Current Affairs Today - Current Affairs 2017

हिंदी करंट अफेयर्स प्रश्नोत्तरी 2017 के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें.

Cabinet approves Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017

The Union Cabinet has given approved introduction of the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the Parliament. The Bill seeks to amend Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

The Amendment will increase maximum limit of gratuity of employees, in Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)/Autonomous Organizations under Government and in private sector who are not covered under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972, at par with Central Government employees.

Background

The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 is an important social security legislation to wage earning population in industries, factories and establishments. It was enacted to provide social security to workmen after retirement, whether retirement is result of rules of superannuation, or physical disablement or impairment of vital body part. It applies to establishments employing 10 or more persons.

The present upper ceiling on gratuity amount under Act was Rs. 10 Lakh. The provisions for Union Government employees under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 with regard to gratuity are also similar. Before implementation of 7th Central Pay Commission, ceiling under CCS (Pension) Rules was Rs. 10 Lakh. However, with implementation of 7th Central Pay Commission from January 2-016, the gratuity ceiling was increased to Rs. 20 Lakhs.

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Cabinet approves hiving off BSNL’s mobile tower assets into a separate company

The Union Cabinet has approved proposal for hiving off mobile tower assets of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) into a separate tower infrastructure company, fully owned by BSNL. Decision in this regard was taken in the Union Cabinet Meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.

Significance

The Cabinet approval authorizes BSNL to monetize its telecom tower infrastructure with formation of separate subsidiary company. Independent, dedicated tower company of BSNL with a focused approach will help to increase BSNL’s external tenancies and generate higher revenue for new company.

Tower Infrastructure Company

The tower infrastructure company owns passive infrastructure assets (tower structure, Diesel Generator sets, power interface unit, battery units, air-conditioning etc) and leases it to telecom service providers. It enables telecom companies to achieve economies of scale and reduce capital investment costs for providing mobile services. It helps them to minimize duplication of investments and economize on costs of Operation and Maintenance (O&M), thereby improving profitability.

Background

There are around 4.42 lakh mobile towers in country out of which more than 66 thousand are of BSNL. The telecom tower industry has emerged as independent business to harness potential for sharing of infrastructure. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) policy also allows sharing of passive infrastructure which has facilitated growth of the telecom infrastructure industry.

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