Report No. 137
Conclusions and Summary of Recommendations
Provident Fund and similar benefits flowing from the Act1 and the Scheme and Schemes framed by the exempted establishments and public sector undertakings have been designed to extend a protective umbrella to the concerned employees so that on retirement they themselves or in the event of their in-service demise their dependants do not find themselves in a situation of helplessness similar to the one faced by passengers of a boat thrown overboard on a stormy sea without a life boat.
The very life-purpose of these provisions would be practically defeated if the disbursements due on retirement or death of the concerned employees are unduly delayed. In this perspective the Commission undertook a survey of the delays in disbursements of these benefits. And delays, unconscionable, have been uncovered in a very large number of cases in the course of the said survey.
The plight of the retired employees whose main source of income has totally dried up on retirement and the distress of the dependants of the deceased employees (the bread-winner of the family) who are suddenly faced with starvation particularly when the protective.umbrella of provident fund and other benefits is kept back for a long time (sometimes decades) is of such magnitude that it calls for urgent remedial action.
1. The Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
The urgency for such measures is writ large on the face of the problem since the limited sample survey made by the Commission restricted to 62 public sector undertaking has revealed that as many as 8707 families are suffering on account of delays in this area alone. (See para. 2.2, and Appendices Di and DII). And thousands of other families may be suffering likewise.
whereas unwarranted delays ranging upto 21 years have come to light in the course of scrutiny of 481 complaints received by the Commission from out of which 139 complaints have been redressed within about 3 months of the Commission taking up the issue with the concerned authorities, the Commission is firmly convinced that it is imperative to adopt remedial measures without any loss of time.