There is no need for central government employees to visit banks to start pension as their copy of the Pension Payment Order (PPO) will be handed over to them at the time of retirement, the Personnel Ministry has said. Citing existing rules in this regard, the ministry, in a recent order issued to all central government departments, has said, "The pensioner is no longer required to visit the bank to activate the first payment of pension." The rules also provide for an undertaking to be submitted by the retiring government servants or pensioners to the disbursing banks before the commencement of their pensions. After ascertaining that the bank's copy (of PPO) has been dispatched by the Central Pension Accounting Office, the pensioner's copy is to be handed over to him at the time of retirement along with other retirement dues, the order said. An employee posted at a location away from the head of office, or who for any other reasons feels that it would be more convenient to him to obtain his copy of the PPO from the bank, may inform the head of office of his option in writing while submitting his pension papers, it said. In the recent past, many instances have come to the notice wherein the pensioner's copy of the PPO had not been handed over to him/her and instead had been sent to the bank and was lost in transit sometimes, thereby causing hardship to the pensioner, the order issued on August 1, said. In view of these, all ministries/departments are once again requested to strictly follow the procedure henceforth and hand over the copy of the PPO to the pensioner at the time of retirement along with other retirement dues, except if the pensioner specifically requests for delivering his/her copy of the PPO through the bank, it said. There are about 48 lakh central government employees and about 53 lakh pensioners. The pension gets delayed either due to the delay in receipt of intimation by the pensioner that relevant papers have reached the bank or because of delay on the part of the pensioner in approaching the bank for submission of undertaking, the personnel ministry had said in one of its earlier orders.
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The Finance Ministry on Tuesday said the number of income tax payers has increased after demonetisation. From the date of demonetisation and March 31, 2017, 1.96 crore returns were filed as compared to 1.63 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2015-16 and 1.23 crore returns filed during corresponding period of FY 2014-15, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Finance said in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today. "Demonetisation seeks to create a new 'normal' wherein the GDP would be bigger, cleaner and real. This exercise is a part of Government's resolve to eliminate corruption, black money, counterfeit currency and terror funding," Gangwar added. The government has collected over Rs 1.80 lakh crore in direct tax till July 15 in the current fiscal, an increase of 21.4 pre cent year-on-year, "belying" fears of slowdown in economic activities. "The current growth rate is higher than the target rate of 15.32 required to achieve the Budget Estimate," Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha. The government aims to collect Rs 9.8 lakh crore through direct taxes in 2017-18. The minister further said the current growth rate in direct tax collections is "quite healthy, belying any apprehension of reduction" in the level of economic or commercial activities. He said the government has taken several initiatives to boost economic activity in the country and several measures were announced in the Budget 2017-18. Replying to another question, Gangwar said the number of cyber crimes pertaining to credit card, ATM, debit card and internet banking shows a marginal increase of 4.4 per cent from 13,083 in 2014-15 to 13,653 in 2016-17. He said the Reserve Bank has mandated banks to put in place a board approved cyber-security policy, which covers the risks threats and the measures to address these risks.
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Paytm is expected to launch a chat messenger in its app to allow its user base of over 230 million to communicate more seamlessly within its network, according to sources familiar with the development. The company will convert its payment users to messaging and help businesses connect with consumers. The feature is expected to be launched later this month, said one of the sources briefed on the matter. A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment.Paytm's move seems to be in the reverse direction compared to others such as Hike Messenger, which recently launched payments through wallet and unified payment interface (UPI), and WhatsApp, which is also expected to embed payments in the country. Interestingly, WhatsApp's business head Neeraj Arora also sits on the board of Paytm. The move is also likely inspired by WeChat, the Chinese social media and chat app developed by Tencent, which is fighting Paytm -backer Alibaba in China. WeChat, however, also began as a popular chat app before introducing payments, taking on Alibaba's Alipay. India's hyper-growth technology firms like Paytm are reluctant to let western companies win the market. The success of such platforms has been established in Asia, WeChat and Alipay being shining examples. Platforms developed in the western world, like PayPal, have struggled to earn market share too.
Paytm is looking to create a one-stop place for its users, offering not just payments but also an ecommerce platform, investment options in digital gold as well as booking services. The company also recently launched its payment bank. Other internet companies such as Flipkart are also adopting a similar approach. Paytm's advantage in getting traction on such services is also that it is among the few internet companies with the highest customer base in the country. WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India. Hike claims to have over 100 million users. Flipkart has over 100 million users,
Paytm raised $1.4 billion from Softbank Corp at a valuation of $7 billion in May this year, making the company one of the most valued unicorns in the country after Flipkart. It was also was the biggest round of funding by a single investor in the Indian startup space.