SRINAGAR: Consequent upon implementation of EPF & MP Act, 1952 in the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh w.e.f. October 31, 2019, EPFO has extended its provident fund, pension and insurance benefits to all employees of existing establishments covered under the erstwhile JK PF Act as well as the employees of newly covered establishments. EPFO has set up Regional Offices at Srinagar, Jammu and the facilitation center at Leh.
An official handout said that the 228th meeting of Central Board of Trustees, EPF was held today in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir under the chairmanship of Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment(Independent Charge), Vice-Chairmanship of Apurva Chandra, Secretary(L&E) and the Member Secretary Sunil Barthwal, Central PF Commissioner.
According to the statement, Chairman CBT, released another booklet on operations of EPFO in J&K and Ladhak, capturing the efforts made by EPFO in extending social security schemes in these UTs. CBT approved creation of 98 posts in different cadres required for seamless functioning of Regional offices of J&K and paving the way for smooth absorption of all staff & officers of J&K EPFO into CBT, EPF.
“The social security coverage of establishments under EPFO in J&K and Ladakh has increased by 38%, from 3458 on October 31, 2019, to 4754 on January 31, 2021. For these establishments, the operation from the erstwhile manual work environment has been replaced with the online environment of EPFO, thereby enhancing the ease of doing business for them. Employers can now avail services of EPFO in a hassle-free manner, using online mode viz. submission of Electronic Challan-cum-Return (ECR), payments through internet banking, Online Registration of Establishments (OLRE), virtual hearing, e-inspection etc. In addition, these establishments now enjoy the benefit of reduced rate of administrative charges as compared to the erstwhile scheme,” said the statement.
“The benefits of social security schemes of EPFO in these UTs have been extended to 2.11 lakh subscribers by January 2021 as compared to 1.29 lakh in October 2019, registering a remarkable growth of 63%. Under EPFO, the EDLI benefit have been enhanced up to Rs. 6.00 lakh for family members of the deceased employees, which was earlier restricted to Rs. 70,000/-. Further, the subscribers of these UTs will also get the additional social security cover in the form of pension by EPFO,” it said.
“The transfer of accounts of the members covered under of erstwhile JK PF Act to EPFO has been 100% completed for 12 out of 22 districts of J&K and Ladhak. These include Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Rajouri, Poonch, Ganderbal, Bandipore, Kulgam, Kupwara, Baramulla, Leh and Ladhak. This includes the transfer of 2338 establishments involving 1660 crores,” it added.
“During Covid-19 pandemic, EPFO has been able to settle 1353 Covid advance claims for the subscribers of these UTs thereby disbursing Rs. 218.01 lakh to the beneficiaries. During the same period, 1820 other claims have also been settled disbursing a sum of Rs. 284.57 lakh to the beneficiaries,” an official handout said.
The statement said that for the speedy redressal of grievances, EPFO’s in-house online grievance redressal portal EPFiGMS has been extended to J&K and Ladakh. Additionally, Whatsapp App-based helpline-cum-grievance redressal has also been made functional.
“Benefits of Government of India schemes have been extended to the stakeholder of these UTs. Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY), benefits have been given to 1919 establishments covering 23,309 employees by crediting a sum of Rs. 368.03 lakh in members’ PF accounts. Similarly, under Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojna (ABRY), effective from 01.10.2020, benefits have been extended to 107 establishments covering 957 employees and disbursing Rs. 15.21 lakh in J&K and Ladakh,” it said.
“EPFO stands committed to serve its stakeholders in J&K and Ladakh, who are covered under EPF& MP Act, for providing social security cover in the form of provident fund, pension and insurance benefits to its members in a hassle-free manner,” an official statement reads.