Draft Central Bill on Road safety

Dear Friends,

Please consider sending our group’s comments on the subject bill to the ministry.
My preliminary comments: ( Detailed comments require in depth study)

The bill deals with constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights to life, free and safe mobility, equality before law and inclusiveness.

Vehicle worthy and pedestrian worthy roads are as important, if not more, as road worthy vehicles. The bill lacks in enough focus on pedestrian safety.

Pedestrian infrastructure includes well maintained public sanitary facilities, to keep environment clean and safe for all, not just prevention of vehicular pollution. Municipal garbage boxes / heavy bins / houses which mostly affect the pedestrians, should be removed / demolished from Road sides. Garbage vehicles should move the trash ( appropriately segregated right at the sources) straight from the source to the recycling units / appropriately designed landfills.

Enforcing Air quality standards is part of right to life.

Foot paths and gaps in road dividers should be wheel chair friendly. It should be recognized that he needs of dumb and deaf are different from the needs of people with sight defects – blindness and color blindness. 305-page document should give details of inclusive safety measures.

Villages /Towns along National and State Highways should have local citizens’ committees on Road safety. Respective Transport authorities should convene meetings of such committees on yearly basis without fail and as per seasonal needs. Panchayaths and Municipal wards along village/ city roads should have ward representation in all activities from Road design to O,M&E (with reference to pedestrian facilities and quality of Road construction).

(310) Offences relating to visibility.
USING DIPPER IN THE NIGHT (DIM/DIP) INORDER NOT TO AFFECT THE VISION OF THOSE COMING IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION SHOULD BE MADE COMPULSORY AND NOT DOING SO SHOULD BE TREATED AS A PUNISHABLE OFFENCE. Appropriate mechanisms need to be defined for the same. Right in Delhi, majority of Drivers don’t dim/dip !

(182) City Safety and Traffic Management Improvement Program
MOTORISED VEHICLES MEANT FOR PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED PERSONS – SAFETY,VISIBILITY, SAFE DISTANCE need special mention.

CHAPTER II: Vehicle Regulation and Road Safety Authority of India

(5) Composition of the National Authority and selection committee
(24) Composition of the State Safety Authority.
25) Selection committee for appointing the Chairperson and the members of the State Safety

Authority.
Representation of Civil Society Organisations on National and State Authorities and selection committees will be part of the inclusiveness the bill intends to focus on.

Accidents
Those who take accident victims to Hospitals should not be required to visit Police Stations and Courts. They may be requested to give their addresses to the Hospital / Police, if present at the hospital.

They may be visited by the representatives of Government and/or Police station for obtaining any additional information. Hospital expenses in all accident cases, not just the Golden hour expenses, should be borne by either Insurance Companies or paid for from The National Road Accident Fund. Victims of accidents or their kith and kin should not be made to pay.

Accident claims (Compensation) need to be settled within six months of the accident. The affected parties can go to the Court within two months from the date of accepting the payment from Insurance / Government. All court cases related to such compensation should be concluded within six months from the date of filing the case.

(312) Railroad Crossing Offences
In a globalized India, having unmanned Rail-Road crossings is an anachronism. Many accidents take place in several states at unmanned Rail-Road crossings. Both the Ministries of Road transport and Railways should modernize all such crossings and related signaling system within two years.

(316) Failure to comply with standards for road design, construction & maintenance
Please see the suggestion under (338)

(321) Power to arrest without warrant.
Citizens have a right to arrest the Traffic rule violators or those whose actions resulted in accidents till police arrive at the spot and take the violator into custody.

(338) Co-operative Citizen Enforcement [Refer to (316) and sections dealing with M&E frameworks]
Yearly mandatory social audit of the status of Pedestrian infrastructure and quality of roads which includes ground truth verification of utilization of O&M allocations both at State and Central levels.

Thanks
Udayashankar

Posted in Pedestrian safety | 5 Comments

INCLUSIVE ROADS Drive by BLIND WOMEN

INCLUSIVE ROADS Drive by BLIND WOMEN

We don’t say, make a different way for us. We want you to use roads rightly so that we can use them too’. That was the theme of the INCLUSIVE ROADS AWARENESS DRIVE by Blind women of NAB India, Hauz Khas, Rotary Club of Delhi South Metropolitan & Socio Research & Reform Foundation (NGO)-SRRF at Janpath-Tolstoy Marg intersection and the adjacent pavements today (13th September 2014) which was amazingly well received.

People listened to blind women, vacated the pavements, recesded from zebra crossings, waited for lights, to cross…phone 414

The motorists listened to our inclusive roads volunteers and accepted to move back from zebra crossing quite easily…. but most shocked were pedestrians….they just had never noticed the presence of a light for pedestrians… were so shocked to be stopped by our volunteers.

The blind women walking on pavements had to literally fight with some encroachers to leave the walkways barrier free as encroaching vendors have never considered this as a right of pedestrians. But looking at blind women they had to give way as the white canes ahead of the women would spoil their merchandise. Shopkeepers were surprised at smart blind women on streets walking independently demanding their right to walking space.

The Traffic police men were very pleasantly thankful to these blind women as they feel motorists don’t listen to them so easily while they were immediately moved by the polite courage of blind women to walk up and request. White Canes proved powerful!!

But the infrastructure on roads is the main spoil sport. Some dividers on the road just don’t have space to walk for blind people leave aside for a wheel chair. The signals could easily have beepers for blind persons to cross independently. Worst were buses which have GPS sound systems but never put them on as there are no orders…and the blind people keep requesting for fellow passengers to inform about their stop but mostly they are never told and have to travel for hours beyond their own stops.

The DRIVE will arrive at all major crossings wherever there is mayhem, every month. We thank our IIT, SRRF and Rotary Club of Delhi South Metropolitan volunteers.

SHALINI KHANNA
HONY. SECY.
NAB INDIA CENTRE FOR BLIND WOMEN AND DISABILITY STUDIES
L-25, Haus Khas Enclave, New Delhi-110 016
011-41656266; nabindiacbw@hotmail.com

Posted in Pedestrian safety | Tagged | 1 Comment

Can balance funds of project be returned to foreign source from fcra by bank transfer

Dear Friends,

Can balance funds of project be returned to foreign source from fcra bank account via wire transfer.

Kindly advise.

Thanks,
Regards,
Arvind Balamkar
Finance Associate
for TeachForIndia

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 4 Comments

Payment to All India Radio from FC Funds

Following query received form Ms. Surabhi Agarwal:

Dear Sir,

Greetings

We have planned a programme on Violence against women and wish to broadcast this on All India Radio. Please suggest whether this activity can be done through FC grants.

Regards

Surbhi Agrawal

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 6 Comments

Payment of TDS through local account

Dear Sir,

We pay TDS as mentioned below in three steps:

1. TDS deducted in FCRA books of a/c and paid through FCRA designated bank a/c into a local account.

2. TDS deducted in Local books of a/c paid through non-FCRA bank a/c into a another local account.

3. TDS is finally paid from local account to government (either through online payment or physically (cheque) to a bank through single challan for each section (such as 194J, 194C, 194I, 194C)

Please clear whether it is ok to pay from FCRA bank account to Local bank account to pay TDS, since it is not a expenses and is directly traceable to payment of a statutory obligation.

Thanks & regards

S P Gupta

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 8 Comments

Would bank interest be treated as Income of a NGO

Dear Dialogue members,

I have a query regarding the income calculation of NGOs while calculating the tax liabilities. Please let me know “if the interest received on the bank deposits/ fixed deposits in an NGOs bank account should be calculated as income of the organization”? Thanks a lot for your support and guidance

Archana Kumari

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 7 Comments

Is donor entitled to insist on conditions?

Dear Friends,
Would like to understand the Legal/Statutory basis of a donor NGO, insisting from the Donee NGO
1) Registration under 12 A to receive the Grant
2) Expecting an Auditor Certified Utilisation Certificate for financial closure of the Support.
Would the donor agency actually face problems and legal issues or this is just a control mechanism to avoid a situation of vicarious liability.  Grants would be provided/received as advances  and in instalments.
regards,
R K Devar
Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 9 Comments

Treatment of FC / LC Accounts under Training programmes

Dear Friends,

One Indian Nodal Agency (first recipient) gave foreign funds to another NGO with FCRA (second recipient) for some specified project. The second recipient attended two training courses – one conducted by the first recipient and the second training course by another NGO without FCRA. The second recipient paid course fees from out of the foreign funds to both the first recipient and another NGO without FCRA. The questions are:

1. Should the first recipient credit the course fee into his FC Bank Account and show the course fee in his FC Account Books? OR Can he take it into his local account?

2. Is it wrong on the part of the second recipient to pay course fee from out of foreign funds to a Non-FCRA-NGO? Will the non-FCRA-NGO be taken to task by MHA for accepting foreign funds in the form of course fee?

Udayashankar

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 6 Comments

Difficulties in FCRA approval

Dear Dialogue Members,
 
We are the Miracle Foundation India that supports children’s homes in India.  We have previously filed and received two prior permissions.  However, it is over a year and half  since our 3rd prior permission has not been approved.  We are registered as a Section 25 NGO. We have also recently passed our 3 year mark and as such are eligible to receive FCRA. 
 
We have received a letter stating that our donor-done names are same (similar words as US organization).  Secondly we have been told (not in writing) that in order to receive approval it would be necessary to change the ownership percentage to India majority owned.  
 
Our question is whether any other NGO has been successful in receiving approval by changing to a majority ownership by the India NGO.  
 
We also are concerned because we do not want to change the name of the organization as it will dilute our brand.  
 
What would be the recommendation of other members on the path we should take in order  to move our FCRA application forward? We are concerned if we do not have action on this that our support for the destitute children will be at risk.  
Thank you & regards
 
Nivedita DasGupta
India Country Head
Miracle Foundation India
A-149 Shivalik
New Delhi 110017
Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 8 Comments

In View of CSR would foreign controlled Indian companies still be treated as foreign source?

Dear Sir,

Many companies in India have foreign shareholding more than 50% due to liberalization of FDI policy. These would be “foreign source” as per section 2(1)(vi) of FCRA. Receipt of donation/contribution by NGO (not registered under FCRA) directly or indirectly by these Indian subsidiaries of Foreign Companies are presently violation of FCRA. Sec. 52 of FCRA states that applicability of FCRA is in addition to any other law in force for the time being.

Clause (iv) of circular No.21/2014 dated 18-6-2014 issued by MCA indicates that Expenditure incurred by Foreign Holding Company for CSR activities in India will qualify as CSR spend of the Indian subsidiary if, the CSR expenses are routed through Indian Subsidiaries and if the Indian Subsidiary is required to do so as per Section 135 of the Companies Act.

In this changed scenario, can one interpret that NGO (without FCRA registration) can receive donation/contributions from Indian Subsidiary of a Foreign Company, without any prior permission from Ministry of Home Affairs?

Looking forward to your considered opinion in this regard.

Thanks & regards,

Rajakumar K

Posted in FCRA, TAX, LEGAL | 9 Comments