- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
- Government e-Marketplace
Focus: GS II: Polity and Governance
Why in News?
Recently, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the deadline for members and pensioners to apply for higher Provident Fund (PF) pensions till July 11.
About Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a statutory body established under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act of 1952.
Here are some key points about EPFO:
- EPFO is responsible for administering the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Pension Scheme (EPS), and Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) for the organized sector workforce in India.
- The EPF scheme allows employees to contribute a portion of their salary towards a provident fund, which accumulates with interest and provides a lump sum upon retirement or death.
- Partial withdrawals from the EPF are allowed for specific purposes such as education, marriage, illness, and house construction.
- EPFO also operates the EPS, which provides monthly pension benefits for superannuation, disability, survivor, widow(er), and children.
- The EPS also includes a minimum pension for disablement and provides past service benefits for participants of the erstwhile Family Pension Scheme.
- The EDLI scheme offers insurance coverage to EPFO members, providing a benefit in case of the member’s death. The benefit amount is calculated as 20 times the wages, with a maximum benefit of 6 lakh rupees.
- EPFO is governed by the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund, which consists of representatives from the government, employers, and employees.
- EPFO has a wide presence across the country, with offices located in 122 locations.
- It is one of the largest organizations globally in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions it handles.
- EPFO operates under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
Focus: GS II- Government policies and Intervention
Why in News?
During the ‘Kreta-Vikreta Gaurav Samman Samaroh 2023’ event held in New Delhi, significant growth in procurement from the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) over the past three years, was highlighted.
About Government e-Marketplace (GeM)
Nodal: Ministry of Commerce and Industry
- The Government e Marketplace (GeM) was launched on August 9, 2016.
- To create an open and transparent procurement platform for Government buyers.
- A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the name of Government e- Marketplace (GeM SPV) was set up as the National Public Procurement Portal
- It has been developed by Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) with technical support of National e-governance Division (Ministry of Electronic and Information Technology).
- It is a completely paperless, cashless and system driven e-market place that enables procurement of common use goods and services with minimal human interface.
- At present, the platform is open for procurement by all government buyers: central and state ministries, departments, public sector enterprises, autonomous institutions, local bodies, etc.
- As per existing mandate, GeM is not available for use by private sector buyers.
- Suppliers (sellers) can be from across all segments: government or private.
The following are the objectives of the online platform:
- Easier availability of various goods and services for the government buyers.
- Create transparency in public procurement.
- Cost saving on government expenditure.
- Achieve and promote cashless transactions.