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Provident Fund Subscriber Base Shrinks At 31 Regional Offices: EPFO Data

The EPFO data indicates that the number of contributing members decreased from 4.62 crore in July to 4.38 crore in September this year.

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Provident Fund Subscriber Base Shrinks At 31 Regional Offices: EPFO Data
New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO has asked its field officers to initiate steps to increase number of contributing subscribers following drop in numbers at several regional offices.

According to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, the number of subscribers decreased by 93.70 per cent at Darjeeling office in September 2017 as compared to average number of contributing members in 2016-17.

Darjeeling managed 29,984 average number of contributing members in the last fiscal, which dropped to 1,890 in September, 2017.

As per the data, 31 offices have reported subscribers base erosion by over 10 per cent in September as compared to that of July this year. The EPFO asked it office in charges "to concentrate efforts on increasing of contributing members...ensure that in coming months no such drop in membership is reflected".

The EPFO data indicates that the number of contributing members decreased from 4.62 crore in July to 4.38 crore in September this year. The Behrampur regional offices reported maximum drop of 35.8 per cent to 99,468 contributing members in September from 1,54,985 in July this year. Similarly, Bhagalpur reported a drop of 31.6 per cent followed by Akola (25.7%), Warangal (23.5%), Keonjhar (20.8%) and Gulbarga (20.3%).

Earlier this year, the EPFO had launched an amnesty scheme for employers to increase its subscribers base which continued for six months till June 30, 2017.

The programme helped the EPFO enrol over one crore new subscribers under its Employees' Enrolment Campaign 2017 started on January 1 this year. Under the scheme, the employers got the opportunity to file the declaration of unregistered employees under the EPFO Act, with a nominal fine of Re 1 per annum on account of damages. Initially, the scheme was for three months till March 31, 2017 but later it was extended till June 30, 2017.

Under the scheme, the employees share of contribution, if declared by the employer as not deducted, stood waived. Besides, the damages to be paid by the employer in respect of the employees for whom declaration had been made under this campaign was paid at the rate of Re 1 per annum. Moreover, no administrative charges were collected from the employer in respect of the contribution made under the declaration. Under the scheme, it was provided that no enquiry under section 7A was initiated.

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