Complaints and queries regarding higher provident fund pension are likely to come up during a mass outreach programme set to be organised by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in more than 700 districts on January 27.
Senior officials of the EPFO will listen to the grievances of employers, employees and pensioners during the programme. The EPFO has sent letters to all the Chief Secretaries seeking help from the State administrations in conducting the programme.
Named the Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0, the programme aims to increase the EPFO’s presence in all districts of the country. “This is first such mass outreach programme of the EPFO,” a senior official said, adding that the EPFO headquarters would ensure that complaints which are not resolved during the programme are addressed in a time-bound manner.
The official added that the programme would now be a permanent feature and would be held on the 27th of every month. “If 27 is a holiday, we will hold the programme on the next working day,” the official added.
The EPFO headquarters will identify monthly themes at the beginning of the quarter which will be be circulated to the zonal and regional offices for special emphasis during the programme.
Among the preferred venues for the programme would be the District Collectorate, the District Industries Office and the State Labour Commissioner’s Office, which are “decent, easily accessible, neat and clean”. The EPFO has also instructed its offices to inform employers, trade unions and pensioners about the programme through advertisements.
Though the EPFO is yet to finalise the process to implement the Supreme Court order on higher PF pension, the issue is likely to be taken up during the programme. Several organisations of pensioners, employees and employers had asked the EPFO for further clarity on the process of implementing the order.
The programme will also function as a pension adalat. The EPFO had launched a monthly pension adalat in 2021 to address the complaints of pensioners. This adalat has now been merged with Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0.
In a letter to the Chief Secretaries, Central Provident Fund Commissioner Neelam Shami Rao said the EPFO currently maintains around 24.77 crore accounts of its members.
She said that through the Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0, the EPFO would be reaching out to the stakeholders, thereby increasing accessibility of the EPFO’s services and visibility in all the districts, with regular periodicity.
“The officers of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation deputed in the district would, therefore, meet the district officials and request their presence and cooperation in the event. Their presence would be very motivating for our teams and it would make the event far reaching and impactful,” she said in the letter requesting the Chief Secretaries to issue instructions to all District Collectors to extend full support to the programme.