EPFO covers 100,000 J&K workers since November2 min read . Updated: 22 Jan 2020, 11:14 PM IST
- Around 1,750 establishments are now under the central EPFO Act and the organization aims to cover 3,000 establishments over the next couple of months
- EPFO provides good interest rate and the organization has also done away with physical submission for PF deposits and withdrawals
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has covered 100,000 employees from Jammu and Kashmir in less than three months since it started operations.
Around 1,750 establishments are now under the central EPFO Act and the organization aims to cover 3,000 establishments over the next couple of months. EPFO, which is controlled by the labour ministry, covers establishments with 20 or more employees, but was not in operation in J&K because of its special status. It started operating in the region in November 2019 after Article 370 of the Constitution was abrogated. In J&K, however, EPFO covers establishments with 10 or more employees, a decision taken to ensure a wide base of establishments, said Prasant K., the regional PF commissioner in charge of the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
The labour ministry has told EPFO to play a role in integrating the region with the rest of India through better pension coverage, higher insurance, and interest rate, and less social security costs.
“Labour minister Santosh Gangwar had a meeting with us in Jammu and asked us to play a role in integrating the region with rest of India through wider social security coverage and by ensuring benefits to people," said Prasant.
The earlier state social security Act did not have provision for pension, but formal sector workers who are now EPFO subscribers will enjoy the pension benefit as they attain the age of 58, provided they make regular PF contributions for 10 years, said Prasant. Such members will also be eligible for family/orphan pension in case of the death of the member and disablement pension in case a member becomes disabled during the service period, according to EPFO rules.
“The pension benefit is a huge advantage and establishments are now cooperating about coming under EPFO," Prasant said.
As the central EPFO Act has replaced the other Act in the region, Jammu and Kashmir Bank is in the process of transferring around ₹5,000 crore of social security savings (to the central PF fund), EPFO authorities said.
The organization is focusing on key benefits such as less administrative cost in joining EPFO, leading to reduction in employee cost of companies, pension benefit for workers, and the assured insurance EPF brings to the table, as part of the steps taken by the organization to reach out to workers and establishment, said the regional commissioner. EPFO provides good interest rate and the organization has also done away with physical submission for PF deposits and withdrawals, EPFO told employers in the region.