New Delhi, Feb 10 : A Parliamentary panel has recommended that Employees' Provident Fund Organisation take stringent penal action against those employers who have not been depositing the PF contribution deducted from wages of the employee in the PF account, while simultaneously defaulting on their own contribution as well.
The report of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, chaired by Kirit Somaiya and consisting of 21 members from the Lok Sabha and 10 members from the Rajya Sabha, has recommended that EPFO take stringent penal action in the remaining 1,573 cases to discourage employers from indulging in fraudulent activities.
It also recommended displaying the list of such defaulters on the web portal of the Ministry.
‘’The Committee view this deliberate oversight on the part of the employer very seriously as due to this, the worker is unjustly being denied his due,’’ the committee said in its recommendations.
It noted that penal actions include recovery, levy of damages as well as interest, prosecution, attachment of property and arrest.
The Committee recommended that the Ministry issue directions to the EPFO to take stringent penal action against rest of the 1573 complaints early so as to discourage those employers who indulge in such fraudulent activities under the existing EPF and MP Act of 1952 and desired that a list of defaulters should also be displayed on the website of the Ministry or EPFO.
It opined that the Government should take a policy decision to pay such workers, who
are yet to get their statutory benefits of PF and ESI since long due to the default of the employers, through deposit from the fixed asset or deposit of crores still lying with the appropriate authorities.
While appreciating the various measures initiated by the Ministry of Labour and Employment in improving labourers’ physical and financial performance, the Standing Committee on Labour felt that a lot more needed to be done to ensure optimum utilisation of sanctioned funds and full achievement of physical targets and reiterated their recommendation that the Ministry improve their implementation mechanism so as to considerably improve their financial and physical performance.
The Committee desired that the Ministry look into this vexed issue afresh and work upon the Committee's original recommendation in real earnest.
On the Ministry’s submission, in response to the Committee's query regarding increase in pension amount, that the Employee Pension Scheme is a self sustaining fund and there are no plans for enhancing the monthly pension of Rs 1,000 due to the financial implications, the Committee said, 'This a too meager an amount which will not be able to fulfill even the basic monthly needs and requirements of a pensioner.’’
In this regard, it recommended that the Government undertake an assessment of the pensioners and based on the result, consider revision of the amount accordingly.(UNI)