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Persons with disabilities plea on Professional Tax exemption

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On the occasion of yet another World Disability Day, groups of activists in Tamil Nadu have urged that the discrepancies in the implementation of Professional Tax exemption for persons with disabilities be resolved throughout the State.

Employees of some State and Central government departments such as Aavin, AG’s office, Education, High Court, and until recently the ICF, have not been enjoying the professional tax exemption, primarily because of varied interpretation of the term disability.

“The real problem lies with the definition of Disability in the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, 1919, which says that persons with “total” disability in any part of the body are eligible for exemption. But the term total disability is subject to varied interpretation and is vague,” says K.Gopinath, member, Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for the Disabled, says. He himself, as an employee of Aavin, faces this problem. However, there is no need for confusion and the issue is easily resolved as the Persons with Disbilities Act, 1995, classifies persons with 40% disability as “disabled” and an identity card is issued to the persons with disabilities by the State Special Commissioner for the Disabled. These persons are then eligible for all the benefits, including professional tax exemption, he explains.

ICF Handicapped Employees Welfare Association president M.Manickaraj says his employer had stopped collecting Professional Tax for the last three months, on receipt of a demi-official (D.O.) letter from the then State Commissioner for the Disabled, Meenakshi Rajagopal. “But we keep getting objections from the accounts section. They are threatening to revive collection of Professional Tax until the Act is amended,” he says.

Mr. Gopinath says he raised this issue at a meeting of the Tamil Nadu Welfare Board for the Disabled. Responding to the issue, the D.O. was issued to various heads of departments requesting them to exempt all the disabled employees working under their control from the payment of professional tax, as it will take some time to amend the act. Office bearers of the Tamil Nadu Association for the welfare of the Physically Challenged have also written to the Municipal Administration and Water Supply department, requesting them to amend the act as soon as possible.
Source: The Hindu

CGHS pensioners hit hard

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November is a dreaded month for thousands of pensioners in the State Capital who are covered under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS). Call it sheer coincidence or planning, since 2007 in November the super-speciality hospitals of Hyderabad start declining admissions to senior citizens, covered under CGHS, on the pretext of pending bills.

This year too is no different, as A.P. Speciality Hospitals Association (ASHA) once again stopped taking CGHS pensioners. ASHA authorities pointed out that they are declining admissions because of mounting financial burden due to non-payment of bills since last year by CGHS authorities.

The pensioners are caught in the middle of the crossfire between CGHS and ASHA. “CGHS is not clearing medical bills because they doubt that corporate hospitals have submitted inflated bills. The corporate hospitals are not taking admissions because their bills are not cleared. With no truce in sight, we are the worst sufferers,” says General Secretary of All Pensioners and Retired Persons Association Laxmi Narayana.

All the top corporate hospitals including Yashoda, Apollo, Medwin, Global, Mediciti, Medwin, Star, Image, Kamineni, KIMS, Indo-American Cancer Institute, Rainbow and Innova Children’s Hospitals are declining to admit pensioners under CGHS scheme. The CGHS, Hyderabad is yet to release Rs. 20 crore worth of medical bills to private hospitals. “A majority of senior citizens can’t afford costly treatment at private hospitals. What will happen to such pensioners in case they need emergency medical services and private hospitals deny them admissions?” asks another member of the association G. S. Vittal.

30,000 pensioners

The CGHS, Hyderabad, has nearly 30,000 pensioners and their families on its rolls who depend on the health insurance cover for their medical needs.

“There is no coordination between the CGHS and private hospitals, due to which we have to suffer. If authorities do not solve this issue, we will take to streets and protest,” Mr. Laxmi Narayana said.
Source: The Hindu

LTC to Central Government Employees -Travel by tour packages operated by IRCTC

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NO. 3101 11612002-Estt.(A)


Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions

Department of Personnel & Training

North Block,
New Delhi, the 2nd December, 2009


Subject:- LTC to Central Government Employees -Travel by tour packages operated by IRCTC.

The undersigned is directed to refer to DOP&T O.M. of even number dated 14.3.08, allowing tours by road conducted by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a Government of India's undertaking under the Min. of Railways for the purpose of reimbursement of LTC by Government servants on the lines of ITDCISTDC and to say that as the IRCTC is also offering tour packages involving air travel in the sectors like Delhi - Leh, Delhi - Srinagar, Jaipur -Goa, ChennailCalcutta - Port Blair etc., the question of allowing LTC packages of IRCTC, including the component of air travel has been examined in consultation with the Min. of Finance.

2. It has now been decided to allow the re-imbursement of air fare along with rail and road fare in the case of LTC journey 'of Government servants in tours offered by IRCTC for reimbursement under LTC provided the IRCTC indicates and certifies the 3 components separately and booking of tickets is done by IRCTC fully complying with the instructions of Govt. of lndia issued from time to time in this regard such as journey by Air lndia under LTC 80 scheme in economy class without package benefits etc.

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