Bonus Act will make workers produce more, Govt tells India Inc
The Government has incentivised job creation by pegging the employees provident fund (EPF) contribution rate at 8.3 per cent for new employees, Minister of State for Labour & Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said on Monday.
Addressing the 82nd Annual General Meeting of the All India Organisation of Employers (AIOE) at the Ficci headquarters here, he stated, “This has been done in view of the need to create 1 crore jobs by next year.”
The government’s decision to implement the Payment
of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, which doubled monthly bonus calculation maximum to Rs7,000 retrospectively, was “perfectly correct”, he added. “It (the bonus) is an incentive. If theworker gets an incentive, then more production will come. It is in the interest of both theemployee and the employer. Industry should welcome it.”
The minister also promised that the Government would come out with all clarifications in the High Court where industry has challenged this decision and got a stay on it.
“They have the liberty to go to courts. Whatever clarification has to be given, we will give. It is up to the court to decide. But this Act, which is amended, is perfectly correct,” Dattatreya told reporters after the programme.
The government notified the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, on January 1, 2016. The provisions of the new Bill came into force from April 1, 2014.
It was passed in the winter session of Parliament last year. It had been one of the demands of unions during the nationwide strikes in February 2013 and September 2015.
The Act increases the eligibility limit to Rs 21,000 from Rs 10,000 per month and the calculation ceiling from Rs 3,500 to Rs 7,000 or the minimum wage for the scheduled employment as fixed by the state concerned, whichever is higher.
Inoperative EPF accounts have `43,000 cr, to receive interest
About Rs 43,000 crore is lying in inoperative Employees' Provident Fund accounts and interest would be credited to such accounts, government said on Monday. Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya told Lok Sabha that 118.66 lakh claims were settled by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in 2015-16, adding that 98 per cent of them were settled within 20 days. "There is around Rs 43,000 crore in inoperative (EPF) accounts," Dattatreya said during Question Hour.
Listing the steps taken, the Minister said it has been recently decided to credit interest to the inoperative accounts. Emphasising that there is lot of confusion about inoperative and unclaimed accounts, he said the government has launched the initiative for one member, one EPF account. EPFO has allotted Universal Account Number (UAN) for portability and consolidation of all previous accounts.