Regulations
Cabinet approves amendments to whistleblowers act
The union cabinet on Wednesday approved amendments to the Whistlebowers Protection Act, 2011 aimed at strengthening safeguards against disclosures which may affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
 
The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
An official release said the amendments would address concerns relating to national security and the amendment bill will be moved during the budget session of parliament.
 
"This is being done with a view to incorporate necessary provisions aimed at strengthening safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country, security of the state," it said.
 
The Public Interest Disclosures and Protection to Persons making the Disclosures Bill, 2011 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August, 2010 in order to give statutory protection to whistleblowers in the country.
 
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December, 2011 and by Rajya Sabha in February last year. The bill has received the assent of the president in May last year.
 
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday accused the government of not properly implementing the act.

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Cabinet gives approval to pension, insurance schemes
The union cabinet on Wednesday gave its approval to operationalising three social sector schemes - Atal Pension Yojna (APY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).
 
The decisions, aimed at "creating a universal social security system for all Indians", were taken at meeting of the cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
"Approval of the cabinet was given to extend funding support for implementing the APY and apprise the cabinet on operationalisation of the PMJJBY and the PMSBY. Approval was also given to provide Rs.50 crore per annum for the next 5 years as the government contribution for publicity related expenditure for PMJJBY and PMSBY," an official release said.
 
Under the APY, subscribers would receive a fixed minimum pension of Rs.1,000-5,000 per month at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on their age of joining.
 
The central government would also co-contribute 50 percent of the total contribution or Rs.1,000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of five years - from 2015-16 to 2019-20 - to those who join the national pension scheme before December 31, 2015 and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme and are not income tax payers.
 
The pension would also be available to the spouse on the death of the subscriber and thereafter, the pension corpus would be returned to the nominee.
 
The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.
 
The benefit of fixed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the government.
 
Under PMJJBY, annual life insurance of Rs.2 lakh would be available on the payment of a premium of Rs.330 per annum by the subscribers.
 
The PMJJBY will be made available to people in the age group of 18 to 50 years having a bank account from where the premium would be collected through the facility of "auto-debit".
 
Under PMSBY, risk coverage will be Rs.2 lakh for accidental death and full disability and Rs.1 lakh for partial disability.
 
The scheme will be available to people in the age group 18 to 70 years with a bank account, from where the premium would be collected through the facility of "auto-debit".
 
The release said government expenditure was expected to range between Rs.2,520 crore and Rs.10,000 crore on account of its co-contribution to subscribers of APY over a period of five years.
 
An expenditure of Rs.2,000 crore for promotional activities for enrolment and contribution collection under APY and Rs.250 crore for publicity and awareness building for PMJJBY and PMSBY was envisaged by the government over five years.
 
It is expected that around two crore subscribers would be enrolled during the current financial year under APY.
 
The release said a large proportion of India's population was without insurance of any kind.
 
"Therefore, the government has decided to work towards creating a universal social security system for all Indians, specially the poor and the under-privileged, to address longevity risks among workers in the unorganised sector and to encourage workers in the unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement," it said.
 
It said unorganised sector workers constitute 88 percent of the total labour force of 47.29 crore, according to the 66th Round of National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) Survey of 2011-12.

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COMMENTS

vishal

2 years ago

It is difficult to say much about pension schemes in the present state of country's economy. But the Insurance schemes can definitely help, provided the Banks and Insurance companies bring it to the notice of their customers. A lot of people have Bank accounts with out basic Insurance cover. The cost is not much but having a big Insurance Policy is some times difficult.

REPLY

MG Warrier

In Reply to vishal 2 years ago

Sooner or later, India has to debate the rationale for back-door introduction of NPS, denying an existing benefit to future employees of select organisations. None of the reasons put forth is convincing. The defined benefit pension scheme is retained for legislators, defence employees and all those who were in service prior to January 2004. The theory of increasing financial burden does not stand reason in such a situation.

MG Warrier

2 years ago

Atal Pension Yojana will provide some work and funds to the administrators of NPS. If authorities are genuinely interested in providing social security, efforts to harmonise the working of Employees Provident Fund Organisation and PFRDA is essential. For workers in the organised sector, the responsibility of ensuring adequate post-retirement care should fall on the employer. Defined-benefit pension scheme should be restored in organisations which should be guided to create pension funds based on actuarial studies. The thoughtless introduction of NPS has made pension system lose its credibility. GOI should at this late hour revisit the whole issue instead of making ‘popular’ announcements about social security. Finally, the bill for providing social security will be back at the doors of the tax-payer. There will be some relief, if the employees demand and get wages with built-in retirement benefit component and employers and employees together accept the responsibility of providing a post-retirement life to the employees commensurate with the life they lived while in service.

Vikram Bhatt files police complaint against former partners Ajay Bishnoi and Amul Gabrani of Tecpro
Bishnoi and Gabrani, after taking full payment from T-Series and Reliance Entertainment for making films have neither paid the production team nor deposited tax deducted at source, alleges film director Vikram Bhatt
 
A police complaint filed by well-known film director Vikram Bhatt against the promoters of ASA Production seems set to expose a whole can of worms that could leads to Tecpro Systems Ltd, the listed company whose stock has seen a precipitous fall ever since it got listed October 2010.
 
Mr Bhatt has filed a complaint before the Mumbai Police Commissioner alleging financial fraud by Ajay Bishnoi and Amul Gabrani of Tecpro Systems, in a company called ASA Productions and Enterprises Pvt Ltd, on which he was a board member and creative director.  He resigned from the company on 30 October 2013.
 
According to Mr Bhatt, ASA set up by Bishnoi and Gabrani, was contracted by T-Series and Reliance Entertainment to produce three films and one film respectively by the two companies. It appears that neither of them were formally the owners of ASA but were represented by family members. When ASA fell into bad times, Mr Bhatt says he got film industry majors, T-Series and Reliance Entertainment to finance four specific film projects to be produced by ASA.  The money was paid to ASA, whose finances were handled by Ajay Bishnoi and his brother Anju Bishnoi.
 
Bhatt alleges that, "Anju and Ajay Bishnoi, who were handling the finance, took all the money from the partners, i.e. T-Series and Reliance Entertainment but did not make a sizeable payment to the technicians, vendors and talent of the said project and embezzled those funds. Having found out about this fraud I resigned from the company on 30th October 2013."
  
"Having goodwill and certain relationships with the said partners, T-Series and Reliance (Entertainment), I finished two of the four projects with my own personal funds, both these were with T-Series. As I write this letter, I am on the verge of finishing the last and final one with T-series," the Bollywood director, known for his horror films said.
 

He further says, "...there are scores of unpaid people including myself who are suffering due to this fraud. Mr Ajay and Anju Bishnoi have perpetrated and now the both of them are unavailable to these creditors. Not only are there unpaid parties but there are statutory liabilities that have not cleared by this company. They have deducted the TDS from the parties but in turn not paid the TDS amount to the government that then means that the parties do not have a TDS certificate. The same can be said for various Income Tax and Sales Tax issues”.
 
Bhatt further says he has also been deprived of share certificates for his holding in the company, as well as his provident fund.
 

What makes this interesting is that Bishnoi and Gabrani are the promoters of Tecpro Systems Limited, a materials handling company, which got listed in October 2010. The stock hit a high of Rs454.25 that month and has been on a continuous decline ever since. It was trading at Rs9.31 on the BSE at time of writing this piece, a fall of 98% from its high. 

 
Techpro has been a big borrower from the banking system with an outstanding debt of a massive Rs6,000 crore plus. It began a Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) exercise in 2014. 
 
Last month, State Bank of India (SBI) assigned all rights, title and interests in financial assistances granted by them to Tecpro Systems in favour of Edelweiss Assets Reconstruction Ltd. At one time the company had high profile investors such as London-based Indian businessman Raj Bagri, private equity firm Avigo Capital. Both exited at a loss in early 2014.  
  
In February 2015, the BSE moved Tecpro Systems’ scrip to the restricted trading segment as part of its surveillance measures.
 
Our emails sent to top executives of Tecpro Systems on 29 April 2015 remained unanswered until writing this report. We will publish their view as and when we receive it.

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COMMENTS

vinay

2 years ago

huge money of suppliers remains unpaid for past couple of years. they have not paid salary to their employees as well

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