EPFO amnesty scheme on for firms to enrol staff with Re 1 fine
Encouraging firms to enrol their workers under schemes run by retirement fund body EPFO, a 3-month campaign has been launched beginning January 1 where employers will get amnesty and pay just Re 1 as damages for not registering their employees earlier.
To be called Enrollment and Establishment coverage campaign 2017, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation will hold meetings with the stakeholders –employer and employee associations and states. The campaign will give wide publicity to the benefits the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) and the Pradhan Mantri Paridhan Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMPRPY).
Besides, online enrolment facilities for workers will form a key feature of the campaign, an official said. Under the scheme, a three-month window will be provided from January 1 to March 31, 2017. It provides for the nominal levy of damages from the establishment for payment of contribution for the past period.
As per the scheme, any employer during the campaign period may send declaration for membership of the employees who were required or entitled to become members of the fund on or after April 1, 2009, but before January 1, 2017, who could not be enrolled for any reason. For the declaration made under this campaign, the employer shall be responsible to remit the contributions and interest payable in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the schemes.
It also provides that no administrative charges will be leviable for the past period in respect of the employees enrolled during the campaign. The necessary amendments will be carried out under the relevant provisions of the Employees' Provident Fund & Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance schemes.
The official said the interest of workers enrolled under the campaign will be fully protected and they shall be eligible to get all eligible interest and benefits as laid down in the schemes run by the EPFO.
In order to have uniform and nominal rate of levy of damages of Re 1 per annum, the government has inserted an enabling provision under para 32(a) of the EPF Scheme 1952 and under para (5) of Employees Pension Scheme, 1995, and para 8-A of EDLI Scheme, 1976. It was notified on December 30, 2016.
The official said the scheme will meet the twin objectives of increasing the enrolment, extending social security benefits to all workers and reducing litigation.