Along the lines of public sector banks seeking wealth tax details of loan defaulters, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) too will now tap into information from third party sources including the income tax department, inspector of factories and boilers’ and trade unions to aid its recovery efforts.
“The Enforcement Officers before proceeding in the matter shall gather all information, viz details of bank accounts, details of sundry debtors etc from the records available in the office and also from third party source,” said a missive by the EPFO to its field offices.
The officers should also collect information from other third party sources such as Inspector of Shops and Establishments, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, regional transport authorities, industries and commerce departments and even an employer’s associations, the EPFO has said.
The exercise is a part of the Special Recovery Drive that will be launched by the EPFO in August to ensure that defaulting establishments pay up their dues.
The EPFO has been battling high default dues even as it tries to shore up its accounts to provide a higher interest rate to its near 6 crore subscribers.
“The increasing trend of arrears of provident fund and allied dues has become a matter of great concern,” said the internal circular adding that such special recovery drives will be carried out frequently now.
“Any laxity shall be dealt with strongly,” the EPFO has further warned its field offices hoping for success of the recovery drives.
The move comes after the Comptroller and Auditor General in a recent report had also pulled up the EPFO for delay in recovery of arrears and dues.
According to the CAG report, total arrears of the EPFO amounted to Rs 1,723 crore by March 31, 2012. Of this, Rs 313.20 crore was recoverable from 20,974 establishments. Meanwhile, an additional Rs 265.75 crore was outstanding as damages that were levied but not realised from defaulting un-exempted establishments.