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Important News: Tougher EPFO norms for employees

EPFO News

This is for information to employees of India.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization, which manages lifetime savings of 6.15 crore individuals, has just made life tougher for workers.

NEW DELHI: The EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization), which manages lifetime savings of 6.15 crore individuals, has just made life tougher for workers. Employees will now have to prove that their employers deducted the statutory dues while giving them salaries, a move that will further benefit construction companies and contractors in particular who often claim that they have paid salaries to thousands of workers without actually transferring it.

What is going to add to the woes is EPFO’s decision to limit investigations into allegations of default only if it is for the past seven years. “It has been observed that open-ended assessment, inquiries and investigations serve no real purpose. Moreover, such inquiries often do not result in the identification of beneficiaries and only tend to harass the employers and establishments. It is accordingly directed that no inquiry or probe shall ordinarily go beyond seven years that is, it shall cover the period of default not exceeding preceding seven financial years. It is to be ensured that compliance actions are initiated in time and there is normally no reason for extending the scope of investigation and assessment inquiry beyond previous seven financial years,” central PF commissioner R C Mishra said in a circular issued on November 30, the day he superannuated.

While trade unions are protesting against the move, the same six-page circular also has a clause on lump-sum assessments dealing with establishments that hire “workers of migratory nature” on short-term project-based employment, a reference largely to the construction and real estate sector.

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