Unclaimed PF funds transfer to senior citizen's fund: The issue of transferring had led to a confrontation between the unions and the government representatives at the meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be approached to resolve the tussle between the government and the central trade unions over transferring unclaimed Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) money to the Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund (SCWF).
The issue of transferring unclaimed EPF deposits to the fund had led to a confrontation between the unions and the government representatives at the meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO).
According to senior trade union sources, the Labour Minister, Bandaru Dattatreya, while withdrawing the item from the agenda, had assured trade union representatives that besides the Prime Minister, the matter will also be taken up with the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley to get the provision regarding the transfer of EPF funds to the SCWF deleted from the relevant notification.
“The labour minister assured us that the matter will be brought to the notice of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He also also assured to take all CBT members along while taking a final decision on the issue,” D L Sachdeva, CBT member and General Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) told FeMoney.
Sachdeva pointed out that unclaimed money is the property of employee and can be claimed anytime. “Even someone’s grandson to whom the money had been willed can come forward later and demand it. How can it be taken away? In fact, employers’ representatives at the CBT also agreed with the unions’ view on this,” he said.
Another CBT member Vrijesh Upadhyay, National Secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, felt that there is nothing as ‘unclaimed’ in EPF corpus. “To call money lying in provident fund as unclaimed is wrong. It can be demanded by family members at any time,” he said. Upadhyay said they would wait to hear the view of Prime Minister Modi and Finance Minister Jaitley on the issue before deciding on further course of action.
Sachdeva said the the unions have take a view that they would approach the courts if the matter is not resolved through intervention of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister.
After the 2016-17 budget announcement by Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley for setting up a SCWF, the Ministry of Finance had issued a notification allowing transfer of unclaimed deposits in small savings schemes to the new fund, which included EPF corpus lying unclaimed.
An unclaimed fund is one where no one has come to take the money 7 years after it has become due for payout. According to reports, such funds in EPFO itself account to around Rs 24,000 crore.