The CIC directed the PIO of horticulture department at MCD to publish all information about works carried out in various parks in the city. This is the 186th in a series of important judgements given by former Central Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi that can be used or quoted in an RTI application
The Central Information Commission (CIC), while allowing an appeal, directed the Public Information Officer (PIO) of horticulture department at Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to ensure compliance with Section 4 of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and publish information on the website.
While giving the judgement on 19 August 2009, Shailesh Gandhi, the then Central Information Commissioner said, "The PIO is directed to ensure that the details of works done in the various parks are put up proactively on the website of MCD in compliance of Section 4 requirements. This will be done before 30 September 2009 and a compliance report will be sent to the CIC."
New Delhi resident, AN Prasad, on 4 January 2008, sought from the PIO information regarding budget allocated and works carried out in Delhi by the horticulture department. Here is the information he sought and the reply provided by the PIO...
1. Please provide the following details of funds (both plan & non-plan) allocated to the horticulture department for the said park for the year 2005-06, in a suitable format
(a) Amount allocated under each head during budget estimates and revised estimates for the said year
(b) Amount actually spent under each head for said year
PIO's reply—As regards details of funds (both & non-plan) allocated for the said park, it is informed that as per records maintained in this office, the same maybe treated as 'NIL'.
2. Please intimate the Municipal Ward in which the said park falls
PIO's reply—The park falls in Ward No.191, Shahpur Jat.
3. Please give the exact area of the said park
PIO's reply—Area of the park is 0.278 acres.
4. Please give the sanctioned strength and working strength of employees at each level from bottom to the level of DC (Zone) employed tin horticulture, in a suitable format
PIO's reply—As regards the sanctioned strength and working strength, the same is not clear. The Applicant is requested to clarify whether the information required is for whole of the zone or for this particular park. However, the basic information is as under:
(i)DC (Zone), (ii) DDH/SZ, (iii) ADH/SZ (iv) SO(H), (v) Supervisor (vi) Mali
5. Please give the names, contact nos. and office addresses of employees/officials (at all levels), who have jurisdiction over the said park
PIO's reply—As regards the details, the same is as under:
(i) DC(Zone) Sh B.N. Singh, MCD Zonal Office, Green Park (ii) DDH/SZ Sh.Harender Singh
6. Please provide the duty chart and duty timings for employees/gardeners etc. in these parks and their geographical and functional job and responsibilities in a suitable format
PIO's reply—Duty timings of Mali is 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. As regards, the job, all job relating to maintenance of garden/park.
7. What activities-daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual maintenance etc. are supposed to be carried out on the said park as per rules including watering, weeding out etc. Which employees are supposed to carry out these activities?
PIO's reply—It is informed that the job includes all job relating to maintenance of garden/park.
8. Have these activities been carried out during the past five years i.e. 2003 to 2007
PIO's reply—There is no record pertaining to the activity carried in past. However, it is informed that the job relating to maintenance of garden/park is being carried out form time to time in routine manner.
9. Who is the supervisory officer for the said park? Is there any prescribed schedule for him/her to inspect the maintenance work?
(a) Did he/she inspect the work during the period mentioned above in point 8, if yes, please mention the number of occasions for such inspections. Did he/she find the work satisfactory?
PIO's reply- The same is not clear. However, the staff detail is given above. As regards, the schedule, it is informed that there is no fixed schedule.
(a) Not applicable in view of above.
10. Please give the list of all works carried out on the said park during the period as mentioned in point 8 above
PIO's reply- There is no record pertaining to the activity carried in past. However, it is informed that the job relating to maintenance of garden/park is being carried out from time to time in routine manner.
11. The appellant want to inspect all works with respect to point 10 above. Please indicate the date, time and venue when he should come and inspect the works. At the time of inspection, he would also like to inspect the records related to these works. The inspection reports as mentioned in point 9 above should also be available at the venue at the time of inspection
PIO's reply- The applicant may contact on 12 March 2008 at 3.00pm in the office of deputy director (Hort.), South Zone, Green Park for inspection/further information.
Not satisfied with the PIO's reply, Prasad filed his first appeal. In his order, the First Appellate Authority (FAA) stated, "A hearing of the appeal was fixed for 28 March 2008. The appellant opted not to attend the hearing. Neither the PIO nor any of his representatives attended the hearing. No comments were also furnished. Such a lackadaisical approach on the part of PIO-director (horticulture) is beyond any justification. He is hereby directed to provide complete point specific information to the appellant Prasad within 10 days. A report regarding non-attendance of anybody from the part of the PIO be also furnished to the undersigned within seven days".
However, despite orders from the FAA, the appellant did not receive any communication from the PIO.
Prasad, the appellant then approached the CIC with his second appeal. While allowing the appeal, the CIC on 23 March 2009 directed the PIO to provide the information sought by the appellant before 16 April 2009.
However, on 29 June 2009, the CIC received a letter from Prasad alleging that the information was not provided to him by the PIO. The CIC then issued a show cause notice to the PIO.
During the show cause hearing on 19 August 2009, the Bench headed by Mr Gandhi, the then CIC, observed that most of the information was provided to Prasad. The appellant however, stated that no information was provided on the schedule of inspection of the park and the records of works done in the park.
The PIO stated that there was no record pertaining to inspection or parks and records of works done in the parks and he would give this in writing to the appellant before 27 August 2009.
The PIO informed the Bench that work schedule is now being maintained by the section officers of the works done in the various parks.
Mr Gandhi, then directed the PIO to ensure that details of work schedule are put up proactively on the website of MCD in compliance of Section 4 requirements before 30 September 2009 and send a compliance report to the CIC.
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSION
Decision No. CIC /SG/A/2009/000189/2338Adjunct
Appeal No. CIC/ SG/A/2009/000189
Appellant : AN Prasad,
Respondent : The Dy. Director (Hort.) & PIO
Municipal Corporation of Delhi
(Horticulture Department HQ)
Tourist Camp Site: JLN Marg,
During the September quarter, Persistent Systems recorded robust growth in net profits on strong revenues from its infrastructure and systems segment
Persistent Systems, information technology (IT) and software services provider, reported a 45% jump in its second quarter net profit on strong revenues from its infrastructure and systems segment.
For the quarter to end-September, the company said its net profit increased to Rs60.8 crore from Rs41.8 crore while total revenues, including sales, grew 23% to Rs307.9 crore from Rs250.4 crore, same period a year ago.
“We continue to invest in creating next-generation technology solutions for our customers. During the quarter, we have also expanded internationally in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific) and have opened our collaborative software development centre in Ohio,” said Dr Anand Deshpande, chairman, managing director and CEO, Persistent Systems.
The company’s total revenues come from three main segment with infrastructure and systems segment contributing the highest at 76%, followed by telecom and wireless at 13% and life sciences and healthcare at 11%.
Persistent systems also benefited by the rupee depreciation. It also recorded growth in its intellectual property led business.
Its expenditure during the September quarter increased 11% at Rs222.02 crore compared with Rs200.14 crore a year ago period.
Persistent System closed Tuesday marginally higher at Rs744.9 on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex ended marginally down at 20,865.
As Moneylife Foundation and several other NGOs have been demanding, the government has agreed to give a tax break to senior citizens on income earned through the reverse mortgage scheme
The government has given a big boost to reverse mortgage (RM) products by making annuity earned by senior citizens on RM loans tax-free. In another important development, it has removed the 20 year annuity payment restriction and made it lifetime for a borrower. This vindicates the stand taken by Moneylife about giving tax breaks to senior citizens on annuities and will now allow seniors, who may have substantial assets in the form of a house, to draw down its value and increase their disposable income in times of galloping inflation, by opting for reverse mortgage.
What exactly is an RM? Reverse mortgage allows senior citizens who have a house to draw down the value of that asset in the form of a monthly payment, while continuing to live in the same house until the demise of the borrower and his/her spouse. This is the exact opposite of a regular mortgage for buying a house.
In 2011, Moneylife Foundation had submitted a position paper to the government titled "Financial Issues Faced by Senior Citizens" which had said that there should be no tax on the annuity derived by the way of reverse mortgage loan for senior citizens. The position paper was prepared following a brainstorming session led by Dr SA Dave (former chairman of SEBI, UTI and the committee on pension reforms) and several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for senior citizens.
According to media reports, RV Verma, chairman and managing director of National Housing Bank (NHB) said that it has been decided that annuity would be exempted from tax.
The position paper sent by Moneylife Foundation to the government had said, "One would expect that the absence of a social security system that pays a lifetime income stream, combined with low coverage of formal company schemes, would lead to a high demand among people approaching retirement for annuity products. On the contrary, the demand for annuities in India has been negligible. The annuity industry has not been able to penetrate the insurance market, or for that matter the psyche of the Indian customer. The Indian annuity industry is characterised by low rates of participation from the public, a small number of providers, limited product innovation, low returns and taxes. It is indeed unfortunate that annuities are taxed. Eliminating taxes on annuities is bound to make them more attractive".
Thanks to unattractive tax treatment and the fact that it requires two agencies, a bank and an insurance company to take on the financial risks, RM as a product has not been very popular.
A few schemes have been offered by NHB and housing finance companies along with banks and insurance companies, but these too are not marketed in a big way. Besides income tax benefit, the installment income or annuity is expected to increase at least three times to the benefit of retired person, the NHB chief said.
According to a conservative estimate, the reverse mortgage loan market is upwards of Rs20,000 crore. Banks have so far sanctioned Rs1,800 crore and disbursed Rs800 crore under reverse mortgage loan since its launch in 2008.
The revised scheme enables a person above the age of 60 years to avail of monthly payments from insurance company as annuity till the life time against the mortgage of his/her house while remaining the owner and occupying the house.
According to a notification issued by Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the period for reverse mortgage loan is extended to 'the residual life time of the borrower' from 20 years. Earlier, the period of reverse mortgage loan was 20 years from the date of signing the agreement by the reverse mortgagor and the approved lending institution.
As per the amendment, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and other insurer registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) have also been included as annuity sourcing institutions.
As per the scheme, on the borrower's death or on the borrower leaving the house property permanently, the loan is repaid along with accumulated interest, through sale of the house property. The borrower or heir can also repay the loan with accumulated interest and have the mortgage released without resorting to sale of the property.