The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 29 , 2014
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PF drive to get more depositors from east

V. Vijayakumar in Calcutta on Monday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, April 28: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is planning to enrol more subscribers in the east.

V. Vijayakumar, additional central provident fund commissioner of the eastern region, today expressed concern over the low level of enrolment from the region. He said the central organisation had identified more sectors where the social security scheme could be rolled out in this fiscal.

“Our area of concern is compliance. I am not happy with the 72,000 establishments covered in the zone. There is a lot of potential to improve coverage. This is one zone, which is having less than one crore membership,” he said at an interactive session of the Indian Chamber of Commerce here today. The eastern zone has around 80 lakh employees enrolled under the scheme.

“We have identified areas where there is scope of enrolment and coverage and we are planning to do something about it this year because last year we were concentrating on service delivery,” Vijayakumar said.

The EPFO has identified workers in jute mills, construction sector and the bidi industry for enrolment.

“Our goal is to extend social security to the maximum number of people,” Vijayakumar said, adding that a parliamentary committee has studied the jute mills in Calcutta and identified 32,000 employees for enrolment.

He said the decision to encourage voluntary compliance over the last 10 years had not yielded satisfactory result. “We have not reached the level where we can ensure voluntary compliance from all establishments.

Defaults, too, are high in the east, Vijayakumar said.

Dues of the zone stood at around Rs 550 crore, of which Rs 450 crore is blocked in litigation in the high court and tribunals.

A meeting of legal professionals is likely to take place at the end of the month to speed up recovery.