Prime Minister Narendra Modi has directed labour ministry officials to ensure that those working in the private sector get all their due retirement benefits on the day of superannuation itself, in line with those working in the government sector. The PM has also asked the ministry to make sure that the families of working persons who die in accidents receive the compensations under the social security schemes within 24 hours after such deaths.
Sources who were present during the PM’s monthly Pragati review meeting held on Wednesday, said Modi told labour secretary M Sathiyavathy that any laxity on part of the social security providing organisations like EPFO and ESIC in extending the benefits in a timely manner should not be tolerated and punitive actions must be taken against those errant officials.
Currently, a little over four crore people are helped by the schemes run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and around two crore enjoy the insurance cover provided by the Employee’s State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Organised sector employees, including those belonging to the private sector earning up to R15,000 per month, are now eligible for subscription to the EPFO schemes. A subscriber is entitled for a monthly pension of Rs 1,000 and a life cover called Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI), apart from the accumulated amount post-retirement. EPFO settles about 1.25 crore claims every year.
It generally takes 20 days to settle all these claims now, but gets longer in case the papers are not in order. A senior EPFO official said all due benefits could be extended provided the employer deposits the salary of the retiring person at least one month in advance and the employee submits papers claiming the benefits.
However, central provident fund commissioner VP Joy told FE that he has already sent across directives to all his officers to take note on the PM’s suggestion and work accordingly. A notification would also be issued soon.