Retirement fund body EPFO has asked its over 120 field offices across the country to ensure that all employers are depositing their PF contributions only through electronic mode by using the Internet banking.
It has been witnessed that despite clear instructions, about Rs 477 crore was deposited in July through cheques, which constitute 4.98 per cent of the total Rs 9,576 crore received as PF dues from employers during the month.
"It is noticed that 46,965 (PF deposits) challans are deposited through cheques...identify the establishments depositing their contributions through cheques and ensure that all collections are received through Internet banking," an order issued by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) headquarters stated.
The Labour Ministry had amended the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 on May 5, 2015, to make it mandatory for employers to pay statutory contribution electronically through Internet banking only. However, EPFO's Central Provident Fund Commissioner allowed the employers to make payment through cheque in case the PF contribution amount was less than Rs 1 lakh in a month up to September 2015.
This relaxation was further extended till December 2015 with direction that from January 1, 2016, it shall be mandatory for all employers to make payments through Internet banking only. Thereafter, EPFO asked its filed officers to allow employers in their jurisdiction to make payment through physical mode after satisfying the genuineness of their problem in making payment electronically for a limited period till June 30, 2016.
An EPFO official said, "There is no provision of making payment of PF contribution through physical mode after June 30, 2016 as per the scheme. Now all employers would have to make payment electronically through Internet banking only."
Unlike earlier, now the employers can choose among 56 banks to open an account to remit PF dues. Earlier, employers were required to open their accounts in State Bank of India to make payments for PF contributions.