Inoperative or unclaimed deposits with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) increased nine-fold to ₹2,948.11 crore in 2011-12 from ₹332.14 crore in 2006-07, says a CAG report tabled in Parliament recently.

Urging the retirement fund body to minimise the incidence of inoperative and unclaimed accounts, the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report said the sharp increase in such accounts indicated that the EPFO “did not exercise adequate control on timely refund or transfer of deposits to subscribers”. The EPFO recently facilitated online transfer of accounts.

The CAG report noted that 8.53 per cent of the total of 8.55-crore accounts were inoperative as on March 2012. The number of such accounts zoomed to over 73 lakh in 2011-12 from over 25 lakh in 2006-07.

The report also found 81,531 cases in seven States where funds received were not transferred to regional offices.

In West Bengal (regional office Kolkata) alone, the contribution of ₹665.63 crore received from 4,955 establishments during the 2006-12 period was yet to be transferred (as of January 2013) to the regional office of the depositors’ new employers, it said.

Defaulting employers

It also noted that employers of exempted establishments in Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Kerala failed to deposit PF contributions worth ₹129.20 crore to the respective boards of trustees. West Bengal had the highest dues of ₹62.84 crore, followed by Rajasthan (₹45.43 crore), Madhya Pradesh (₹17.67 crore) and Kerala (₹3.26 crore).

After it pulled up the EPFO for not initiating action to cancel the exemptions of the erring establishments, the CAG was informed in November 2012 that directions for action had been issued immediately.

Noting that its schemes provide social security to over eight crore depositors and their families, the report urged the EPFO to monitor all remittance and pay-out targets.

(This article was published on February 23, 2014)
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