Trustees of EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) approved a proposal to provide a minimum monthly pension of Rs1,000, a decision that will benefit about 2.8 million pensioners. The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), the apex decision-making body of EPFO, also decided to raise the monthly wage ceiling for eligibility to Rs15,000, from Rs6,500, by amending the EPF scheme, 1952, so that more workers can be brought under its various social security programmes.
In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance, JD Seelam, said, “The enforcement agencies during the first nine months of 2013-14 have seized 1,074.41kg of gold as against 326.23kg seized during the entire 2012-13 fiscal. The cases booked by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and customs field formations indicate that there has been an increase in gold smuggling during the past one year. The increase may be partly attributable to the fluctuation of the price of gold and customs duty rate,” he said.
Mobile operator Vodafone India announced the roll-out of its mobile money transfer facility ‘M-Pesa’ in collaboration with ICICI Bank in Punjab as part its plans to deepen its pan-India footprint. Vodafone India plans to tap education hubs, industrial clusters and defence personnel located across Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Pathankot and Amritsar with the launch of its mobile money transfer and payment service. This service allows customers to transfer money to any mobile phone, remit money to any bank account, make utility payments, recharge mobile, make payment for DTH TV services and earn interest on deposits.