GUWAHATI: The Employees ’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), North Eastern Zone, has launched a default management campaign with an aim to ensure regular deposit of PF by public and private sector employers.
Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner (Headquarters) KL Goyal while addressing a press conference here on Monday, said the list generated by the Central Intelligence and Analysis Unit of EPFO in New Delhi every month finds around 3,000 PF defaulters in the North East. He said if an employer does not deposit PF contribution by the 15th day of every moth his or her organization is put in the defaulter's list.
“We earnestly appeal to all employers to co-operate and comply with provisions of the EPF & MP Act, 1952 and pay PF contributions before the due date every month. This would avoid coercive actions which include attachments of bank accounts and properties of the employers, the arrest of employers and their detention in civil prison besides recovery of penal damages and interest on delayed payment of dues,” he said.
Goyal appreciated the Regional PF Commissioner-I, Guwahati P. Hangsing for his constant efforts and persuasion forcing the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) to pay a huge amount of PF dues (Rs 44 crore) to the EPFO. He said the ASTC which did not deposit the PF contributions for several years, has so far paid around Rs 27 crore.
According to Goyal, the list of defaulting establishments is being prepared and the top 10 in the defaulters’ list will be provided to media.
The EPFO, NE Zone, comprising the seven states in the region has approximately 30,931 covered establishments out of which only 7,579 establishments are regularly contributing establishments. During 2018-19 around 5,671 new establishments were enrolled while the current fiscal year (2019-20) has brought 3,156 new establishments under the coverage of EPFO, NE Zone. The variation in the number of establishments is due to the predominance of the contractual natures of establishments which are active for a specific period or project duration and on completion of the same such contractors disappear.
Goyal added that the EPFO is gearing up all its field officers to identify the establishments which are evading the PF scheme and cover them for providing social security benefit to their employees. He said employees have to contribute 12 per cent of their salaries with an equal contribution from the employers, in their PF account which earns interest at the rate of 8.65 per cent on their PF accumulation. The EPFO provides pension (monthly) to the families in case of death of employees and insurance (without any premium from employee) up to Rs 6 lakh in case of death in service. In case of retirement, pension is also payable to the employees who have contributed to PF/pension for at least 10 years with one employer or different employers without withdrawing the previous accumulation.
Goyal said various measures including complete digitalization have been initiated so that PF members need not visit EPF offices. It has curtailed the possibility of corruption and eased the members in getting their claims and advances settled. Facility for self-generation of UAN (Universal Account Number) online is also helping in the reduction of PF evasion in establishments already registered under the EPF & MP Act, 1952, he said.
“For better online services to employees, they are advised to link their Aadhaar, PAN and bank account with UAN and provide a mobile number for SMS facility,” Goyal said. He added that the online PF claims received are settled within three days while it takes seven days to settle death claims.