked politician to get public resources and contracts cheaply. And the politician needs the votes of the poor and the underprivileged. Every constituency is tied to the other in a cycle of dependence, which ensures that the status quo prevails. Well-meaning political leaders and governments have tried, and are trying, to break this vicious cycle. How do we get more politicians to move from “fixing” the system to reforming the system? The obvious answer is to either improve the quality of public services or reduce the public’s dependence on them. Both approaches are necessary. But then how does one improve the quality of public services? The typical answer has been to increase the resources devoted to the service, and to change how it is managed. A number of worthwhile efforts are underway to improve the quality of public education and healthcare. But if resources leak or public servants are not motivated, which is likely in the worst governed states, these interventions are not very effective.
Some have argued that making a public service a right can change delivery. It is hard to imagine that simply legislating rights and creating a public expectation of delivery will, in fact, ensure delivery. After all, is there not an expectation that a ration card holder will get decent grain from the fair price shop, yet all too frequently grain is not available or is of poor quality. Information decentralization can help. Knowing how many medicines the local public dispensary received, or how much money the local school is getting for mid-day meals, can help the public monitor delivery and alert higher-ups when the benefits are not delivered. But the public delivery system is usually most apathetic where the public is poorly educated, of low social status, and disorganized, so monitoring by the poor is also unlikely to be effective.
Some argue that this is why the middle class should enjoy public benefits along with the poor, so that the former can protest against poor delivery, which will ensure high quality for all. But making benefits universal is costly, and may still lead to indifferent delivery for the poor. The middle class may live in different areas from the poor. Indeed, even when located in the same area, the poor may not even patronize facilities frequented by the middle class because they feel out of place. And even when all patronize the same facility, providers may be able to discriminate between the voluble middle class and the uncomplaining poor. So if more resources or better management are inadequate answers, what might work?
The answer may partly lie in reducing the public’s dependence on government-provided jobs or public services. A good private sector job, for example, may give a household the money to get private healthcare, education, and supplies, and reduce their need for public services. Income could increase an individual’s status and increase the respect they are accorded by the teacher, the policeman or the bureaucrat. But how does a poor man get a good job if he has not benefited from good healthcare and education in the first place? In this modern world where good skills are critical to a good job, the unskilled have little recourse but to take a poorly-paying job or to look for the patronage that will get them a good job. So do we not arrive at a contradiction: the good delivery of public services is essential to escape the dependence on bad public services?
Money liberates and Empowers…
We need to go back to the drawing board. There is a way out of this contradiction, developing the idea that money liberates. Could we not give poor households cash instead of promising them public services? A poor household with cash can patronize whomsoever it wants, and not just the monopolistic government provider. Because the poor can pay for their medicines or their food, they will command respect from the private provider. Not only will a corrupt fair price shop owner not be able to divert the grain he gets since he has to sell at market price, but because he has to compete with the shop across the street, he cannot afford to be surly or lazy.
The government can add to the effects of empowering the poor by instilling a genuine cost to being uncompetitive – by shutting down parts of the public delivery systems that do not generate enough custom. Much of what we need to do is already possible. The government intends to announce a scheme for full financial inclusion on Independence Day. It includes identifying the poor, creating unique biometric identifiers for them, opening linked bank accounts, and making government transfers into those accounts. When fully rolled out, I believe it will give the poor the choice and respect as well as the services they had to beg for in the past. It can break a link between poor public service, patronage, and corruption that is growing more worrisome over time.
Excerpted from the RBI governor’s speech at the Twentieth Lalit Doshi Memorial Lecture on August 11, 2014 at Mumbai.

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Is the Demand for Pay Revision by State Government Employees Justified? Read more at http://www.theshillongtimes.com/2016/03/09/is-the-demand-for-pay-revision-by-state-government-employees-justified/#sm2UoDyYrbXHIX9Q.99

Indian Military Veterans
By Sumarbin Umdor
The recommendation of the 7th Central Pay Commission (CPC) for 23.5 percent hike in salaries of central government employees effective from January 2016 has led to a domino effect with employees of state governments demanding similar pay revision. Many poll bound states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Punjab have already announced setting up of their own pay commission while others like Kerala is in the process of implementing recently announced pay revision.
State governments follow their own schedule in revision of salaries of their employees. While Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan adopt the recommendations of central pay commission, others like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Haryana and West Bengal constitute their own pay commission. While most states implement pay revision at every 10 year intervals, state government employees of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh are luckier as their salaries are revised every 5 years.
In case of Meghalaya the first pay commission was constituted in 1978, second in 1986 and third one in 1998. The Fourth pay commission was set up in 2007 and its recommendations implemented in October of 2009 with retrospective effect from January 1, 2007. The Fourth pay commission had recommended a minimum salary starting at Rs. 6500 and a maximum salary of Rs. 353300 with 22 levels of pay scales along with allowances such as house rent, hill compensation, medical and for winter months.
The implementation of the recommendations of the 7th CPC will lead to a substantial gap between salary of central and state government employees of Meghalaya. A cursory comparison of salaries of central government employees based on recommendation of the 7th CPC with that of state government employees of Meghalaya without considering allowances shows the pay gap at different levels. In January of 2016 the entry level salary of state government employees at present pay scale will be around Rs. 13400 (at likely revised dearness allowance of 106 percent on January 2016), which is Rs. 4600 less than the entry level salary of Rs. 18000 (for central government employees as proposed by the 7th CPC.
Continuing with the above comparison, a teacher in a state government school will be getting at least Rs.6500 less than a teacher of a central school, while an assistant engineer employed with the state public works department will be drawing about Rs. 10000 less than an employee in a similar post in the central government services. This gap between central state and government salaries would further widen if allowances are also taken into consideration, as state government allowances have always been substantially lower than those paid to central government employees.

WHAT CAN I SAY OF THIS WONDERFUL OFFICER?

Indian Military Veterans

Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,
1.         In  my 32 years’ service in the Army I have never seen any IAS officer responding to even simple grievances with such a seriousness that I get a reply at 10: 20 PM (2220 hrs) today from Smt K Damayanathi, IAS, Joint Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW). She must be either still working in her Office or carrying work to her home in Delhi.
2.         What can say of this wonderful officer? I have seen all Secretaries in Min of Def (ESW) from 2006 commencing from Mr SM Acharya, IAS to Mr SK Chatterjee, IAS and all Joint Secys from Shri Chaman Kumar, IAS to Smt Ananta Soubhagya Lakshmi, IA &AS till 2012 when I was Director Sainik Welfare, A.P.
3.         Not even one officer ever responded so promptly for any query when I was SOMEDBOY as Director Sainik Welfare, A.P.  They are duty bound to reply to me. I stopped writing to them after seeing their indifference to my representations.
4.         Now when I am NOBODY here is how a Joint Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW) responds to me at unearthly hour of 2020 hrs. For all the sterling work Smt Damayanthi does for ESM and Family Pensioners, she will definitely win hands down if she contents any election in ESM predominant states like Punjab, Haryana etc.
5.         Kindly project your problems of non-receipt of pension arrears from January 2006 to Jun 2009 (for JCOs and OR) and from January 2006 to 23 Sep 2012 (for Officers and their single ladies).
6.         Please give me your data as under to reach me immediately :-
            (a)        Name of pensioner:
            (b)       PPO No:
            ©         Personal No of Pensioner / deceased husband :
            (d)       Bank Name:
            (e )       Branch Name:
            (f)        Branch Code : (can be seen in the cheque book):
            (g)       SB Account No of Pensioner:
            (h)       E-mail ID of CPPC of your bank: (Pl find out from your bank):  
7.         I will immediately bring this to the notive of Smt K Damayanthi, IAS as per her directions to me and shall  also intimate to you.
8.         Secondly, I shall also lodge a complaint with Min of Personnel, Pensions and Public Grievances.
9.         Thirdly, I shall also lodge a complaint with Chairman, CGM Customer Care of you rbank. This is known as OVERKILL.
Regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
9493191380

Mail from Smt K Damayanthi, IAS, Joint Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW)
K Damayanthi       10: 20 PM ( 4 mins ago)
I would like to clarify that OROP arrears will be paid by PNB and SBI between15th-30th March,2016.
However, the arrears pertaining to 3rd sep,2015 is concerned, both PNB and SBI   reported that they have paid the arrears.
If you have not got arrears relating to 3rd sep order, you may pl inform m immediately.
with regards,
yours sincerely,
Damayanthi IAS,
Joint Secretary to Govt of India, Min of Def (ESW)

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