The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) gave an average interest of 8.67 per cent to its account holders in three years up to 2014-15.
The rate of interest during 2014-15 has been declared at 8.75 per cent, 8.75 per cent in 2013-14 and 8.50 per cent during 2012-13, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in the Parliament today.
In the current financial year up to December 2014, EPFO invested a total of 3.59 lakh crore in various schemes, he added.
Similarly, EPFO invested Rs 3.25 lakh crore in 2013-14, Rs 3.77 lakh crore in 2012-13 and Rs 2.37 lakh crore in 2011-12, the Minister said.
“The government prescribes investment pattern for investments of EPFO corpus. Presently, EPFO is following pattern of investment, 2013 notified by Ministry of Labour & Employment on November 21, 2013,” Dattatreya said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
He said the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in a meeting held in February this year relaxed investment guidelines with an objective to increase the earnings of the fund without compromising with safety and security of the fund.
EPFO invested the funds in its corpus in central and state government securities, special deposit schemes and public sector financial institutions, including private and sector bonds.
In reply to a separate question, the Minister said EPFO has been mandated to settle claims within 30 days from the date of its receipt.
“At present, the Organisation is able to settle nearly two-third of all claims within 10 days of their receipt and the rest of the claims are settled in accordance with the mandate,” Dattatreya said.
He further said the process of settlement has been simplified and certain manual processes have been done away with, reduction of authority level from three to two levels.
Also, provision of electronic challan-cum-return, induction of National Electronic Fund Transfer, re-engineering the process of transfer of claims are some of the steps taken by EPFO for speedy disposal of claims.
‘Over 12,100 firms found defaulting on PF till Dec this fisc’
Over 12,100 establishments have been found defaulting on their PF contribution till December this fiscal and action is being initiated against them, Parliament was informed today.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, West Bengal, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are among the states with highest number of such instances in the last four years up to December 2014-15.
“Instances of non-deposit of contribution by some establishments, covered under Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions have come to the notice of EPFO as they have violated the provisions of the Act and schemes framed thereunder,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
He said as many as 12,107 establishments (up to December) in 2014-15 have been found to be defaulting on the EPFO fund contribution.
In 2013-14, the number of such firms were at 13,344; 11,395 in 2012-13; and 11,903 in 2011-12.
Actions taken by EPFO include assessment of dues, levying of damages for belated deposit of dues, levy of interest for belated remittances and action under Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the employer for non-payment of employees’ share of contribution deducted from the wages or salary of the employees but not deposited in the fund.