The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a drive to recover dues from the defaulting employers in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. The regional office of EPFO in Aurangabad has issued an ultimatum to several employers to recover around Rs 18 crore in dues.
According to the data from the regional EPFO office, recovery certificates of Rs 17.94 crore were pending from these employers, The Times of India reported. The total outstanding amount to be recovered included Rs 9.31 crore towards PF, Rs 2.96 crore in interest and Rs 5.67 crore in penal damage, the report added.
EPFO decided to recover all the pending dues so that employees are not cheated of their rightful share and benefits as workers, PF Regional Commissioner Jagdish Tambe was quoted as saying.
According to Tambe, the organisation has initiated coercive actions, including attachment of properties, arrest and detention of big defaulters.
The officer emphasised that in cases involving criminal acts, the organisation will not hesitate to file police complaints against the defaulters or even the enterprises.
The department gave special consideration to the employer's plea due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation but now as the situation gets back to normal, they should pay the provident fund at the earliest, Provident Fund Inspector Mukteshwar Vyas was quoted as saying in the report.
Earlier, the EPFO regional office had recovered outstanding PF dues of Rs 4.18 crore by freezing the bank accounts of Vasant Rao Naik Marathwada Agricultural University. This was the highest recovery by the EPFO's regional office in Aurangabad.
People close to the development said the university believed that it was exempted from contributing its share of the PF. This led to a long legal battle between the varsity and EPFO where eventually the Bombay High Court gave the verdict in favour of the EPFO.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)