Focus: GS-II Governance, GS-III Indian Economy
Why in news?
- Minister of State for Labour & Employment (I/C) launched virtual hearing facility in quasi-judicial cases under EPF & MP Act, 1952 through Video conferencing by use of secure IT applications.
- The aim of integration of virtual hearing utilities with EPFO’s e-Court process on Compliance e-Proceedings Portal is to eliminate physical presence of parties in hearings before Adjudicating Officer leading to ease and convenience for employers & employees to appear in hearings from remote location of their choice.
- The system entails savings on time, travel and expenditure for parties, ensures compliance to social distancing norms during pandemic and fast tracks assessment of worker’s EPF dues to generate better confidence in the quasi-judicial mechanism.
What is Employee Provident Fund (EPF)?
- If you are a salaried employee in India, you would know that every month a certain amount of money is deducted from your salary as PF (provident fund).
- Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement savings scheme that the government of India has mandated for all salaried employees.
- EPF is the main scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- The funds deducted from your salary as PF goes to your PF account, which is maintained by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
- All organizations in India that have more than 20 employees, as per law, is mandated to register with EPFO.
- In simple words, it is a savings platform provided by the government to help the employees build a corpus for post-retirement life.
Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
- EPFO is a Statutory Body, formed by the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
- EPFO is under Union Ministry of Labour & Employment.
- The EPFO has the dual role of being the enforcement agency to oversee the implementation of the EPF & MP Act and as a service provider for the covered beneficiaries throughout the country.
- EPFO assists the Central Board in administering a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme, a Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.
- It is also the nodal agency for implementing Bilateral Social Security Agreements with other countries on a reciprocal basis.
- The schemes cover Indian workers as well as International workers (for countries with which bilateral agreements have been signed.
- The EPFO’s apex decision making body is the Central Boad of Trustees (CBT).