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Saturday, Nov 06, 2004

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XLRI proposes EPFO revamp

Nilanjan Dey

Kolkata Nov. 5

XLRI Jamshedpur, mandated by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to suggest reform measures, has proposed sweeping changes in the organisation's structure.

The B-School, which has already sent in its report to the PF authority, has divided its recommendations into two sets, one titled Organisational Restructuring and the other, Cadre Review.

The first, said Dr E.M. Rao, who has coordinated the project on behalf of XLRI, relates to both staff functions (areas such as human resources and legal) and core functions (such as subscriptions).

The report refers to the need to address a number of issues pertaining to the organisation's spread through multi-level offices. In particular it has proposed the creation of offices that are empowered in a far more effective manner. While there should be a certain uniformity of workload, the office that stands at the lowest rung of the structure should also be the one closest to the customer, suggests the report.The second part of the report — Cadre Review — advocates the introduction of variable pay to add value to the existing fixed-pay system to provide better customer satisfaction.

The report's second half will be significant in view of the PF organisation's wide coverage, especially because it will require more skills and knowledge (on the part of its staffers) in order to maintain its standards in future. An improved system of recruitment monitoring will also be important.

The suggestions placed by XLRI are crucial to the growing stature of the organisation in India, particularly because of the Government's willingness to reform it and bring in a more transparent mechanism, Dr Rao, Professor - Personnel Management & Industrial Relations, told Business Line.

XLRI, which started working on the project earlier this year, has sought to proceed with it on the basis of inputs furnished by as many as 2,000 respondents. The mandate, in fact, follows a similar project spearheaded earlier by an outfit affiliated to Siemens, which worked around the central theme named `re-inventing EPF India'.

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