New Delhi, July 8: Union labour minister Sahib Singh Verma has shot off letters to all chief ministers, asking them to pay up provident fund arrears.
Bengal, the largest defaulter, has arrears running into Rs 324 crore, of which Rs 27 crore are owed to jute mills run by private companies.
Maharashtra is the second largest defaulter, with Rs 183.73 crore in arrears.
Launching Compliance 04 — a programme for recovery of provident fund dues — Verma said at a news conference: “We have asked all defaulters to pay up. In case they do not, then we will attach their property and bank accounts.”
Arrears from all sectors — central, state and private — run up to a huge Rs 1,511 crore.
“There are state governments like Delhi and Madhya Pradesh which are not even depositing the workers’ share,” Verma said.
Arrears from central public sector undertakings stand at Rs 296.97 crore. State public sector undertakings have defaulted to the tune of Rs 339.10 crore and private sector units Rs 875.72 crore.
The Compliance 04 programme aims to build up a bank of dossiers on all defaulters who have arrears crossing Rs 10 lakh. This will include the breakup of amounts in default, lists of assets, names and addresses of directors and partners.
The list will be put up on a website.
Action against defaulters will include attachment of bank accounts and financial assets, payments due from third parties, attachment and sale of movable property, arrest and criminal prosecution of the defaulters.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation is writing separate letters to large defaulters who are being asked to pay up within a month.
“Their names will be made public and other stringent action will be initiated to ensure compliance on their part,” said the Union labour minister.
The minister also mentioned that some companies may have “genuine” difficulties in making payment on time but made it clear that the defaulting companies will have to find the resources to clear their liabilities.