Labourers win provident fund case, get 3600 crore
Chandigarh(Narinder Jagga) – It is good news for the labourers, who have been working loading-unloading of foodgrains in the mandis of Punjab. The Employees Provident Fund Organization has given its decision that the procurement agencies will have to deposit the Provident fund amount in the accounts of labourers. According to an estimate, this amount may be go upto Rs. 3600 crore. For its implementation, EPF has directed to all major food procurement agencies in Punjab. One month is granted to the agencies for this directive.According to information, a complaint had been filed on 1 April, 2015, before the Commissioner of EPF (Employees Provident Fund Organization) by the Ram Singh Matran and others. It was said in the complaint that they have been working the task of loading, unloading, weighting, sewing etc. for the procurement agencies through Commission agents. They have been paid labour charges as prescribed by the Mandi board. But no deposit has been made in their PFs account till date. While earlier, when the labourers were engaged by the contractors, their PF had been deposited by the formers. But the process has been stopped, when they were aligned with the Commission Agents. According to complaint, this move also gave a setback to the economic security of labour class. In case, any labourer lost his life, there is no pension provision for the family of deceased.While giving his decision, Shashi Bhushan Kumar, Regional PF Commissioner, Chandigarh, EPFO in his direction made it clear that this is compulsory as laid down in EPF & MP Act 1952. “Labourers will be beneficial with the amount which was pending to their PF Account since April 1, 2015”. Notable, there are more than 1.5 lac labourers in the state, who has been working in the mandis. Total arrival of bags in the mandis for one season is approximately 450 crore bags (250 crore bags wheat and 200 bags paddy). If estimated, the figure go upto 900 crore of bags. Four rupees were deposited by the Procurement agencies and Government (Rs.2 each by Agencies and Government) to the PF account of labourer as provident fund.
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