EPFO Concentrates on Workers in Construction Sector
Student-Trainees not Employees for Purpose of EPF & MP act, 1952.
Addressing the concerns voiced by the Standing Committee on Labour, a drive for ensuring compliance in respect of Public Sector Undertakings has been initiated. Special emphasis is laid on extension of the benefits of the Act and schemes to the eligible employees working in PSUs like Bombay Port Trust, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, BSNL, MTNL, ONGC, NHAI, Indian railways and CPWD. Likewise, the extension of benefits to the workers engaged in the construction industry has also been the focus of the organization this month and a strategy has been firmed up to initiate formal interaction with CPSUs, SPSUs and other state govt. departments and trade unions with a view to bring all the eligible employees engaged in the industry under the ambit of the Act so that social security benefits are extended to all of them.
The month of October also saw a slight modification in the constitution of the Central Board of Trustees (EPF) as Shri Balasubrahmanyam Kamarsu has been nominated to the Board as an employers’ representative against the vacancy arising out the demise of Dr. Ram Tarneja. The Sub Committees on Contract Workers, Pension and EDLI Implementation Committee, Finance, Investment and Audit Committee of CBT, EPF were also reconstituted.
Vigilance Awareness Week (26 to 30th October 2015) was celebrated in all the offices of the organisation across the country. This year, going beyond undertaking activities within the office, an effort was made to sensitize young minds to vigilance and corruption related issues by organizing speech competitions, discussions at schools and colleges in many cities like Delhi, Coimbatore, Kolkata, Faridabad, etc.
With a view to popularize Jeevan Pramaan Patra (Online Life Certificate) instructions have been issued to the field offices of the organisation to equip reception counters of the field offices with biometric devices and PC with Jeevan Pramaan Patra software installed for the ease and convenience of EPS pensioners. EPF helpdesk in major pension disbursing bank branches are also being contemplated. It is also decided to organize mobile camps in selected areas for enabling EPS pensioners to upload their life certificates.
In a major step, the organization has clarified those student trainees who are paid stipend during on the job training while pursuing course in technical /professional educational institutions would not come under the definition of employee for the purpose of EPF &MP Act. This removes the ambiguity surrounding the eligibility of such student-trainees for enrolling as members of the Fund and is expected to bring about greater clarity among employers and also reduce litigations.
In a major step to assess the position of the accounting procedures in EPFO, it was decided to have a study conducted on the accounts issues of organization. It was also decided that Inoperative Accounts of less than Rs. 1,000 shall be transferred to the reserve account.
The organization has settled more than 70 lakh claims in the current fiscal and 42% of the same has been settled within 03 days while 80% has been settled within 10 days and 97% within the mandated 20 days. Likewise grievance redressal has also been progressing at a brisk pace and more than 18,000 grievances were settled in the month of October alone.