Saturday, November 12, 2011

Railway bookings: Now, tatkal sewa only 24 hrs in advance

NEW DELHI: Railways on Friday decided to reduce the advance reservation period for Tatkal tickets from 48 hours to 24 hours in a move to prevent misuse of the scheme introduced to facilitate emergency travel.
Complaints of touts misusing the scheme were increasing day by day and this left Rail Bhawan mandarins worried. While there will be no refund on confirmed Tatkal tickets except in case of cancellation of trains and late running trains, the restriction for agents to book Tatkal ticket has been extended from one hour to two hours (8 am to 10 am).
Now, one has to produce identity proof to buy Tatkal tickets and there will be only four passengers per PNR for such tickets.
Tatkal reservation period was reduced from 48 hours to 24 hours to prevent misuse by unscrupulous elements who resort to speculative booking. According to the changed system, no duplicate Tatkal ticket shall be issued and it would be done only in exceptional cases on payment of full fare including Tatkal charges.
"There were many complaints regarding misuse of Tatkal tickets. The changes that will be effective within a week has been made to prevent its misuse," Vinay Mittal, chairman, Railway Board, said.
Source : The Times of India, November 12, 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Validity of cheques, drafts cut to 3 months

NEW DELHI: Come April 1, 2012, your cheques and bank drafts will have a life of just three months instead of the earlier six.

In a notification on Friday evening, the Reserve Bank of India said these instruments will have to be presented within three months from the date of issue as it has been brought to its notice by the government that some persons were taking undue advantage of the sixmonth validity of cheques/drafts/pay orders/banker's cheques by circulating them like cash for this period.

For customer awareness, banks have been asked to print the change on cheques and drafts that will be issued from April 1, 2012.

Over the last few years, a system had evolved in which a cheque issued in favour of person A would be transferred to person B, on receipt of a commission, as banks were willing to credit them into someone else's account. With the new norms, RBI hopes to reduce such misuse . RBI also asked banks to ensure that account payee cheques and drafts are only credited to accounts of the person named in the instrument.

Although the break up was unavailable , bankers said the move would affect individuals more as companies usually deposit cheques and drafts within hours of receiving them as they do not want to lose out on any interest income.

Source :

Govt plans a big push to reforms

NEW DELHI: The finance ministry has lined up an ambitious reform agenda for the Winter Session of Parliament and efforts are on to secure support from Opposition parties to get approval for at least 10 legislations, senior official said.

The move is aimed at deflecting the criticism that a policy paralysis has set in after the series of scandals since last year forced the UPA government on the back foot. "The finance minister has already reached out to Opposition parties seeking support for the 10 bills. There is a significant amount of reforms which will kick in after these bills are approved. We are hopeful that they sail through," a senior finance ministry official, who did not wish to be identified, told TOI.

The 10 key bills include the Indian Stamp Act (Amendment Bill), the Prevention of Money Laundering (Amendment) Bill, Life Insurance Corp (Amendment) Bill 2009, the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2008, Pension Fund Development Authority PFRDA Bill, Regulation of Factor (assignment of Receivables) Bill 2011, Banking Laws (amendment) Bill, the Exim Bank (amendment) Bill 2011, Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debt laws and the Public Procurement Bill.

Apart from these bills, the finance ministry will also introduce the second supplementary demands for grants and the Appropriation Bill relating to the second supplementary demand. These will enable the government to seek approval of Parliament for additional spending. The insurance laws amendment bill seeks to raise the limit of foreign equity in the sector to 49% from the current 26% and also allow foreign re-insurers to open branches. PFRDA bill aims to provide statutory status to the regulator and set the rules for the pension sector and regulation of the National Pension System.

The Indian Stamp Act aims to amend the 1899 act to allow e-stamping, payment of stamp duty by a variety of means, reduce discretionary powers of officials, increase compliance and plug revenue leakage. Analysts say these are long pending moves which will usher in transparency in several sectors. In recent days the government has taken a series of steps including approval for the National Manufacturing Policy to dispel doubts about the government's ability to move ahead with the economic reforms.

"There are other legislations which will be introduced by other ministries which will give a momentum to the reforms and help in inclusive growth," the finance ministry official said. He also said efforts were at advanced stage to allow FDI in multi-brand retail." The issue needs some more discussion but it will be in place soon," the official said, without giving a time-frame.

The fresh aim at reforms comes after severe criticism from investors and eminent citizens including industrialist Azim Premji. A group of eminent citizens had written an open letter highlighting the policy paralysis, which had set in and how it threatened growth.

Source : The Times of India

Eid Mubarak

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All India Mail Survey-2011

Government of India

Ministry of Communication & IT

Department of Posts

Mall Business Development & Operation Division

Dak Bhawan, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001

No. 38-0112011 Dated 30.09.2011

All Heads of Circles

Subject: All India Mail Survey-2011

The Annual “All India Mail Survey” for the year 2011 will be conducted in November 2011 on the prescribed pattern for this purpose. The survey will be carried out separately in Urban and Rural Post Offices.

2. For the year 2011, “All India Rural Mail Survey” will be conducted on 03.11.2011 and the “Urban Mail Survey” will be conducted on 17.11.2011. The methodology or the survey remain the same as is enclosed.

3. Each Circle will consolidate the survey results received from Regional Offices / Division in the proforma given as Annexure ‘C’ and ‘C-I’ in respect of both Rural and Urban mail survey for each category of mail, and forward the reports to this Directorate latest by 25.11.2011. Norms for transmission and delivery of mail, work sheet, Annexure ‘A’, ‘B’, are enclosed for guidance.

4. The data so collected, should be thoroughly scrutinized at the Circle level before being forwarded to the Directorate. The nature of action taken subsequently to eliminate delay in transit and delivery of mail shall be communicated accordingly. All efforts should be made for accurate compilation of the data. It is recommended to include Post Offices identified under “Project Arrow” for the survey in concerned Circles to the extent possible.

5. As soon as the results of the survey are compiled, Circles may also take necessary action to analyze the data and review the mail arrangement wherever needed.

6. Receipt of this memo may be acknowledged to Shri R Kumar Raj, AD (Task Force), Mail Business Division.

(Kalpana Tewari)

CGM (Mail Business)

Copy to:

1. All Regional Postmasters General

2. Addl. D.G. APS, APS Directorate, R.K. Puram New Delhi-110066

3. Director Postal Staff College, India, Ghaziabad (UP)

4. Director Postal Training Centers, Saharanpur/ Madurai / Vadodara / Darbhanga / Guwahati / Mysore

Methodology for All India Live Mail Survey

The following methodology would be adopted for the survey:

1. The Rural Survey will be conducted on the designated dates at the selected Post Offices throughout the country. For the Rural Mail Survey, one delivery post office in each post sub-division from amongst the rural post offices should be identified by the Divisional Superintendent.

2, The Urban Mail Survey will be conducted on designated dates. For the Urban Mail Survey, one delivery post office in each post Sub —division, from amongst the urban post offices should be identified by the Divisional Superintendent.

3 . The survey should be carried out in respect of letters, registered letters, money orders, parcels and 2 class mail. For this purpose, 25% of mail in each category, with clear date stamp impression, should he taken as random sample for surveys Mail received at Sub Post Offices and meant for delivery through Branch Post Offices should also be included for the sample

4. After collecting the sample from the total mail, those emanating from the same district, same circle, neighboring circles and distant circles should be segregated and further separated category-wise.

5 . The date of posting should be identified from the post marks and based on this the transit time taken should be worked out. The letters which do not bear legible post marks should not be taken into account for the survey.

6. Each article should be categorized under L)+i, D+2,D±3, D+4,D+5 and D+ & above for same district, same circle, neighbouring and distant circles, and details be filed in the relevant column of the work sheet (copy enclosed).

7. Based on the transit norms for mail already available with the Circle (copy enclosed), the articles which have been received beyond the transit norms should be identified. Thereafter, the data should be incorporated in proforma at annex-A, and sent to the Divisional Superintendent for further analysis. If the mail arrangements are such that the articles received in a Sub-Post Office are delivered in branch Post Office on the day following the day of their receipt at the Sub-Post Office. One more day should be added to the transit time for such mail.

8. The stations from where the large numbers of articles are received with delay should be identified and the mail routes checked to pinpoint the cause of delay.

9. In each Postal Division, a task force, comprising officials of the level ASP/SDIJPRIs/SPMJDY, PM and the postmaster/SPM, will be constituted by the Divisional Superintendent for conducting the mail survey. An official from the CO/RO, neighbouring RMS Division viz: APMGIAD/SSRM/SRM/DY. SRM/ASRM from amongst the official available should be nominated by the Circle Office/Regional Office to monitor the survey at close quarters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Govt. Prepares Draft Bill on Citizens’ Right to Grievance Redress; Seeks Inputs from Stakeholders

A draft Citizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill 2011 has been prepared and put up in the public domain for suggestions/inputs from the stakeholders. This was informed by the MoS, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions and PMO, Shri Narayanasamy in New Delhi today. The Draft aims at creating institutionalize mechanism to ensure delivery of public services in a time bound manner and redressal of public grievances.

Key recommendations in the Draft Bill are:

1. There will be a Citizens Charter, and a protocol will be put in place.

2. Bill can be enacted as a central legislation under the concurrent list Item 8 (actionable wrongs) and can cover:

a. Central Schemes and Central Government Departments

b. Provide a Platform to States to make this a Grievance Redressal Mechanism for State Schemes and Departments

3. Bill will incorporate the institution of Information and Facilitation Centre in all public authorities to ensure that Citizens can be facilitated and grievances are systematically recorded and tracked using telephone, sms, web etc.

4. First level Redress should be within concerned department as proposed. This should be done through a Grievance Redress Officer in each department

5. The second level redress/ appeal will be at the level of Head of the Department of the public authority.

6. State Grievance Commissions should be set up as second level appellate authorities.

The Draft Bill can be accessed at the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances website All those interested can send their suggestions/comments/inputs within 21 days.

Source : PIB Release, November 2 , 2011

Ms. Manjula Prasher, IPoS-1976 - the New Secretary ( Posts ) :

Ms. Manjula Prasher, IPoS-1976 has assumed the office of the Secretary, Department of Posts, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and Chairperson, Postal Services Board.