Citizens' Issues
5 Maharashtra bureaucrats among others owe Rs65 lakh to the government for overstaying in official accommodation
Officials who owe money to the state government for overstaying include, Thane district's Collector Dr Ashwini Joshi, Kamlakar Fand, Anil Sontakke, Prakash Rathod and PK Jain, reveals an RTI reply
 
In Maharashtra, more than five senior bureaucrats, including those who have retired, owe the state government over Rs65 lakhs for overstaying in official accommodation after end of service or post transfers. The Public Works Department (PWD) has now approached the competent court for recovering the dues from these babus, reveals a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. 
 
Responding to an RTI query, filed by activist Anil Galgali, the state PWD provided a list of government officials who collectively owe over Rs65 lakhs. Galgali says, "The people who are still working with the Government, the dues can be deducted from the salaries and for those who have been retired, the Government can arrange to collect dues from their pension". 
 
"There are five senior government officials who are yet to pay their rent for overstaying in their official residence, which they continue to occupy illegally," said Galgali, who had filed an application seeking details on the outstanding dues of government officers.
 
According to the information received by Galgali from the PWD, even after her transfer as Collector at Thane in 17 December 2014, Dr Aswini Joshi continues to stay in the flat in Kedar-2 building and owes Rs3.06 lakh for overstaying in the government provided accommodation. Senior officials, Kamlakar Fand owes Rs18.47 lakh, Avinash Zaade Rs4.22 lakh, Anil Sontakke (Judge in the Labour Court) Rs1.11 lakh, Dhanaji Toraskar Rs5.05 lakh, Prakash Kumar Rahule Rs2.43 lakh, Prakash Rathod (former Additional Judge) Rs10.59 lakh, and Pankaj Shah (former Judge) Rs3.22 lakh. The list also include safai kamgars Taramati Palye (Rs48,000), Kashinath Jadhav (Rs2.46 lakh) and carpenter Vasant Panchal (Rs3.96 lakh).
 
Galgali said, what is shocking in this episode is one of the non-payers, is member of the Vigilance Committee. "Maharashtra State Police Vigilance Department's Member Prem Kumar Jain, who is former Principal Secretary of Home and owes Rs9.81 lakh to the government for overstaying. In addition, Jain has taken the Government in the Court in this matter. However, the Government awarded Jain a plum posting in the State Police Vigilance Committee," he added.

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India allows conditional foreign equity in e-retail
New Delhi : India on Tuesday permitted conditional foreign equity in the retail e-commerce segment when the products sold are also manufactured in the country, as also for single-brand foreign entities with physical retail chains that want to go for online merchandise.
 
The move is expected to benefit not just foreign multi-brand retail entities like amazon and e-Bay, but also single-brand overseas chains like Adidas, Ikea and Nike. Existing Indian players like Snapdeal, Myntra, BigBasket and Flipkart can also now opt for foreign equity tie-ups.
 
The guidelines, issued under Press Note 3 of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, came after numerous submissions from stakeholders that the current policy had no clarity on the issue of foreign equity in e-commerce where the sales were made directly to customers.
 
As per the current foreign direct investment policy, foreign capital of up to even 100 percent is allowed under the automatic route involving business-to-business e-commerce transactions. No such foreign equity was permitted in business-to-consumer e-commerce.
 
But now, a manufacturer is permitted to retail its products made in the country through foreign-owned entities, even as single brand foreign retail chains that currently have brick and mortar stores can undertake direct sale to consumers through e-commerce.
 
As regards the Indian manufacturer, 70 percent of the value of products has to be made in-house, sourcing no more than 30 percent from other Indian manufacturers. But no inventory-based sale is allowed -- that is, such foreign retailers cannot stock products.
 
For such sales, the e-commerce model will include all digital and electronic platforms such as networked computers, television channels, mobile phones and extranets. The payment for such a sale will be in conformity with the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India.
 
The Boston Consulting Group has estimated that India’s retail market will touch $1 trillion by 2020 from $600 billion in 2015. Various other agencies have said that the e-retail component in that will reach $55 billion by 2018 from $14 billion now.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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50 new declassified files on Netaji released
New Delhi : The government on Tuesday released 50 more declassified files related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
 
This was posted on web portal www.netajipapers.gov.in by Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma.
 
Files released on Tuesday include matters pertaining to Netaji's ashes and the probe into his disappearance following the controversial air crash of 1945 in which he is believed to have perished.
 
The latest release of 50 files will further meet the "continued public demand" to access these files and this will also help scholars carry out further research on Bose's role in India's freedom movement, an official source said.
 
The new batch of 50 files consists of 10 files from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), 10 from the home ministry and 30 files from the external affairs ministry, pertaining to the period from 1956 to 2009.
 
The first batch of 100 files relating to Netaji, after their preliminary conservation, treatment and digitisation, was put in the public domain by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 - on the occasion of the 119th birth anniversary of the freedom fighter. 
 
In 1997, the National Archives of India had received 990 declassified files pertaining to the Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) from the defence ministry, and in 2012 1,030 files/items pertaining to the Khosla Commission (271 files/items) and Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry (759 files/items) from the home ministry. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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