EPFO bars inquiry against employers in PF cases beyond seven years

According to the EPFO circular, the inquiry against employers cannot be initiated beyond seven years

New Delhi: Retirement fund body Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has tightened the norms for initiation of its inquiries against employers and also set a time bar of seven years for such proceedings, a move which the trade unions have described as anti-worker, reports PTI.
The circular, which was issued by Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) RC Mishra on his last day in office (30th November), seeks to modify the provisions that result in harassment of employers and establishments.
In a worker friendly move, the circular also redefined the meaning of "basic wages" for the purpose of provident fund deductions and said, "All such allowances which are ordinarily, necessarily and uniformly paid to the employees are to be treated as the basic wages.
According to the circular, the inquiry against employers can only be initiated after, "actionable and verifiable information," is placed for consideration before the compliance officers.
The employer, it said, would be required to make available online the complete history of the establishment for the benefit of compliance officers.
The information to be provided should include the amount remitted and the number of employees engaged by the establishment.
The order of assessment to be issued by the EPFO, it said, should be 'speaking order' (with reasoning) and should not suffer from procedural infirmities.
With regard to the time period for initiating inquiry, it said, "no inquiry or investigation shall ordinarily go beyond seven years, i.e., it shall cover the period of default not exceeding preceding seven years." 
The open assessment, inquiries and investigations serve no real purpose the circular said adding, "such inquiries often don't result in identification of beneficiaries and only tend to harass the employers and establishments." 
Opposing the circular, the trade union leaders have decided to press the government for withdrawal of the circular.
"This circular which has time-barred such inquiries is anti-worker and we would Lodge our protest with the Labour Secretary," a EPFO trustee and Secretary Hind Mazoor Sabha AD Nagpal told PTI.
Echoing similar views, another EPFO trustee and Secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) D L Sachdeva said: "We will demand withdrawal of this circular and soon write to Labour Secretary about this."
EPFO has over 50 million subscribers and manages a corpus of over Rs3.5 lakh crore.


Two arrested for duping woman of Rs27 lakh for mobile lottery

The woman received calls on her mobile phone claiming that her mobile number had won prizes, after which she deposited Rs27 lakh in the scamsters account by selling her house

Nashik: Two persons were arrested for allegedly duping a woman of Rs27 lakh on the pretext of giving her prize money won by her mobile number, reports PTI.
Nashik's Tapovan area resident Jaswinder Kaur Jagatransingh Hans, in her police complaint lodged earlier this week, alleged that she had received calls on her mobile phone since October from some persons claiming that her mobile number had won prizes worth Rs25 lakh cash, a five tola gold necklace and a car worth Rs22 lakh.
The accused asked her to deposit the amount for taxes and other expenses in a bank account number given by them following which Jaswinder deposited Rs26.93 lakh in it, by selling her house.
However, when she did not receive the prize money and other things, she lodged a complaint with police.
With the help of her call records, police traced the numbers and arrested two of the accused - Amit Amarendranath Biswas (28) and Mihir Ashutosh Bhattacharya (56) - from Nashik yesterday.
A police team was also sent to Kolkata to trace the other persons based on mobile call records following which two persons - Chanchal Ghosh and Mansukh Ghosh were detained there.
The two would be brought to the city and interrogation of the accused was on to probe the case, police added.



Vaibhav Dhoka

5 years ago

It is pure GREED that is driving cheaters to be in WIN WIN position.There is regular news in papers about such frauds till one falls pray again to these fraudster.

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