This decision would immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners including five lakh widows getting less than Rs1,000 as pension every month under the EPS-95 scheme of EPFO
The union government has approved minimum monthly pension of Rs1,000 under Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) run by Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
In a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday, Vishnu Deo Sai, minister of state for steel, mines, labour and employment, said, "Yes, Government has approved minimum pension of Rs1,000 per month to the pensioners under the EPS-95".
This decision would immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners including five lakh widows getting less than Rs1,000 as pension every month. In all, there are 44 lakh pensioners under the EPS-95 scheme.
According to the Minister, several representations have been received for enhancement of pension under EPS-95 and based on those, "government has approved minimum pension of Rs1,000 to pensioners under the EPS-95."
Earlier, Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had discussed the proposal with trade unions on 24th June and assured the government will take a decision within two weeks.
As per the proposal, pensioners were to get the benefit with effect from 1st April this year. The government would have to provide an additional amount of around Rs1,217 crore to ensure a minimum pension of Rs1,000 for 2014-15.
A senior official said the new government did not want to provide this entitlement merely for one financial year and wanted this to be implemented for all times to come. That is why the proposal was reviewed.
The proposal was already approved by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for the current financial year but could not be implemented as it was not notified.
However a senior EPFO official, when contacted, said that the body has not yet received any notification or official order in this regard from the Labour Ministry.
According to him, the government could formally announce this entitlement in the forthcoming budget on Thursday.
Certain issues related to marketing network and the company buying ethanol were behind failure to meet the target for 5% blending of ethanol with petrol, the union government said
Oil marketing companies could achieve only 1.37% blending of ethanol with petrol against the target of 5%, government informed the Lok Sabha on Monday saying it has taken cognisance of the hurdles in achieving the goals.
Responding to a series of supplementaries on blending of ethanol with petrol and diesel, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said so far there has been a lot of talk but little action has been taken on renewable fuel. But now, the new government will take steps in the sector as it will also help the farmers.
He said certain issues related to marketing network and the company buying ethanol were behind failure to meet the target. The government has taken cognisance and would do the needful, he said.
The minister also agreed that ethanol is less fuel efficient as compared to petrol.
In November, 2012, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had decided that 5% mandatory ethanol blending with petrol should be implemented across the country and achieved by June 2013.
The minister said state governments have been asked to simplify the procedure and expedite clearances to ease the availability of ethanol for blending.
To a question on plans to ban export of ethanol, he said DG Foreign Trade has not received proposal from any ministry to ban its export.
Interestingly, most of the supplementaries were asked by ruling BJP members.
It was the first question faced by Modi government in the 16th Lok Sabha.
The Supreme Court while saying that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing innocent persons, ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affects rights of a person who is not before it
Disapproving of a Shariat court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court on Monday said it (the Shairat court and fatwa) has no sanction of law and has no legal status.
The apex court said there is "no doubt" that such a court has no legal status while noting that in some cases, orders were being passed by them which violate human rights and punish innocent persons.
A bench headed by Justice CK Prasad said that no religion, including Islam, allows punishing innocent persons and ordered that no 'Darul Qaza' should give verdict which affects rights of a person who is not before it.
The court passed the verdict on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Vishwa Lochan Madam questioning the constitutional validity of Shariat courts which allegedly run a parallel judicial system in the country.
All India Personal Law Board (AIPLB) had earlier submitted that fatwa was not binding on people and it was just an opinion of a 'mufti' (cleric) and he has no power and authority to implement it.
The counsel, appearing for the Board, had said if a fatwa was sought to be implemented against the wish of the person concerned, then he could approach the court of law against it.
The petitioner had submitted that the fundamental rights of Muslims could not be controlled and curtailed through fatwas issued by 'qazis' and 'muftis' appointed by Muslim organizations.