Implementation of One Rank One Pension



Implementation of One Rank One Pension 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for implementation of One Rank One Pension (OROP). The details are as follows: 


1. The benefit will be given with effect from 1st July, 2014. 

2. Pension will be re-fixed for pre 1.7.2014 pensioners retiring in the same rank and with the same length of service as the average of minimum and maximum pension drawn by the retirees in the year 2013. Those drawing pensions above the average will be protected. 

3. The benefit would also be extended to family pensioners including war widows and disabled pensioners. 

4. Personnel who opt to get discharged henceforth on their own request under Rule 13(3) 1(i)(b), 13(3) 1(iv) or Rule 16B of the Army Rule. 1954 or equivalent Navy or Air Force Rules will not be entitled to the benefits of OROP. It will be effective prospectively. 

5. Arrears will be paid in four half-yearly instalments. However, all the family pensioners including those in receipt of Special/Liberalized family pension and Gallantry award winners shall be paid arrears in one instalment. 

6. In future, the pension would be re-fixed every 5 year. 

7. Constitution of Judicial Committee headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy, Retd. Chief Justice of Patna High Court on 14.12.2015 which will give its report in six months on the references made by the Government of India. 

The implementation of OROP will result in enhanced pension for the pensioners/family pensioners of Defence Forces. The setting up of the Judicial Committee headed by Justice L. Narasimha Reddy will help in the removal of anomalies that may arise in the implementation of OROP order dated 7.11.2015. 

Financial implications on account of grant of OROP including Pre-Matured Retirees (PMR) cases would be Rs. 10925.11 crore for payment of arrears and annual financial implication would be Rs. 7488.7 crore. Till 31st March, 2016, 15.91 lakh pensioners have been given the first instalment of OROP, which amounts to Rs. 2,861 crore. Information is being gathered for processing on priority basis, the cases of 1.15 lakh pensioners after filling in the gaps of information such as the length of service being assessed, etc. 

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Cabinet approves recommendations of 14th Finance Commission on fiscal deficit targets and additional fiscal deficit to States during 2015-20
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Hon’ble Prime Minister has today given its approval to Recommendations on Fiscal Deficit Targets and Additional Fiscal Deficit to States during Fourteenth Finance Commission (FFC) award period 2015-20 under the two flexibility options recommended in para 14.64 to 14.67 of its Report (volume – I).

FFC has adopted the fiscal deficit threshold limit of 3 per cent of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) for the States. Further, FFC has provided a year-to-year flexibility for additional fiscal deficit to States. FFC, taking into account the development needs and the current macro- economic requirement, provided additional headroom to a maximum of 0.5 per cent over and above the normal limit of 3 per cent in any given year to the States that have a favourable debt-GSDP ratio and interest payments-revenue receipts ratio in the previous two years. However, the flexibility in availing the additional fiscal deficit will be available to State if there is no revenue deficit in the year in which borrowing limits are to be fixed and immediately preceding year.

Since the year 2015-16 is already over, the States will not get any benefit of additional borrowings for 2015-16. However, the implications for the remaining period of FFC award, i.e., 2016-17 to 2019-20, would depend upon respective States’ eligibility based on the criteria prescribed by FFC.

For the year 2016-17, the following fiscal parameters need to be taken into account before determining states eligibility for additional borrowings of 0.5% of GSDP recommended by FFC: (Para 14.64 to 14.67 – Vol. I read with Annexure 14.2 of Vol. II of the FFC Report):

a) The revenue position of the State as per Finance Account for t-2 and as available from Revised Estimates for t-1. To illustrate, for the year 2016-17, the revenue position of the State for 2014-15 (actual as per Finance Accounts) and 2015-16 (RE) would be relevant.

b) The IP/TRR ratio and Debt/GSDP ratio based on the data as contained in Finance Account for t-2. To illustrate, for determining States’ eligibility for 2016-17, the IP/TRR ratio and Debt/GSDP ratio as disclosed in Finance Account of States for 2014-15 would be relevant.

If a State is not able to fully utilise its sanctioned fiscal deficit of 3 per cent of GSDP in any particular year during the 2016-17 to 2018-19 of FFC award period, it will have the option of availing this un-utilised fiscal deficit amount (calculated in rupees) only in the following year but within FFC award period. For the purpose of calculating the unutilised borrowing space, the unutilised fiscal space as compared to FD limit of 3% of GSDP is to be reckoned. Similarly, any additional borrowings availed beyond the State’s entitlements shall be adjusted from Net Borrowing Ceiling of the following year.

There is no financial implication for Government of India as the borrowings are made by the respective State Governments within the fiscal deficit limits laid down by Finance Commission and incorporated in FRBMA of the States. However, the State will get additional space to raise borrowings which may result in much needed Government Expenditure for Capital projects/ infrastructure. 

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Promulgation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Anatomy Regulation, 2016
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for promulgation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Anatomy Regulation, 2016 with a view to lay down procedures for providing supply or availability of unclaimed of dead bodies to the Medical College for the purpose of studying the human anatomy in all systems of medicine.

Background:

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands Administration has established a 100 bedded medical College by upgradation of the G.B. Pant Hospital, Port Blair. The newly started Andaman and Nicobar Institute of Medical Science completed the process of admission of students and classes for the first year MBBS course commenced on 1st September, 2015 .

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Funding of exports to Iran from India through the Export Development Fund of Exim Bank
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for increasing the framework agreement between Exim Bank of India and a consortium of Iranian banks lead by Central Bank of Iran for financing the purchase of goods and services from India to Rs.3000 crore from Rs. 900 crore. This will be done by utilising the Export Development Fund (EDF). The proposal provides for domiciling two contracts of export of steel rails by STC and for the Chabahar Port Development project previously approved by the Cabinet under EDF.

The proposal will promote the country's exports with Iran. It will also deepen India's relationship with Iran as a strategic partner.

Background The Exim Bank of India and seven Iranian Banks led by Central Bank of Iran had negotiated a framework agreement in November, 2014 for financing the purchase of goods and services from India by Iranian entities to the tune of Rs.900 crore under EDF. The increase to Rs. 3000 crore will enable the Exim bank to provide Buyer's credit facility to Iran, secured via sovereign guarantee from Iran, for the export of goods and services. This will provide opportunity to Indian Companies to penetrate and enhance their footprint in Iran along with facilitating the growing trade and investment with Iran. This will also help in employment generation and development of ancillary activities in India.

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Modification in the policy for liberalisation of administratively allotted Spectrum
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the modifications in the policy for liberalisation of administratively allotted spectrum where market determined prices were not available. This will facilitate optimal utilisation of spectrum by introducing new technologies, sharing and trading of spectrum.

The most recent recommended reserve price will be taken as the provisional price for liberalisation of administratively allocated spectrum where auction determined price is not available. Subsequent to the completion of the ensuing auction and with the availability of auction determined price, the provisional price already charged will be adjusted with the auction determined price with effect from the date of liberalisation on pro-rata basis.

This decision was taken on the basis of the recommendations of the sector regulator, TRAI and approximately and a sum of Rs.1300 crore is likely to accrue by this process. 

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Memorandum of Understanding between India and Sweden on Technical Cooperation in the Railway Sector
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval to Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on 15th February, 2016 between India and Sweden on Technical Cooperation in the Railway Sector.

The MoU will enable technical cooperation in the following areas:-

1. Benchmark railways policy development, regulations, organization and specific characteristics for each country.

2. Exchange of knowledge, technical expertise, innovation, technology, sustainable solutions and research.

3. Other cooperation projects agreed between the participants, such as, freight operations in cold regions, tilting coaches/trains, capacity allocation (time tabling) and optimisation of maintenance and improved freight/combination traffic.

4. Training and continuing education program in reliability and maintenance of rail transport system for railway engineers and managers.

Background:

Ministry of Railways has signed MOUs for technical cooperation in the Railway sector with various foreign Governments and National Railways. The identified areas of cooperation include high speed corridors, speed raising of existing routes, development of world class stations, heavy haul operations and modernization of rail infrastructure, etc. The cooperation is achieved through exchange of information on developments in areas of railways technology & operations, knowledge sharing, technical visits, training and seminars and workshops in areas of mutual interest.

The MoUs provide a platform for Indian Railways to interact and share the latest developments and knowledge in the railway sector. The MoUs facilitate exchange of technical experts, reports and technical documents, training and seminars/workshops focusing on specific technology areas and other interactions for knowledge sharing. 

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National Hydrology Project
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to Implementation of the National Hydrology Project.  It will be a central sector scheme with a total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore.  This includes Rs.3,640 crore for National Hydrology Project (NHP) and Rs. 39.7674 crore for National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC) to be taken up in two stages.  It also provides for establishment of NWIC as an independent organization under the control of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD&GR).

The NHP will help in gathering Hydro-meteorological data which will be stored and analysed on a real time basis and can be seamlessly accessed by any user at the State/District/village level.  The project envisages to cover the entire country as the earlier hydrology projects covered only 13 States.

The components of the proposal are:
a)             In Situ Hydromet Monitoring System and Hydromet Data Acquisition System.
b)             Setting up of National Water Informatics Centre (NWIC).
c)             Water Resources Operation and Management System
d)            Water Resources Institutions and Capacity Building

The NHP will result in the improvement of:

1.      Data storage, exchange, analysis and dissemination through National Water Informatics Centre.
2.      Lead time in flood forecast from 1 day to at least 3 days
3.      Mapping of flood inundation areas for use by the disaster management authorities
4.      Assessment of surface and ground water resources in a river basin for better planning & allocation for PMKSY and other schemes of Govt. of India
5.      Reservoir  operations  through   seasonal  yield   forecast,   drought  management, SCADA systems, etc.
6.      Design of SW & GW structures, hydropower units, interlinking of rivers, Smart Cities.
7.      Fulfilling the objectives of Digital India.
8.      People Centric approach:  The programme envisages ultimate aim for water management through scientific data collection, dissemination of information on water availability in all blocks of the country and establishing of National Water Information Centre.  The automated systems for Flood Forecasting is aimed to reduce water disaster ultimately helping vulnerable population.  It is people and farmer centric programme as information on water can help in predicting water availability and help farmers to plan their crops and other farm related activities.  Through this programme India would make a place among nations known for scientific endeavours.

Out of the total outlay of Rs. 3679.7674 crore, Rs.3,640 crore has been earmarked for National Hydrology Project  while Rs. 39.7674 crore has been kept aside for NWIC.   Out of the total outlay, fifty per cent of the amount that is Rs.1839.8837 crore, would be World Bank loan which would be repaid by Central Government. The remaining 50% that is Rs. 1839.8837 crore would be Central Assistance from the budgetary support. The entire World Bank's Loan component and Central assistance to the States and Central Organisations shall be passed on to them as Grants.

Elucidation on the impact of the Project:

a)      Development of real time flood forecasting and reservoir operations in a manner that does not result in sudden opening of gates which inundates the area down below;
b)      It will facilitate integrated water resource management by adopting river basin approach through collation and management of hydro-meteorological data.  This will also help in water resource assessment – as surface as well as ground water, for water resource planning, prioritize its allocations and its consumptive use for irrigation;
c)       It will help in providing real time information on a dynamic basis to the farmers about the ground water position for them to accordingly plan their cropping pattern;
d)     This will also help in promoting efficient and equitable use of water particularly of ground water at the village level;
e)      This will also provide information on quality of water
Background

The National Hydrology Project (NHP) is intended for setting up of a system for timely and reliable water resources data acquisition, storage, collation and management. It will also provide tools/systems for informed decision making through Decision Support Systems (DSS) for water resources assessment, flood management, reservoir operations, drought management, etc. NHP also seeks to build capacity of the State and Central sector organisations in water resources management through the use of Information Systems and adoption of State-of-the-art technologies like Remote Sensing.

The MoWR, RD&GR has adopted a paradigm shift in the management of water resources of the country by adopting a river basin approach, In order to efficiently use and manage water resources of the country; adequacy of data, resource assessment, decision support systems, etc. are a prerequisite for allocation and prioritization of this fast depleting resource.


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Revised Policy on crude oil import for oil PSUs
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to replace the existing policy on crude oil import by Oil PSUs and vest the oil PSUs with the power to evolve their own policies. This will provide a more efficient, flexible and dynamic policy for crude procurement, eventually benefiting the consumers.

The existing policy for import of crude oil was approved by the Cabinet in the year 1979. In 2001, the Cabinet approved some amendment to the policy. While the current policy has ensured that collective energy needs of Oil PSUs are consistently met over the years, the policy needs to evolve with the changing times. With the changing geo-political environment, the crude oil import policy needs to be modified to bring it in tune with current needs. The current market practices for purchase of crude oil on spot basis also need to be adopted to compete effectively in the market. The current policy has certain limitations and restrictions in this regard, which limit the potential sources and methods of procurement.

After the last decision of the Cabinet in 2001, the Govt. of India has delegated substantial powers to Navaratna and Maharatna companies among PSUs. Such companies are given high degree of autonomy in various operational, financial and investment matters.

Accordingly, the Cabinet has approved that the Oil PSUs of the Govt. of India shall be empowered to evolve their own policies for import of crude oil, consistent with CVC guidelines and get them approved by the respective Boards. This measure, which is in keeping with the principle of Minimum Government Maximum Governance, will increase the operational and commercial flexibility of the oil companies and enable them to adopt the most effective procurement practices for import of crude oil. 

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