Retirement
EPFO wants to settle PF claims in three days
EPFO is also introducing a facility where claimants would be able to apply online for transfer and withdrawal of their PF from 1st July
 
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is planning to claims like transfer and withdrawal of provident fund within three days. The move from the retirement fund body will benefit over one crore such claimants every year.
 
EPFO, in order to give effect to the proposal of expeditious settlement of claims has called a meeting of all zonal heads on 5th July.
 
Quick settlement of claims, EPFO said in an officer order, “was necessary to improve the image of the organisation.”
 
The body is expecting 1.2 crore claims in the current fiscal and hopes that if around 70% of those are settled in three days, then about 84 lakh claimants would be benefited.
 
EPFO has already launched a pendency clearance drive to settle all claims received before 15th June this year. As many as 5.38 lakh claims were pending as on 11 June 2013.
 
“ ...in 2012-13, the body has settled 1.08 crore claims, out of which 12.62 lakh claimants were dissatisfied as their claims were not settled within 30 days. Moreover 1.41 lakh claims not settled even after 90 days has brought down the image of the EPFO amongst our members,” the order stated.
 
It further said, “...customers expect change in the mindset from 30 days (maximum period for settlement of claims) to at least three days in computerised era for withdrawing their own money.”
 
EPFO is setting up a central clearance house which will be operational on July 1. This will enable subscribers to apply online for settlement of withdrawal and transfer of funds claims.
 

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Saradha chit fund scam: HC says no to CBI probe
Several PILs were filed seeking CBI probe into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam 
 
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to grant the prayer for an investigation by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.
 
Passing an order on public interest litigations (PILs) seeking CBI probe into the scam, a division bench comprising justice AK Banerjee and justice MK Chaudhuri refused the prayer at this stage.
 
The bench, however, kept the matter pending, while passing some directions to the State on the modus operandi of investigation, which is at present being done by the West Bengal police.
 
The division bench had appointed amicus curiae in the PILs, who had said that there was no need for a CBI probe at this stage and that the state investigation agency be allowed to continue its investigations.
 
Amicus curiae Lakshmi Gupta, appointed by the court to assist it, said that the petitions might not be disposed of so that if anyone was aggrieved at any stage, could come before the Bench.
 

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BP seeks compensation from oil ministry for KG basin block
About 70% of the 1,949 square kilometres of the block falls in an area where DRDO and Navy exercises are conducted and has been classified as “Impact Zone” where oil and gas operations are not possible, BP said
 
UK’s BP plc has asked the Indian petroleum ministry to compensate for a Krishna Godavari basin block that it is being forced to surrender after defence ministry restrictions made oil and gas exploration impossible.
 
BP along with Reliance Industries had won the deep-sea KG-DWN-2005/2 or KG-D17 block in the seventh round of auction under New Exploration Licencing Policy (NELP) in 2008.
 
About 70% of the 1,949 square kilometres of the block falls in an area where DRDO and Navy exercises are conducted and has been classified as “Impact Zone” where oil and gas operations are not possible, BP wrote to the oil ministry on 27th May.
 
The block, it said, has “practically become a ‘No-Go’ zone for continuous exploration and subsequent development activities thereby preventing contractors from carrying out petroleum operations.”
 
BP vice-president (exploration) Alistair JA Bent wrote that the company appreciated that ministry of defence requirements for testing and carrying out exercises have led to the introduction of significant risk and high uncertainly beyond the control of contractors.
 
“We would therefore be prepared to relinquish the KG-DWN-2005/2 (KG-D17) block, but are happy to discuss possible options in lieu of such relinquishment,” BP said.
 
BP had written a similar letter in April.
 
Since the block size is small, flexibility to make any design changes to mitigate the impact of defence ministry requirements was severely restricted, it said.
 
BP said the block was in early stages of exploration and “any further exploration operations will be constrained as they need to be managed with respect to Naval and DRDO testing and exercises.”
 
“Even if any hydrocarbons are discovered, those cannot be produced as contractors (RIL-BP) would be prohibited from installing any permanent infrastructure in support of petroleum operation,” it added.
 
BP said due to the restrictions it will not be able to meet the minimum work commitment it had given at the time of winning the block.
 
The company had committed to do 2D and 3D seismic survey of the entire block.
 
“However, we are willing to consider an option to carry out a similar level of activities if equivalent new acreage is given in a mutually agreed area for exploration,” Bent wrote.
 
Previously, Cairn India had told the oil ministry that a large part of its KG basin block has become operationally infeasible because of new limitations imposed.
 
Cairn on 26th April wrote to the ministry that 35% of its KG-OSN-2009/3 block is “No-Go” area, which runs right through the block, leaving small portions on either side for exploration.
 

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