No ads promoting online betting, Ministry issues advisory to media

Ministry of Information & Broadcasting issued Press release on 13th June 2022 :

No ads promoting online betting, Ministry issues advisory to media.

Online betting ads on online and social media not to target Indian audience

‘Betting poses significant financial, socio-economic risk for consumers’

Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has today issued an advisory to print, electronic and digital media to refrain from advertising online betting platforms. The advisory comes in light of instances of a number of advertisements of online betting websites/platforms appearing in print, electronic, social and online media.

Betting and gambling, illegal in most parts of the country, pose significant financial and socio-economic risk for the consumers, especially youth and children, the advisory states. It has further added that these advertisements on online betting have the effect of promoting this largely prohibited activity. “The advertisements of online betting are misleading, and do not appear to be in strict conformity with the Consumer Protection Act 2019, Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act, 1995, and advertisement norms under the Norms of Journalistic Conduct laid down by the Press Council of India under the Press Council Act, 1978”, it has stated.

The advisory has been issued in larger public interest, and it has advised the print and electronic media to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. It has also advised the online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, to not display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience.

On 4th December, 2020, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had issued an advisory to Private Satellite TV channels to adhere to the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) guidelines on advertisements of online gaming which contained specific Do’s and Dont’s for print and audio-visual advertisements of online gaming.

The detailed advisory can be read at the below link:

Link Aadhaar FAQ (Income tax portal updates-01st june 2022)

1. Who needs to link Aadhaar and PAN?
Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act provides that every person who has been allotted a permanent account number (PAN) as on the 1st day of July, 2017, and who is eligible to obtain an Aadhaar number, shall intimate his Aadhaar number in the prescribed form and manner. In other words, such persons have to mandatorily link their Aadhaar and PAN before the prescribed date (Presently, 31.03.2022 without fee payment and 31.03.2023 with prescribed fee payment For more details refer to CBDT circular No.7/2022 dated 30.03.2022.


2. For whom is Aadhaar-PAN linking not compulsory?
Aadhaar-PAN linking presently does not apply to any individual who is:

  1. residing in the States of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, and Meghalaya;
  2. a non-resident as per the Income Tax Act, 1961;
  3. of the age of eighty years or more at any time during the previous year;
  4. not a citizen of India.

“The exemptions provided are subject to modifications depending on subsequent government notifications on this subject “ 
“For more details refer to Department of Revenue Notification no 37/2017 dated 11th May 2017″.


3. How to link Aadhaar and PAN?
Both registered and unregistered users can link their Aadhaar and PAN on the e-Filing portal, even without logging in. You can use the quick link Link Aadhaar on the e-Filing homepage to link Aadhaar and PAN.


4. How to make prescribed fee payment for PAN-Aadhaar Linkage?

The fee payment for PAN-Aadhaar Linkage need to be made through e-Pay Tax functionality available on NSDL (now Protean) Portal. The prescribed fee must be paid under Major Head 0021 and Minor Head 500 and AY should be 2023-24 using Challan ITNS 280.

5. Payment for the PAN-Aadhaar Linking has already been made but e-Filing Portal is not allowing to proceed further. What to do in this scenario? 
The payment made at NSDL (now Protean)  takes few days to reflect at the e-Filing portal, so taxpayer is advised to attempt raising PAN-Aadhaar linking request after 4-5 days of making payment.

6. If taxpayer made the payment under Minor head 500 mistakenly, how to get the refund for the same?
As per the existing legal framework, there is no provision for refund for such payments made under the minor head 500.

7. What will happen if I don’t link Aadhaar and PAN?
Kindly, refer to the Circular No. 7/2022 dated 30/3/2022.


8. I cannot link my Aadhaar with PAN because there is a mismatch in my name / phone number / date of birth in Aadhaar and PAN. What should I do?
Correct your details in either PAN or Aadhaar database such that both have matching details. You can correct your PAN details on:

You can correct your Aadhaar details on the UIDAI website.


9. What should I do if my PAN becomes inoperative?
Kindly, refer to the Circular No. 7/2022 dated 30/3/2022.

Jharkhand boys, who beat poverty to follow their passion, have entered Khelo India Youth Games hockey semifinal

In March 2021, Jharkhand created history by winning the 11th Hockey India Sub-Junior Men’s National Championship.

They had, however, already scored a much more significant and crucial victory. Almost each member of the squad had waged a long and grim battle against poverty and hardship before making it into the team.

Manohar Mundu, 17, among the brightest in the lineup, lost his father when he was just a child. Like most kids around him, he started playing hockey with a bamboo stick.

This is all they could afford to pursue their passion. “We would play the entire day; it didn’t matter that we didn’t have any equipment,” he said shortly after their match in the Khelo India Youth Games.

Even after he was admitted into the Jharkhand Awasiya Balak Hockey Prashikshan Kendra in Khunti, the Residential School for Sports that supports 25 budding athletes in each district, Manohar’s travails didn’t end.

He still didn’t have money to buy shoes or a stick. He had to make do with hand-me-downs. Luckily, his coach was a generous man. He bought him his first pair of shoes and a nice hockey stick. His friend’s family too bailed him out once.

Abhishek Mundu’s father is a policeman. But he didn’t earn enough to send his son to an academy for training. Even the expense for daily commute was beyond him. Their coach Manohar Topno somehow convinced Abhishek’s father to not give hope, to send his son to the residential school.

“There is back-breaking poverty in the region. During the Covid lockdown, each player, still just boys, had to work, do all kinds of menial stuff, to support their families. Even adults cannot balance two lives, the way these boys do,” Topno says with a tinge of anger.

Duga Munda came to the residential school very young. “I keep going back home to help my father with farm work. We can’t hire labour. My parents feel happy seeing my progress but making ends meet is still quite a task.”

Another boy in the team from the government-run Awasiya Centre is Bilsan Dodrey. He comes from a village lost deep in the forest.

Poverty has different shades within the state, though. In the same hockey team, the boys in Eklavya Model Residential Schools and Tata Academy live in AC rooms and get a diet worth Rs 450 a day. The boys from Awasiya Centre, however, get a diet of Rs 150 to 175 per day.

Yet they play on the same turf and get medals. They learn about modern facilities and tactics by watching videos and participating in tournaments.

They are now poised to create history in the Khelo India Games too. Both their Boys and Girls teams are already in the semifinals. They are confident of winning at least one gold.

Ministry of Youth Affairs and SportsRelease Id :-1832079

Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard (Ministry of Finance)

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to launch of Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard during the Iconic Week Celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations of Ministry of Finance


Smt. Sitharaman will also launch Training Modules of Department of Expenditure

Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman to launch of Single Nodal Agency (SNA) Dashboard during the Iconic Week Celebrations of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations of Ministry of Finance, in New Delhi, tomorrow.

The Ministry of Finance & Ministry of Corporate Affairs’ Iconic Week celebrations from 6th June to 12th June 2022 were launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi here today morning.

Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will be the Chief Guest and Finance Secretary, Dr. T.V. Somanathan, and the Controller General of Accounts, Smt. Sonali Singh will grace the occasion along with other dignitaries.

The event will be telecast live through NIC’s Webcast platform (https://webcast.gov.in/finmin/cga) and on the YouTube channel of Ministry of Finance (https://youtu.be/VT9p-1Hhhno).

The SNA Dashboard forms part of a major public financial management reform that was initiated in 2021 with regards to the manner in which funds for Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) are released, disbursed and monitored. This revised procedure, now referred to as the SNA model, requires each State to identify and designate a SNA for every scheme.All funds for that State in a particular scheme will be credited in this bank account, and all expenses will be made by all other Implementing Agencies involved from this account.

The SNA model, therefore, ensures that allocation of funds to States for the CSS are made in a timely manner and after meeting various stipulations. Effective implementation of this Model has brought about greater efficiency in CSS fund utilization, tracking of funds, pragmatic and just-in-time release of funds to the States; ultimately all contributing to better Cash Management of the Government.

In order to give the stakeholders of SNA model the necessary feedback and monitoring tools in the operation of the schemes, Public Financial Management System (PFMS) has developed the SNA Dashboard. The Dashboard depicts releases made to different States by Ministries, further releases made by State Treasuries to the SNA accounts, expenditure reported by the agencies, interest paid by banks to SNA accounts etc. in intelligible, informative and visually appealing graphics.

The programme will also have presentations on ‘Best Practices in Cash Management through SNA and Treasury Single Account (TSA)’. The presentations will be made by Joint Controller General of Accounts, State Government of Odisha and Canara Bank showcasing their experiences on the subject.

The Union Finance Minister will also launch Training Modules of the Department of Expenditure. With the aim to facilitate and build the capacity of the officials, two central training institutes namely Institute of Government Accounts and Finance (INGAF) and Arun Jaitley National Institute of Financial Management (AJNIFM) have developed the courses to be published on the iGOT Karmayogi portal, DoPT. INGAF has developed the training programme on FR SR- III (Leave Rules) to increase knowledge of learners towards various conditions of leave, process to apply and avail leaves due and admissible and their approval, describe special kinds of leaves etc. The course curated by AJNIFM caters to procurement of variety of goods and services, including execution of works. This would help officers posted in Integrated Finance Divisions (IFDs) of various Ministries/Departments in examining the proposals in light of GFRs and other instructions before concurrence is given by Financial Advisors. Learners shall be put to test in each module so that they can check themselves and may go back to the particular portion of the module for re-emphasizing the learning.

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Press Release Id :-1831645 dated 06 June 2022

New Initiatives by GeM to promote sustainable public procurement of products and services

Government eMarketplace [GeM] is promoting sustainable public procurement [SPP] of products and services in association with the United Nations Environment Program [UNEP]. Since the launch of Green Room Air Conditioners [RAC] in June 2021, GeM has taken a series of path-breaking steps to roll out new features and functionalities on the portal to promote the adoption of environmentally sustainable products and services.  

Speaking on World Environment Day, Shri PK Singh, CEO GeM said that GeM is prioritizing the listing and availability of environmentally sustainable products and services by targeting the largest selling products and services on the portal, and products and services based on their potential for impact on the environment. Further, GeM has proactively created and listed new product and service categories, and implemented new functionalities, namely; forward auction for safe disposal of obsolete machinery, and buyback option for disposal of obsolete assets and procurement of new products.

Shri Atul Bagai, UNEP Country Head, highlighted that public procurement represents a sizable proportion of Government’s spending. By promoting SPP practices, governments have the opportunity to create high-volume and long-term demand of sustainable products and services. Shri Bagai reinforced UNEP’s support and commitment for achieving this objective.

SPP of Products on GeM

On 05th June 2021, Green RACs were launched on GeM. The purchase of Green RACs is  on a voluntary basis. and the faster adoption of such products by government buyers will pave the way for realizing India’s Nationally Determined Contributions [NDC] and its commitment towards Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] # 12 “Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns” with special emphasis on target 12.7 – aims to “Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities.” In 2021-22, government buyers procured 176 green RACs worth INR 3.65 Crore.

Writing and printing paper [Maplitho], an uncoated paper used to make textbooks, notebooks, from hardwood pulp) is a popular product category on GeM. Approx. 90% of the total procurement of writing and printing paper is for Eco-mark paper which is a standard applicable for manufacturer producing paper from agro-based and recycled fibre-based raw material.

GeM has created marketplace filters to help government buyers identify solar-powered renewable products such as inverters, streetlights, torch lights, study lamps, water heating systems, and battery-powered e-rickshaws for passengers.

Daily use products for pollution tracking, monitoring and rehabilitation, refuse disposal and treatment of hazardous and non-hazardous waste including sewage treatment are already listed and available for procurement on the portal.

GeM has introduced “The Green Gold Collection”, a dedicated online market store to showcase a range of bamboo accessories for potential use in the construction sector and exquisitely handcrafted bamboo handicrafts, daily-utility products/ disposals for government buyers. Bamboo producers will be able to list their products under different product categories.

SPP of Services on GeM

Presently, 250+service categories are live on GeM.. Notable services with a sustainable procurement component include:

  • Lease hiring of electric vehicles [short and long-term] for senior officers including operations and maintenance,
  • Event and monthly-based hiring of air conditioners and desert coolers including supply, installation and maintenance for required number of days or contract period,
  • Energy efficiency services namely, energy conservation and energy audit services and hiring of consultant for energy efficiency services/ projects,
  • Waste Management services, namely; biomedical waste management services, collection and disposal of waste management services, e-waste management, garbage collection and disposal, and municipal sewage waste,
  • Water Conservation, including rejuvenation of water bodies, and testing of water quality,
  • Annual maintenance contracts [AMC] for solar plant, wind, hydro and bio plants, and
  • Water audit and afforestation services, namely; plantation and tree translocation services, to name a few.
  • Housekeeping service with eco-friendly chemical cleanliness and conservancy of office premises, hospitals and guest houses etc.
  • Operation and Management of Electric Buses is available on GeM where buyers can hire electric buses with its operation and maintenance.
  • GeM is working towards the launch of a new service “Green Transition Service” on the GeM portal for buyers who seek a structured framework to achieve carbon neutrality and aim for being net zero Carbon emissions in their operations. Service components will include; estimation and preparation of GHG emissions inventory, developing methodology for accounting of GHG emissions, preparation of detailed project reports on calculation of carbon footprint, milestones, implementation and monitoring plan for the assessment year, leading to a comprehensive roadmap for achieving net-zero emissions.

New Functionalities to promote SPP

New features/ functionalities like “forward auction” provides opportunities for government buyers/ auctioneers to auction on the GeM portal and potential bidders can participate in these bids to purchase the fully-depreciated and or obsolete assets using the auction mode. The forward auction facility is available for a wide range of product categories including e-waste of electronic and electrical equipment, land and buildings (industrial, commercial and residential), machinery (electric, industrial and non-electrical), scrap/ disposal of lube/ waste oil, metallic, non-metallic, usable and scrap vehicles and other items of monetary value for reuse.

The “buyback option” presently available in 37+ product categories permits sellers to quote the price of new goods along with the price offered for old goods as buy back. Government buyers can now exercise this option at the time of creating bids on GeM to dispose their obsolete assets and procure new products. 

Several PSUs, government ministries, state departments and municipal corporations have started considering environmental and energy efficiency criteria in their procurement decisions. Procurement of environmentally friendly products and services has a cascading effect through reduction in waste-generation, lower water consumption, efficient energy consumption and reduced carbon emissions, thereby ensuring fair and sustainable economic growth and delivery of social benefits. GeM will collaborate with UNEP and fellow partners in supporting, promoting and synergizing the Sustainable Public Procurement [SPP] initiative of the Government of India.

(Sources: Press Release dated 04 June 2022, Release Id :-1831192)

Cooperative Societies on GeM Platform. Benefits of purchase through GeM.

Purchases through GeM will provide the following benefits:

  1. The Cooperatives would get competitive prices through an open and transparent process, and this would be economically beneficial to the members of the societies.
  2. The Cooperative societies can procure from about 45 lakh authenticated sellers/ service providers available across the country on a single GeM platform,
  3. Following the standard procedures on GeM would lead to saving of time and reduction in the administrative burden.
  4. It would enhance the credibility of the cooperatives as complaints of mismanagement of funds will get reduced.

GeM authorities will provide a dedicated on-boarding process for cooperatives, technical infrastructure and support for on-boarding and transactions, via available contact centres, in-field training, and other support services.

The Union Cabinet under the visionary leadership of the  Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the registration of cooperative societies as ‘Buyers’ on Government e-Marketplace (GeM) platform. This will enable the cooperative societies to access more than 45 Lakh vendors on a single platform and to follow a transparent, economic and efficient procurement system.

Under the leadership of Union Minister of Cooperation Shri Amit Shah, Ministry of Cooperation is encouraging Multi State Cooperative Societies and Cooperative Societies registered under State Cooperative Acts to join the GeM platform for the benefit of their members and hopes that more and more cooperatives Societies will get benefit of this by joining GeM platform.

At present, there are about 8.54 lakh cooperatives in India with about 29 crore membership. They have been performing a wide range of activities for the production of goods and services. These cooperatives make huge purchases of goods and services from the open market to support their operations.  There was a felt need to provide a platform to them to avail competitive prices through a transparent and efficient process resulting in benefit to the members of the cooperative societies.

Government e-Marketplace (GeM) has been set up as a National Procurement Portal to provide an end-to-end online market place for Central and State Government Ministries/ Departments, and PSUs etc. for procurement of common-use goods and services in a transparent and efficient manner. The Gross Merchandise Value of procurement using GeM was more than Rs.1 lakh crore in the FY 2021-22. There are around 54 lakh products listed across 9,702 product categories and 279 service categories. There was an estimated savings of around Rs.10,000 crores in the FY 2021-22.

(Press release: Release Id :-1830333 dated 02 June 2022)

Cabinet approves Expanding the mandate of Government e Marketplace – Special Purpose Vehicle (GeM – SPV) to allow procurement by Cooperatives as Buyers. Move will help cooperatives in getting competitive prices

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for expanding the mandate of GeM to allow procurement by Cooperatives as buyers on GeM.

The Government e Marketplace (GeM) was launched on August 9, 2016 by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India to create an open and transparent procurement platform for Government buyers. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the name of Government e- Marketplace (GeM SPV) was set up as the National Public Procurement Portal on 17th May, 2017 in pursuance of the approval, of the Union Cabinet accorded on 12th April, 2017. At present, the platform is open for procurement by all government buyers: central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions, local bodies, etc. As per existing mandate, GeM is not available for use by private sector buyers. Suppliers (sellers) can be from across all segments: government or private.

No. of beneficiaries:

More than 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives and their 27 Crore members would be benefitted with this initiative. GeM portal is open for all the buyers and sellers across the country.

Details:

1. GeM is already adequately developed as a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods and Services. It is transparent, efficient, has economy of scale and is speedy in procurement. Cooperative Societies will now be allowed to procure goods and services from GeM.

2. Allowing Cooperative Societies to register on GeM as Buyers would help Cooperatives in getting competitive prices through an. open and, transparent process,

3. The validated list of cooperatives to be onboarded on GeM – for pilot as well as subsequent scale up – will be decided by Ministry of Cooperation in consultation with GeM SPV. This will ensure that technical capacity and logistics requirement of the GeM system are taken into account while deciding the pace of on boarding of Cooperative as buyers on GeM.

4. GeM will provide a dedicated onboarding process for cooperatives, provide the technical infrastructure to support additional users on existing portal, as well as provide assistance to cooperatives for onboarding and transaction journeys, via available contact centers, in-field training and other support services.

5. Ministry of Cooperation would issue necessary advisories to encourage the Cooperative Societies to make use of the GeM platform for procurement of goods and services in order to benefit from increased transparency, efficiency and competitive prices.

6. To protect interests of the broader seller community on GeM and ensure timely payments, the modalities of payment systems shall be decided by GeM in consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation.

Implementation strategy and targets:

GeM will initiate suitable actions, which would inter alia include creation of necessary features and functionalities on GeM portal, upgradation of infrastructure, strengthening of the helpdesk and training ecosystem, and onboarding of cooperatives. The overall pace and mechanism of roll-out would be decided by Ministry of Cooperation. The milestones and target dates will be aligned mutually between Ministry of Cooperation and GeM (Ministry of Commerce and Industry).

Impact including employment generation potential:

The Ministry of Cooperation wanted the Cooperative Societies to be allowed to procure goods and services from GeM as it is already adequately developed as a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods and Services. It is transparent, efficient, has economy of scale and is speedy in procurement. In the above context, allowing Cooperative Societies to register on GeM as Buyers of Goods & Services required by them would help Cooperatives in getting competitive prices through an open and transparent process. Moreover, since the societies have more than 27 Crore members, procurement through GeM would not only economically benefit the common man, but it would also enhance the credibility of the cooperatives.

GeM has also developed a rich understanding of running an advanced procurement portal including the functional needs, managing the technical infrastructure, and dealing with multiple stakeholders involved. It is felt that the rich experience gained in creating the procurement ecosystem in the country can be significantly utilized to produce efficiencies and transparency in procurement processes for cooperatives also. This is also expected to enhance overall “Ease of Doing Business” for cooperatives, while providing a larger Buyer base to the GeM registered sellers also.

Expenditure involved:

While the GeM SPV will continue to leverage the existing platform and organization for supporting the proposed expanded mandate, it may need some investments in additional technology infrastructure, and additional training and support resources. To cover for these incremental costs, GeM may charge an appropriate transaction fee from cooperatives, to be decided in mutual consultation with the Ministry of Cooperation. Such charges shall not be more than the charges which GeM would charge to other Government buyers. This will be planned to ensure self-sustainability of operations for GeM, and hence no major financial implication is expected for government.

Background:

The GeM SPV has made significant strides since its inception. The Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) has grown with CAGR of over 84.5% from FY 2018-19 to FY 2021-22. The portal has delivered 178% growth in GMV in the FY 2021-22 and has crossed INR 1 lakh Crore in FY 2021-22 alone, which is higher than the cumulative GMV till FY 2020-21.

Each of the three pillars of GeM viz inclusion, transparency and efficiency have seen significant progress. The contribution by MSMEs to the cumulative transaction value is about 58%. Different independent studies, including those by the World Bank and National Economic Survey 2021, indicated substantial savings due to GeM’s ability to pool in more participation and provide cost effective options.

The cooperative movement in India has grown significantly, playing an important role in addressing the developmental needs of underprivileged classes in India, especially in agricultural, banking and housing sectors. There are currently 8.54 lakh registered cooperatives. These cooperatives collectively procure and sell in large quantities. Presently, the registration of cooperatives as “buyers” was not covered within the existing mandate of GeM.

Press Release dated 01st June 2022

Centre to develop framework to check fake reviews on E-Commerce websites

The Centre will develop a framework to keep check over fake reviews on E-Commerce websites. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) after studying the present mechanism being followed by the E-Commerce entities in India and best practices available globally, will develop these frameworks.

DoCA in association with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) along with various stakeholders like E-Commerce entities, Consumer Forums, Law Universities, Lawyers, FICCI, CII, Consumer Rights Activists and others in a meeting discussed the magnitude and roadmap ahead for fake reviews on websites.

Since e-commerce involves a virtual shopping experience without any opportunity to physically view or examine the product, consumers heavily rely on reviews posted on e-commerce platforms to see the opinion and experience of users who have already purchased the good or service.

“Traceability by ensuring the authenticity of the reviewer and the associated liability of the platform are the two key issues here. Also e-com players must disclose as to how they choose the “most relevant reviews” for display in a fair and transparent manner,” said Secretary DoCA, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh said.

All stakeholders agreed that the issue deserves to be monitored closely and appropriate framework governing the fake reviews may be developed to address the issue for protection of consumer interest.

Stakeholders from e-commerce companies claimed that they have frameworks in place by which they monitor fake reviews and would be pleased to take part in developing a legal framework on the issue.

Along with Secretary DoCA, Ms Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary and Mr. Anupam Mishra, Joint Secretary attended the meeting. Ms. Manisha Kapoor, CEO, ASCI highlighted the categories of fake and misleading reviews and their impact on consumer interest. Paid reviews, unverifiable reviews and absence of disclosure in case of incentivised reviews which make it challenging for consumers to recognize genuine reviews were among the issues discussed.

Press Release 28 May 2022

Clarification on Aadhaar sharing issue by UIDAI (Press Release 29th May 2022)

This is in pursuant of the Press Release dated 27 May 2022 by the Bengaluru Regional Office, UIDAI.

It is learnt that it was issued by them in the context of an attempt to misuse a photoshopped Aadhaar card. The release advised the people to not to share photocopy of their Aadhaar with any organization because it can be misused. Alternatively, a masked Aadhaar which displays only the last 4 digits of Aadhaar number, can be used.

However, in view of the possibility of the misinterpretation of the Press Release, the same stands withdrawn with immediate effect.

UIDAI issued Aadhaar card holders are only advised to exercise normal prudence in using and sharing their UIDAI Aadhaar numbers.

Aadhaar Identity Authentication ecosystem has provided adequate features for protecting and safeguarding the identity and privacy of the Aadhaar holder.

Sources : Ministry of Electronics & IT

Major push by ECI for Enforcing due Compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)

Major push by ECI for Enforcing due Compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs)


Graded Action to be initiated against more than 2100 RUPPs

66 RUPPs claimed IT exemption in FY20 without complying with statutory requirements under Section 29 C of RP Act, 1951; 2174 RUPPs have not submitted contribution report; Action to be initiated against those receiving donations without due statutory compliances

Action initiated against three RUPPs reported to be involved in Serious Financial Impropriety

87 Non-existent RUPPs shall be deleted from the list and benefits under the Symbols Order (1968) withdrawn

The Election Commission of India has initiated action for enforcing due compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs) for relevant sections 29A and 29C of the RP Act 1951. The Commission is cognizant that compliance to the conditions and regulations in the said Act are essential conditions for maintaining financial discipline, propriety, public accountability, transparency and empowering voters for making informed decisions. In the absence of required compliance, the electorate and ECI are deprived of basic factual information in ensuring ECI’s mandate of conducting free, fair and transparent elections. The Commission has evidence of serious financial impropriety, willful attempts for tax evasion and other illegal financial activities against three specific Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs) amounting to fraudulent use of privileges and public trust available to them.

There are 2796 Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPP) as in September, 2021(https://eci.gov.in/files/file/13711-list-of-political-parties-symbol-main-notification- dated23092021/), which is an increase of over 300% since 2001. Every RUPP so registered is required to comply with the following rules/instructions and directions:

1. Section 29Cof RP Act 1951requires a RUPP to furnish a contribution report as prescribed in Form 24 A under Rule 85 B of Conduct of Election Rules 1961.Such contributions received by RUPPs are also 100%exempted from Income Tax as an incentive to the parties for strengthening the electoral democracy.


2. Section 29A(9) mandates every political party to communicate any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, PAN number to the Commission without delay.


3. The political parties are mandated to also furnish Audited Annual Statements, flowing from ECI’s transparency guidelines dated 29/08/2014.Hon’ble Supreme Court in Common Cause vs. UoI & Others (AIR 1996 SC 3081) has upheld the requirement of maintaining audited accounts by the political parties as mandatory and to be strictly enforced. The political parties, therefore, are under a statutory obligation to furnish a return of income for each assessment year to be eligible for exemption from income-tax.


4. The Political Party, [for being registered, as a condition precedent prescribed by ECI under its power under section 29 A (6)] needs to undertake to include in its constitution that it must contest an election conducted by the Election Commission within 5 years of its registration.


5. Further, upon participation in an election, Political Parties are required to furnish their election expenditure statement within 75 days, in case of Assembly elections, and within 90 days, in case of Lok Sabha elections.

  • Out of 2354* RUPPs, over 92% RUPPs have not filed their Contribution Report in 2019
  • 199 RUPPs claimed Rs 445 Cr IT exemption in 2018-19
  • 219 RUPPs claimed Rs 608 Cr IT exemption in 2019-20. Out of these, 66 RUPPs have claimed income tax exemption without submitting contribution reports in Form 24A as mandated under section 29C of the Act.
  • 87RUPPs have been found to be not in existence
  • For the year 2019, 2056 RUPPs have not yet filed their Annual Audited Accounts.
  • In GE 2019, out of 2354 RUPPs only 623 contested elections⁓70% RUPPs did not contest elections**
  • Out of 115 RUPPs (headquartered in the 5 election gone States of Assam, Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu & UT Puducherry) and which contested Assembly elections of 2021, only 15 RUPPs have filed their Election Expenditure Statement till date.

*(https://eci.gov.in/files/file/9787-amendment-notificaiton-list-of-parties-and-symbols-english-dated-01042019/

**(https://eci.gov.in/files/category/1551-general-election-2019-including-vellore-pc/)

The Commission has noted with serious concern that out of total 2796 RUPPs, a large number are neither taking part in electoral process nor adhering to the one or several of the above requirements which is not only violative of statutory requirements but also defeats the purpose of clean electoral ecosystem. In view of the foregoing, the Commission, in discharge of its mandate of ensuring just, free, fair & transparent electoral process hereby directs the following corrective measures:

1. There are 87 RUPPs, whose address of communication, was statutorily required as registration requirement under section 29A(4).Any change in address was required to be communicated to the ECI under section 29A(9), which they have not complied. These RUPPs have been found to be non-existent after a physical verification carried out by the respective Chief Electoral Officers. The names of such non-existent RUPPs shall be deleted from the list of register of unrecognized registered political parties. Any party aggrieved from this, may approach the concerned Chief Electoral Officer/ Election Commission within 30 days of the issue of this direction along with all evidences of existence, other legal and regulatory compliances including year wise annual audited accounts, contribution report, expenditure report, updation of office bearers including authorized signatories for financial transactions (including bank account). The segregated list of such RUPPs shall be sent to respective CEOs and CBDT for requisite action under extant legal framework.

2. 87 such RUPPs, in absence of ensuring remedial measures listed above, render themselves liable to be not entitled to have benefits under the Symbols Order, 1968, including allocation of common symbol.

3. Three RUPPs which have been reported, prima facie to be involved in serious financial impropriety such as incriminating documents related to bogus donation receipts, formation of shell entities, bogus and non-genuine purchases, facilitating accommodation entries, etc., shall be proceeded against under the extant legal/regulatory regime including entitlement to avail the benefits of Symbols Order, 1968. A reference shall be sent to the Department of Revenue, who have reported misuse, for taking all necessary legal and criminal actions against 3 RUPPs, as appropriate under the extant legal framework.

4. It has been reported that income tax exemptions have been taken to the tune of Rs 445 crores in 2018-19 by 199 RUPPs and Rs 608 crores in 2019-20 by 219 RUPPs. Of these, 66 RUPPS have claimed income tax exemption without submitting contribution reports in Form 24A as mandated under section 29C of the Act.

In view of the fact that there are 2174 RUPPs, which have not submitted contribution reports, the list shall be sent to the Department of Revenue for taking all consequential action as per the RP Act 1951 read with the relevant provisions of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and other statutory/regulatory regime including not granting exemption / withdrawing exemption, if already granted/ examining liability of wrongly claiming exemption as the case may be.

5. 2056 RUPPs, which have failed to furnish Annual Audited Account of the concerned financial year, are indicative of gaps in vital financial information including bank account, PAN, authorized signatories pertaining to those RUPPs, statement of assets and liabilities, contributions received details of donors, expenditure, etc. Therefore, CEOs shall put the list of such RUPPS on their respective websites and afford an opportunity to such RUPPs to comply with extant legal and regulatory regime within 30 days. Non-compliance may make such RUPPs not entitled to have benefits under the Symbols Order, 1968, including allocation of common symbol.

6. 100 RUPPs, which have failed to furnish Election Expenditure Statements after the contest of election(s), have violated the directions of Election Commission. They may approach concerned Chief Electoral Officer with full facts within 30 days of the issue of this direction for remedial action, if any, to avoid any consequential action. 

7. All Chief Electoral Officers shall put this order on their websites for compliance and for affording an opportunity to anyone aggrieved by above action. Any RUPP aggrieved by any action under point 8.1 to 8.6 may approach concerned Chief Electoral Officer with full facts within 30 days of the issue of this direction with all evidences inter-alia including proof of existence, other legal and regulatory compliances made till now such as submission of year wise annual audited accounts, contribution report, expenditure report , if any, updation of office bearers including authorized signatories for financial transactions (including bank account) and operations under the Symbols Order 1968, etc.

Order No. 56/pol.parties/2021/PPS-III (Part)/Conf-2022 dated May 25, 2022 can be accessed on https://eci.gov.in/

Press Release dated 25 May 2022, Release Id :-1828251