There may be substantial sums of money in your EPFO account even after withdrawal or settlement of your claim. Here’s a quick rundown on how you can claim unaccounted EPFO money
In the ongoing crusade to find out more about the way the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) really works, I have been contacted by present, ex-employees and several others who are proving to be a great source of information, as long as their identities are kept confidential.
You can read the earlier piece on EPFO here.
One interesting fact that has been reconfirmed concerns those who have withdrawn their Provident Fund (PF) money as part of a claim, at any time in the past, literally from the inception of the EPFO onwards. It seems that the EPFO had an interesting way of calculating the balance and interest. They often accounted for money in your accounts till the end of the previous financial year only. Anything after that by way of interest earned, or contributions deposited by your employers, was kept in your account or in a suspense account of some sort. This is where it either languished forever, or was quietly siphoned out. There are several reasons for this:
To give an example, let us say your last date of service was 30 June 2005. By the time you claimed for settlement of both EPFO contributions and pension it was anytime between end 2005 and early 2006, maybe even later. Your forms were, as usual, pre-receipted blank.
This is what, most likely, would have happened:
Viewed dispassionately, and taking into account the manual calculations of the “least loss to EPFO” sort, it is not surprising that there are varying sums of money in EPFO accounts that by rights have had claimants already go through ‘settlements’. As of now, they continue to also earn interest and in all likelihood also remain tax-free on principal and interest earned. The interest earning element will discontinue if there has been no fresh contribution for three years.
If you are, or have been, an EPFO claimant, or are a direct heir/nominee of an EPFO claimant, what do you need to do?
Currently, the EPFO, in its wisdom, does not have a specific form for this sort of a secondary claim. It has been suggested by ex-employees that you file the relevant Form 19 (if the contributor is alive) or Form 20 (if contributor is deceased/incapable) and enclose a copy of the information on balance received by RTI application, along with a simple letter explaining why this is being claimed again. If the relevant EPFO office rejects the claim, then file it on the EPFO HQ by registered post and follow up using a judicious mix of the public grievance portal (http://pgportal.gov.in/) as well as an RTI query.
(Veeresh Malik had a long career in the Merchant Navy, which he left in 1983. He has qualifications in ship-broking and chartering, loves to travel, and has been in print and electronic media for over two decades. After starting and selling a couple of companies, is now back to his first love—writing.)
The move may also help balance trade imbalances as gold import has been jacking up trade deficit which in turn increases current account deficit
Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is in talks with the Finance Ministry for launching inflation-indexed bonds, which can help reduce physical demand for gold, its Deputy Governor HR Khan said, reports PTI.
The move can also help balance trade imbalances as gold import has been jacking up trade deficit which in turn increases current account deficit.
"We are talking to the Finance Ministry to launch inflation-linked bonds, which can help reduce the demand for physical gold," Khan told the FICCI-organised Asian Financial Cooperation Conference.
The move can also help arrest imported inflation in the light of the steep fall in the rupee. Typically, according to experts, a 10% fall in the rupee leads to a 100 basis points or 1 percentage point spike in inflation.
The rupee has lost nearly 7% this fiscal after losing nearly 18 percent in the last calendar year.
It can be noted that last year the country imported 969 tonne gold, which contributed to record current account deficit of 4.2%.
This year, however, there is some taming in gold import demand and according to the World Gold Council, this is likely to slide to 800 tonnes, thus losing the years of gold-demand dominance to China by a whisker this year.
Both the RBI and the government have been taking steps to reduce gold demand through a series of measures.
As gold imports touched a record high last year, pushing up the current account deficit to a historic high of 4.2% in the year, the Reserve Bank has unveiled a slew of curbs on gold purchase and financing.
This spike in gold demand was in spite of the record price rally that metal witnessed last fiscal. .
In April, the RBI brought down the loan to value or LTV that gold loan companies could offer to just 60% of the market value, from a high of 85-90%. In the 30th October credit policy, the RBI banned banks from offering loans to gold loan companies and NBFCs for buying gold.
The government on its part had increased the import duty on gold in the Budget.
RBI had also advised banks to not extend loans for purchase of gold.
Addressing the annual banking conference in Pune last Saturday, another deputy governor Subir Gokarn had said there was an urgent need to "dematerialise" gold like any other financial product, which could help reduce physical imports of the precious metal that is in turn leading to the current macroeconomic stress.
"High gold import is creating some macroeconomic stresses and so the challenge is to find ways to replicate the financial characteristics of gold without necessarily causing physically importing," Gokarn had said.
Gokarn had also said an RBI working group head by KUB Rao would shortly submit a report on the ways to deal with the problem arising from high gold imports on the macroeconomic front in the form of balance of payments.
Gokarn had said while global gold output has stayed stable at around 4,000 tonne per year, domestic consumption has doubled to 1,000 tonne annually since 1999, despite a massive rally in the prices.
Last fiscal there was a 39% rise in gold imports and in gross terms, constituting 80% of the CAD of 4.2% of GDP. Net gold import constituted 1.8-2.4% of GDP.
Police arrested two hackers from Noida for allegedly duping several persons of Rs72 lakh through internet banking
Noida: A police team from Hyderabad has arrested two hackers from Noida for allegedly duping several persons to the tune of Rs72 lakh through internet banking, reports PTI.
The accused, identified as Jalaludin and Shobit, have confessed to their involvement in the crimes, an official said.
The duo was taken to Sector-20 police station here before being taken to Hyderabad.
Their location was traced by the police team through electronic surveillance and cyber connectivity details, they said.