Citizens' Issues
Maharashtra appoints two officials to same post in goof-up

The state government appointed senior Excise officer Surve and Osmanabad's SP Karale as director-vigilance in the Excise Department, all within a span of five days


Mumbai: In a major goof-up, Maharashtra Government has appointed two senior officials to the top post in Excise Department, raising questions over coordination among various concerned departments, reports PTI.


The state government issued orders for appointment of senior Excise officer Prasad Surve and then Osmanabad's Superindent of Police (SP) Datta Karale, as Director Vigilance in the state Excise department, all within a span of five days.


While Surve's orders were issued on 8th June, Karale's orders were issued on 13th June, Home Department sources said.


When Karale went to take charge, he was informed that Surve had already assumed office a couple of days earlier.


In the process, the Government has also done away with the convention of having a police officer to head the sensitive vigilance wing in the Excise department, sources said.


Senior police officers head vigilance posts in government departments like MHADA, state electricity board, RTO, Sales Tax, MSRTC, Legal Metrology, FDA, and Cotton Federation, the sources said. Same was the case with Excise Department, before Surve was appointed, they added.


As per the convention, the vigilance cell heads of the Excise Department should be an SP or DCP level police officer, sources said. In this case, the convention has been violated, they added.


However, in Surve's case, within a few days, he was promoted and posted as vigilance chief.


Revive AERA appellate tribunal within a week: HC to Centre

With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport

New Delhi: The Centre has been ordered by Delhi High Court to revive within a week the defunct Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) that decides aeronautical tariff disputes failing which the plea for stay of Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)'s three-fold hike in airport levy here would be heard, reports PTI.
"It is expected that Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) would have got the recommendation and notify the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) within a week or so. So that the matters like this do not suffer," said Justice Sunil Gaur after being told that so far, the appellate tribunal has not been constituted.
The three-member appellate panel, AERAAT, which hears appeals against tariff decisions of regulator AERA, is defunct as its initial two-year tenure expired in June this year.
As AERAAT is not functioning, the appeals of the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), an industry body that represents airlines, against the recent tariff decisions are in limbo.
During hearing, Justice Gaur said, " is made clear that in case, today's order (of constituting AERAAT) is not complied with, then the application (of FIA) for stay (on tariff hike) would be heard" and fixed the matter for further hearing on 21st August.
The Ministry of Civil Aviation, represented by Additional Solicitor General Rajiv Mehra, had earlier told the court that it has already started the process to revive AERAAT.
With AERAAT being defunct, the FIA had filed an appeal in the High Court against an 24th April decision of AERA by which DIAL was allowed to have a 345% hike in its aeronautical tariff for the IGI Airport.
Earlier, the FIA counsel had sought a stay on the AERA order saying the exorbitant hike, allowed by it, in the aeronautical tariff has made the IGI Airport the costliest airport in the world.
"The airlines industry, which is going through a bad patch, is finding it difficult to cope up with the pressure and some of the companies may become sick," he had said.
The FIA, in its plea, had alleged the AERA's order allowing GMR-promoted DIAL to increase the tariff by 345 percent was "unlawful" as it was hiked without following the basic norms of the regulated sectors, like performing independent audit prudence check, to do it.


CBT allows EPFO to park funds in CDs, long duration bank FDs

The decision will allow EPFO, which has a corpus of Rs3.5 lakh crore, more flexibility in its investment

New Delhi: The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) has given green signal to retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to park its funds in fixed deposits (FDs) upto five years, short term securities and certificate of deposits (CDs) of public sector banks, reports PTI.
The proposal to provide greater freedom to EPFO in additional financial instruments, was approved by the CBT at a meeting in the capital.
However these approved proposals will have to be cleared by the government before implementation.
EPFO has corpus of Rs3.5 lakh crore and needed to increase its returns on investments to provide higher rate of interest to subscribers.
"What has been agreed....which again will be recommended to the government and it has to take a view, is that the borrowing in the collateral borrowing lending obligation (CBLO) is to be permitted, the investment in the CDs of the public sector banks also is to be permitted and and the investment in FDs for more the one year and less than five years is also be permitted," Central Provident Fund Commissioner RC Mishra told reporters after the CBT meet.
As per the proposal, the EPFO would be allowed to participate in CBLO, approved by the the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The decision will allow EPFO more flexibility in investment in the primary options of short term securities by the RBI.
The PF body also got approval of trustees to park its funds in certificate of deposits (CDs) issued by public sector banks as they provide higher returns.
CDs are issued by banks to raise funds from the market and are tradeable instruments.


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