India trails in provident fund coverage: Official

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 06, 2013 18:37 hrs

Only nine crores out of 39 crore people who are employed in India are covered under the Emplyees Provident Fund Act, said a senior government official on Wednesday.

Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner A.M.Raju made the comment at a seminar organized by the Indian Chambers of commerce (ICC) on Wednesday on "EPF Compliance - a tech enabled advantage for Employers" in association with the West Bengal government, here.

Besides Raju; Regional Provident Fund Commissioner N.C.Poddar; Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, S.K.Gupta; Past President of ICC, J.P.Chowdhury and Director General of ICC, Rajeev Singh were participants at the seminar.

A M Raju expressed concerns over the future security of the employees as only 9 crores out of 39 crores people are covered under the Emplyees´ Provident Fund Act.

He said, "The smallest economies like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, have 80 percent greater social security compliance than India. We really have to think about it."

To overcome the problems Raju recommended two ways- firstly, he wanted all the details of employees (including PF details) to be generated online and secondly he urged the government to take note of contractual labourers who are not getting much benefit to ensure their future security. Eventually they are not being able to play a role in the economy, he said.

Raju asserted that even H.R Professionals are being outsourced now-a-days.

S K Gupta notified that the average grievance settlement rate in the 16 East Zone offices is 93 percent. The average single day settlement rate in his office is 10-15 percent.

He said: "Grievance claims were given even in 3 days in his Park Street office."

Gupta informed that the Government plans to incorporate changes to bring some parity in the system. It has initiated a move in which data sent through Electronic Challan Cum Returns (ECR) software, is directly updated in the system.

J.P.Choudhury said, "We strongly feel that priority should be accorded to provide coverage to those not covered till now."

Rajeev Singh said, "ICC is looking at the ways to solve the crisis of simplification of P.F inspection procedure."

N.C.Poddar solved many queries of the employers, present at the seminar.

(Reporting by Gourab Gupta)

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