Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What is the differences between EPF, GPF and PPF?

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Hari Kishan Nimmu7:04pm Nov 26

EPF-Employees Provident Fund              GPF -General Pension Fund
PPF -Public Provident Fund

GPF - General Provident Fund which is for the Government Employees 
PPF - Individuals can save to a maximum of Rs.60000/- in a year in the account. Account can be maintained in a Post Office. 

EPF - Employees Provident Fund for Private sector where 12% of Employees share and 12 % of Employer's share of Basic Salary + DA is deducted and remitted to PF Authorities

PF vs PPF: What's the difference ?

1. What is PPF and PF?

EPF/ PF (Employees Provident Fund / Provident Fund)

The Employee Provident Fund, or provident fund as it is normally referred to, is a retirement benefit scheme that is available to salaried employees.

Under this scheme, a stipulated amount (currently 12%) is deducted from the employee's salary and contributed towards the fund. This amount is decided by the government.

The employer also contributes an equal amount to the fund.

However, an employee can contribute more than the stipulated amount if the scheme allows for it. So, let's say the employee decides 15% must be deducted towards the EPF. In this case, the employer is not obligated to pay any contribution over and above the amount as stipulated, which is 12%.

PPF (Public Provident Fund)

The Public Provident Fund has been established by the central government. You can voluntarily decide to open one. You need not be a salaried individual, you could be a consultant, a freelancer or even working on a contract basis. You can also open this account if you are not earning.

Any individual can open a PPF account in any nationalised bank or its branches that handle PPF accounts. You can also open it at the head post office or certain select post offices.

The minimum amount to be deposited in this account is Rs 500 per year. The maximum amount you can deposit every year is Rs 70,000.

2. What is the return on this investment?

EPF: 8.5% per annum

PPF: 8% per annum

3. How long is the money blocked?


The amount accumulated in the PF is paid at the time of retirement or resignation. Or, it can be transferred from one company to the other if one changes jobs.

In case of the death of the employee, the accumulated balance is paid to the legal heir.


The accumulated sum is repayable after 15 years.

The entire balance can be withdrawn on maturity, that is, after 15 years of the close of the financial year in which you opened the account.

It can be extended for a period of five years after that. During these five years, you earn the rate of interest and can also make fresh deposits.

Save tax and get rich

4. What is the tax impact?


The amount you invest is eligible for deduction under the Rs 1,00,000 limit of Section 80C.

If you have worked continuously for a period of five years, the withdrawal of PF is not taxed.

If you have not worked for at least five years, but the PF has been transferred to the new employer, then too it is not taxed.

The tenure of employment with the new employer is included in computing the total of five years.

If you withdraw it before completion of five years, it is taxed.

But if your employment is terminated due to ill-health, the PF withdrawal is not taxed.


The amount you invest is eligible for deduction under the Rs 1,00,000 limit of Section 80C.

On maturity, you pay absolutely no tax.

5. What if you need the money?


If you urgently need the money, you can take a loan on your PF.

You can also make a premature withdrawal on the condition that you are withdrawing the money for your daughter's wedding (not son or not even yours) or you are buying a home.

To find out the details, you will have to talk to your employer and then get in touch with the EPF office (your employer will help you out with this).


You can take a loan on the PPF from the third year of opening your account to the sixth year. So, if the account is opened during the financial year 1997-98, the first loan can be taken during financial year 1999-2000 (the financial year is from April 1 to March 31).

The loan amount will be up to a maximum of 25% of the balance in your account at the end of the first financial year. In this case, it will be March 31, 1998.

You can make withdrawals during any one year from the sixth year. You are allowed to withdraw 50% of the balance at the end of the fourth year, preceding the year in which the amount is withdrawn or the end of the preceding year whichever is lower.

For example, if the account was opened in 1993-94 and the first withdrawal was made during 1999-2000, the amount you can withdraw is limited to 50% of the balance as on March 31, 1996, or March 31, 1999, whichever is lower.

If the account extended beyond 15 years, partial withdrawal -- up to 60% of the balance you have at the end of the 15 year period -- is allowed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Loco train tougher to pilot than a plane: Trivedi

Sachin, Aamir to spread message of railway safety

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who is a pilot-turned politician, said here on Monday that a loco train was tougher to pilot than an aeroplane.

Addressing the 56th annual week function of the railways, Mr. Trivedi said he had come to this conclusion after his experience at a railway simulator centre in Chennai.
Driver's limitations

“I didn't know that a train with prescribed carriage and running at a fairly good speed will, after applying brakes, run almost a kilometre before coming to a grinding stop, but people usually blame the loco pilot without understanding his limitations every time there is an accident at a manned or unmanned level crossing,” he said.“People expect it to stop like cars,” he said, stressing that the drivers were not to blame most of the time. “The need is to spread awareness among the people,” said Mr. Trivedi. He had discussed the issue with cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Aamir Khan.

The railways intend to use the services of the two to spread the messages of railway safety to make the general public contribute their bit to avert accidents and fatalities.

Mr. Trivedi pointed out that not one single person had been killed in Japan in railway disasters during the past 47 years even when some of the coaches had turned turtle.

Much like military personnel, railway personnel too make sacrifices, he said, pointing to those who were felicitated for their acts of bravery also. In saving passengers, one railway man sacrificed his life while another lost a lower limb and an upper limb.

“The thrust will be on improving the railway electronic signalling system, as part of the modernisation plan, to not only ensure better and safe running of trains but also speed up and add more trains on the same routes,” he said.

 ( Courtesy-The Hindu , New Delhi 21 Nov. 2011 )

Thursday, November 17, 2011


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Railways on Track to Disaster

Populist measures, stubborn refusal to hike passenger fares threaten Indian Railways
Rail Mishap
Rescue workers at the site of the accident in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, on September 13, in which 10 people were killed.
Seven months into financial year 2011-2012, Indian Railways threatens to go the Air India way, staring at a deficit of over Rs.3,000 crore and losing Rs.18 crore a day. Its cash reserves are down to a meagre Rs.75 lakh from Rs.13,431 crore in 2008 when Lalu Yadav exited as minister. Rising establishment costs and salary bill, populist measures, a stubborn refusal to hike passenger fares and no new sources of revenue have brought Railways to this pass. It spent nearly Rs.96 for every Rs.100 it earned last year, what is known as the Operating Ratio. It is now expected to cross 100 per cent, unprecedented in the past two decades.
Major works and projects are suffering as contractors and suppliers haven't been paid their arrears. Basics like fishplates that connect the tracks, couplers to join the wagons and skids that stop the train from rolling down the track are not being supplied since mid-2010. Hygiene at train stations has declined, with brooms in short supply at railway stores. There is little money to issue contracts for cleaning of tracks in the station area, resulting in excreta accumulating in stations with heavy footfalls such as New Delhi.

Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi has sought a loan of Rs.2,000 crore from the Centre. Sources in the ministry laughed at talk of the money being returned. They say the money is actually to pay the salary bill, which amounts to over Rs.4,500 crore every month. The Sixth Pay Commission has taken the annual salary bill of Railways to a hefty Rs.55,000 crore.

Railways had announced a 78-day productivity bonus to its 13.75 lakh employees for the festival season amounting to Rs.1,100 crore. Sources now say 30 per cent of the amount might be paid to the employees in cash and the remainder put into their Provident Fund. "Railways spends 68 per cent of its funds on establishment costs, including salaries for the 13.75 lakh employees and 12 lakh pensioners, and 20 per cent on the electricity and diesel bill. It has just around 12 per cent of the total outlay available for running and enhancing services, improving safety, replacing old worn-out assets and providing for passenger amenities," says an official in the Railways' finance department.

The crux of the problem, say railway officers, is the populism over several years. While there are no new sources of income, sops like izzat passes, loss-making Yuva trains and concessions for various categories have made things worse. Passenger fares have not gone up in nine years with freight charges being irrationally high, causing Railways to lose out even on freight traffic to the road sector. Passenger fares are being subsidised to the tune of Rs.20,000 crore every year.

Stalled running on empty There are no funds to carry out
even regular maintenance work
No money to put into the
Depreciation Relief Fund, used for
replacing and strengthening old
assets including tracks, locomotives,
bridges and signals.
No money to put into the
Development Fund for improving
passenger and staff amenities.
Railways failed to float capital
bonds, as promised by then
minister Mamata Banerjee in her
Budget speech, to replace overaged
assets and for doubling of
track and gauge conversion.
Railways has failed to fill 1,40,000
safety-related vacancies.
Payments to contractors and
suppliers withheld. Supplies of
crucial equipment like signalling
cables, fishplates and skids for
tracks have been withheld.
There is no alternative to enhancing fares. Even the railway employees' unions, hitherto opposed to any kind of rationalisation of passenger fares, have changed tack. Fearing finances going awry, two major unions, the All India Railwaymen's Federation and the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen, have made a case for raising fares by 20-40 per cent.
The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Planning Commission have been pushing for a hike in passenger fares. The Consultative Committee on Railways, in its report released in August, advocated raising fares "within reasonable limits to offset the inflationary trend and diesel price increase".

Railway Minister Trivedi admits that there is a pressing need and an increasing demand to hike passenger fares. "We don't want to go the Air India way,'' he stresses. He talks of a dynamic passenger fare policy but is not clear yet about what the policy will entail, whether it will be based on demand and supply-the criterion used to increase freight charges by 6 per cent on October 15-or be linked to increase in diesel cost. "There is no concrete plan yet but it has to be done intelligently,'' Trivedi says. One view is to increase only upper class fares and another to hike them across the board.

Dynamic pricing policy, if implemented across the board, will be a disaster. It can be done only in ac coaches and that too during peak season. It won't earn much revenue since over 90 per cent passengers travel in non-ac unreserved and sleeper coaches. Lalu had successfully introduced dynamic pricing in Tatkal tickets but the measure attracted a lot of criticism. His successor, Mamata Banerjee, subsequently did away with it.

Railways also faces a backlog of vacancies: 1,26,044 posts in the safety category and 14,896 for unmanned level crossings across the country. These include vacancies for top posts such as member (traffic) and a dozen general managers. There aren't even enough people to man ticket counters at a premier station like New Delhi. Railwaymen are increasingly looking at greener pastures. More than 50 officers have quit in the past two years. Companies like Larsen & Toubro, Adani Group and Reliance are the favoured destinations.

Dinesh Trivedi and Mamata Banerjee
Dinesh Trivedi and Mamata Banerjee
Back on TrackRailway Minister Dinesh
Trivedi's recipe for change Set-up a Stations Authority of
India (SAI) on the lines of the Airports
Authority of India. No mention of
source of funds for the proposed SAI.
ARailway Safety Board on the
lines of the Directorate General of
Civil Aviation to prevent accidents.
Out-of-the-box thinking
as increasing passenger fares can
backfire politically on Government.
Designer uniforms for the driver
and co-driver of the train so that
they can take pride in their job.
Two expert committees have
been set up-one under Sam
Pitroda on modernising Railways
and a Safety Review Committee under
Anil Kakodkar, former chairman
of Atomic Energy Commission.
Rail Bhavan officials say there is simply no question of expanding services and improving passenger amenities. Railways has failed to put in any money into the Development Fund, which is meant towards better services and amenities. No money has gone into the Depreciation Reserve Fund, meant for track renewal, gauge conversion and signal modernisation, either. The Railway Safety Fund and the Capital Fund are both empty. Trivedi's predecessor, Mamata, failed to fulfil her 2010-2011 Budget promise of floating capital bonds to generate revenue for the Capital Fund.
"With contractors not getting their payments, all work is piling up," said a railway official. Mamata's Budget announcement of constructing 1,000 km of new line every year has also not materialised. Even the 500 km constructed over the last two years is not operational. Work on enhancing capacity of the three platforms handling suburban train traffic at Chennai station has been suspended. Lifts at Ahmedabad station couldn't be installed as the division ran out of money. Trivedi wanted the railway hospital near New Delhi Railway Station to be upgraded but hasn't been able to spare Rs.5 crore needed for it.

Safety is a big casualty as corners are cut. Even routine track patrolling is suffering. Track maintenance, replacement of over-aged assets and signalling system is being neglected. Safety projects like anti-collision devices (SCDS), envisaged in 2001, have been put on the back burner even though over 300 people have lost their lives in train accidents since May 2009.

A concerned PMO has sought a detailed safety plan from Railways. Rail Bhavan sources say the requirement is to the tune of Rs.70,000 crore. Rail Bhavan sources say they will now seek a generous grant from the exchequer outside the Rail Budget.

The list of reneged promises, first under Mamata Banerjee and now her successor and close aide Trivedi, is becoming longer by the day.

Friday, November 11, 2011

5 Powerful food that lower your Blood pressure.

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5 Powerful Foods that Lower Your Blood Pressure
Are you eating enough of these 5 amazing foods that help reduce high blood pressure?
by Frank Mangano
Consumer Health Advocate
Author of the popular book: 
Blood Pressure Miracle
Did you know that stroke and coronary heart disease still remain to be on the list of the top three main causes of death in the USA?  It's time to take your health seriously so you don't fall victim to these!
What is High Blood Pressure and how does this come into play?
According to the National Institute for Health, blood pressure levels of 140/90 mmHg or more can be classified as hypertension.
The worst part about having high blood pressure is that the condition can sometimes be present without any symptoms and before we know it, the damage is already extensive. Serious problems that have been associated with high blood pressure include kidney failure, heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
What are the Risk Factors Associated with High Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure can be influenced by a lot of factors – age, race, family history, tobacco use, sedentary lifestyle, diet, binge drinking, and stress levels. Chronic conditions such as sleep apnea, diabetes and high cholesterol levels can also precipitate the development of hypertension.
What can You Do to Lower Blood Pressure?
You don't need potentially dangerous drugs to control and reduce your blood pressure. Controlling blood pressure levels could be as simple as doing lifestyle modifications and eating healthier.
If you are a smoker, quit. If you drink heavily, try to practice self-control. At work, take the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you have been obsessed with sweet, sugary foods as well as processed fast-food meals, then modify your eating habits as well. Learn to eat the right kinds of food before it's too late.
Below are 5 of my top picks for powerful foods that could help you lower your blood pressure levels:
artichokes help lower blood pressure1. Artichokes
The use of artichokes has been implicated in the lowering of cholesterol levels in the blood. Since hypercholesterolemia is one of the risk factors for high blood pressure, this information is actually good news.  Three clinical trials conducted separately by Dr. Barbara Wider supports this fact. In Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews’ October 2009 issue, where the result of the study was published, it was shown that patients who were diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia and given Artichoke leaf extract exhibited a decrease in their blood cholesterol levels.
Artichokes taste amazing steamed (generally steam for about 1 hour) and then dip each piece into a mixture of olive oil, grass-fed butter, and garlic.  Delicious!
bananas cut high blood pressure2.  Bananas
A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine says that incorporating bananas in your day-to-day meals can actually cut stroke-related deaths by as much as 40 percent. A 1997 study at Johns Hopkins University recommended eating at least five bananas daily to achieve the desired effect, and that is to lower elevated blood pressure levels. However, a study conducted by Indian researchers at the Kasturba medical college revealed that people who eat two bananas a day, for one whole week, can lower their blood pressure levels by 10 percent.
Bananas are rich in potassium, which is responsible for the proper functioning of the heart.  It works with sodium to maintain balance of the body’s fluids, which is an important factor in the regulation of blood pressure.

compounds in beets beat blood pressure3.  Beets
A research study conducted by scientists from Barts and The London School Medicine revealed that simply drinking one 500 ml glass of beetroot juice each day can produce astounding health benefits, especially to the heart.
Beetroot juice has been found to lower high blood pressure levels. Professors Amrita Ahluwalia and Ben Benjamin, from the William Harvey Research Institute and Peninsula Medical Center, respectively, led the research efforts, which revealed that the consumption of dietary nitrate that is found in beetroot has BP-lowering effects in as fast as 1 hour after ingestion, with the effect lasting for up to 24 hours. The result of the study was published in the March 2008 issue of Hypertension.
You can try beetroot juice, or also try baked beets sliced on salads or as a side dish to dinner.

cocoa helps lower blood pressure4.  Cocoa
A study conducted by researchers from Germany’s University Hospital of Cologne revealed that cocoa can significantly lower high blood pressure levels. Study results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. The beneficial heart effects of cocoa are attributed to its flavonoid content, specifically procyanids.
Because cocoa is most commonly found in chocolate, people falsely assume that eating a lot of chocolate could be good for the health. Keep in mind that cocoa in chocolates have undergone a lot of processing, and it has been mixed with loads of sugar, so this is not totally healthy. The best way to take advantage of the health benefits offered by cocoa is to choose raw cacao – it is good for the heart, the brain and the liver.  Raw cacao nibs go great in smoothies!  Also use organic cocoa powder in smoothies or homemade hot cocoa sweetened with stevia instead of sugar.

garlic fights hypertension5.  Garlic
Researchers from South Australia’s University of Adelaide have conducted studies, which provide solid proof that the consumption of garlic can indeed help lower elevated blood pressure levels. Garlic supplements in powder form were given and results revealed that it produced a reduction in systolic blood pressure. Garlic has been known all over the world as a very important herb, especially with its heart-protecting capabilities. It helps lower blood cholesterol levels and prevents blood from forming clots (which could lead to heart attack and stroke).
Furthermore, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal has published the results of a laboratory test showing how garlic juice can lead to a decrease in blood pressure levels. Eating the equivalent of 2 cloves of garlic each day can significantly contribute to the health of the heart.
Check this out to discover over 37 additional herbs, spices, and powerful foods that KILL high blood pressure.
Courtesy---www.Truth About Abs.com

Sunday, November 6, 2011


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The central Bureau of investigation (cbi)has asked the vigilance wings of various central governament departments, banks,public sector units and the railways to prepare an "agreed list" of corrupt officials,points of corruption in departments and undesired contact men.
speaking to vigilance officials on saturday,CBI Joint Director V.V.Lakshminarayana said that they must keep a tab on the lifestyles of officials and must also block the points of corruption.
"While we are unable to keep a check on the agreed list due to shortage of man power,we should not post them(officials on the list) in sensitive places and points of corruption," he said.
"Lists of undesirable contact men moving in departments that involve middlemen shall be prepared and officials will be asked to be cautious about them," Mr.Lakshminarayana added.
CBI Joint Director,stressing on the needs of surprise checks in government offices, said," During my college and school days we used to hear about the then chief minister N.T.Rama Rao conducting surprise checks on hospitals at midnight.NTR's checks had put lot of fear among corrupt officials.We should do such kind of surprise checks in departments to prevent corruption."He added that CBI has decided to conduct joint surprise checks along with the departments.
Mr.Lakshminarayana said that in departments like railways there was the possibility of corruption in the tendering process and for banks it was housing loans.