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P.U. Chithra joins the Southern Railways        Commander Abhilash Tomy rescued        Abhilash Tomy expected to be rescued soon        Shilpa Shetty faces racism at Sydney airport        Pakistan’s friendship offer to India should not be seen as weakness, says PM Imran Khan        India thrash Pakistan by 9 wickets        Naomi Osaka pulls out of Wuhan Open        Hasan, Asghar, Rashid fined 15 per cent of their match fees        Ready to be sacked if ATK do not fare well: Coppell        Sensex ends in red after 1,000-pt flash crash        OYO to hire over 2,000 tech experts, engineers by 2020        Thousands rally across Russia against raising pension age        Pak PM Imran hits out at India, calls its response "arrogant" for cancelling talks        Sisodia, AAP MLAs discharged in case related to 2014 protest        We have no role in selection of Reliance Defence for Rafale deal: Govt        Modi, Ambani carried out Rs 1.3 lakh cr 'surgical strike' on defence forces: Rahul on Rafale issue        Chekka Chivantha Vaanam: Second trailer released        Golden Globe Race: Indian Navy Officer Abhilash Tomy injured; INS Satpura dispatched for rescue        India Calls Off Talks With Pak, Says "Imran Khan's True Face Exposed"        Indian govt wanted Reliance for Rafale, we didn't have a choice: Ex-French prez Hollande        
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Kerala News
Govt paves way for tax-free gratuity of up to Rs 20 Lakh
 
(New Delhi, Mar 22, 2018): Parliament today passed Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill 2017 paving the way for doubling the limit of tax free gratuity to Rs 20 lakh and empowering the government to fix the ceiling of the retirement benefit through an executive order.

The Rajya Sabha passed the bill, which was approved by the Lok Sabha last week, on March 15.

Besides enabling the central government to fix the ceiling of tax free gratuity, the bill will also empower it to fix the period of maternity leave through executive order.

It also notifies the period of maternity leave as part of continuous service and proposes to empower the central government to notify the gratuity ceiling from time to time without amending the law.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said in the Upper House that he had met leaders of various parties in the morning and it was decided that the House would take up the crucial Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill as it was of importance to the employees.

Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar then moved the bill for consideration and passage. It was passed by a voice vote without a debate.

The labour ministry later said in a statement that the Bill also envisages amending the provisions relating to calculation of continuous service for the purpose of gratuity in case of female employees who are on maternity leave from "twelve weeks" to such period as may be notified by the central government from time to time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "A significant pro-people measure passed in Parliament. Will benefit lakhs of Indians."

After implementation of the 7th Central Pay Commission, the ceiling of tax free gratuity amount for central government employees was increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh. The unions have been demanding for inclusion of the change in the Act.

At present, formal sector workers with five or more years of service are eligible for Rs 10 lakh tax-free gratuity after leaving job or at time of superannuation.

A senior government official had earlier said that the government wants to provide tax-free gratuity of Rs 20 lakh to organised sector workers at par with the central government.

The Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, was enacted to provide for gratuity payment to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments.

The law is applicable to employees, who have completed at least five years of continuous service in an establishment that has 10 or more persons.

The amendment will also allow the central government to notify the maternity leave period for female employees as deemed to be in continuous service in place of existing twelve weeks .

The proposal comes against the backdrop of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 enhancing the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks.(PTI)


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