EPFO will launch an e-inspection system that will simplify inspection process and ensure organisations with open communications will not be subject to physical inspection until absolutely necessary, according to Central Provident Fund Commissioner Sunil Barthwal.
EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) proposed to amend the Act to limit enquiry period to a maximum of two years in order to curtail harassment, he also said at a Confederation of Indian Industry-organised interactive session on August 23, a CII release said.
A small percentage of employees are unable to generate UAN (a 12-digit Universal Account Number to all employees entitled to EPF) due to mismatch in data, Barthwal said, adding to address this issue, the EPFO is looking at alternative authentication vis-a-vis the employee database.
"The EPFO is working towards a three-day settlement period for KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant beneficiaries who have UAN linked to Aadhaar, have a bank account and a registered mobile number," the release quoted him as saying.
Barthwal also proposed to set up a society of self-regulating consultants, similar to ICAI (The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), in order to curb "misuse and corruption."
"In a significant announcement for industry he proposed to decriminalise defaulters and treat the cases as economic offences," the release said.
The release quoted EPFO officers as saying that the process of claim has evolved from offline filing to digital and app-based platform and the next phase of advancement will be based on big data analytical platform that utilises artificial intelligence and machine learning to trigger all activities.
Earlier, retirement fund manager approved appointment of UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund as its fund managers for three years, according to a source.
“The EPFO’s apex decision-making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar has decided to appoint two fund managers UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund for a three-year term,” the source said.
The source further said, “The CBT also decided to exercise early exit option for redeeming its investment of around ₹ 700 crore in bonds of DHFL.”
Minimum monthly pension
The proposal to double minimum monthly pension Rs 2,000 under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995, was deferred as employees’ representative demanded for higher amount, the source added.
The EPFO’s advisory body Finance, Audit and Investment Committee (FAIC) had finalised and recommended the names of three asset management firms — HSBC AMC, UTI AMC and SBI Mutual Fund — for their appointment as fund managers for three years beginning October 1, 2019.
The appointment of the fund managers for another term of three years had been pending with the EPFO since April last year. The body had appointed SBI, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital, UTI AMC and HSBC AMC for three year, starting April 1, 2015.
Thereafter, the EPFO gave many extensions to the five fund managers. Now, the extended term of the five fund mangers would expire on September 30.
The EPFO had appointed multiple fund managers for the first time in July 2008 for earning better rate of return on deposits for its subscribers. Before that, SBI was the sole fund manager for the retirement fund body since its inception in 1952.