Money & Banking

EPFO to launch e-inspection system to simplify inspection process

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on August 26, 2019

File photo   -  THE HINDU

Central Provident Fund Commissioner urges companies to focus on voluntary compliance

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to launch an e-inspection system that will simplify the inspection process and ensure that organisations with open communications will not be subject to physical inspection until absolutely necessary.

Sunil Barthwal, Central Provident Fund Commissioner, EPFO said they proposed to amend the Act to limit enquiry period to a maximum of 2 years in order to curtail harassment.

He was speaking at an interactive session organise by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

He observed that a small percentage of employees are unable to generate UAN due to a mismatch in data. To alleviate this concern, he said that EPFO is looking at alternative authentication viz-a-viz the employee database.

“The EPFO is working towards a 3-day settlement period for KYC compliant beneficiaries who have UAN linked to Aadhar, have a bank account and a registered mobile number,” he added.

The Commissioner also deliberated on the compliance mechanism under Employees' Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, major initiatives by EPFO and challenges faced by the different stakeholders.

Bigdata analytical platform

Officers from the EPFO gave participants a complete overview of the Unified Shram Suvidha Portal and the latest initiatives by EPFO on ease of doing business. The process of claim has evolved from offline filing to digital and app-based platform.

The next phase of advancement will be based on bigdata analytical platform that utilise artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to trigger all activities.

CII will take this interaction with CPFC to other cities in India to engage and enable a dialogue between industry and EPFO.

The Commissioner said that the purpose of the consultative session was to further improve the communication between EPFO and all stakeholders. He enumerated the 3 principals that guide EPFO:

1. Ease of Doing Business (EODB) - to ensure a friendly and honest relationship between Employers and EPFO

2. Ease of Living for Employees - brought about by digitisation and online services

3. Good Governance model, that is transparent.

He urged companies to focus on voluntary compliance rather than EPFO needing to exercise force.

Barthwal also proposed to set up a society of self-regulating consultants, similar to ICAI, in order to curb misuse and corruption. In a significant announcement for industry he proposed to decriminalize defaulters and treat the cases as economic offences.

Barthwal, suggested that a joint committee should be set up between CII, EFI and Industry representatives to collect and address all the issues. CII and EPFO has created a dedicated help desk to facilitate response to queries and issues raised by industry members related to PF.

Published on August 26, 2019

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