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Report No. 137

Need for Creating Office of Ombudsman and for Evolving Legislative - Administrative Measures Inter alia to Relieve Hardships Caused by Inordinate Delays in Settling Provident Fund Claims of Beneficiaries

Chapter I Introduction
1.1 Post-audit of socio-economic legislation pertaining to Employees' Provident Funds reveals pitiable plight of beneficiaries and cries for urgent remedial measures
2. Result of survey of public sector undertakings highlights magnitude of problem
3. Startling and saddening picture emerging on survey based on scrutiny of individual complaints
4. Identification of causes for delays
5. The deleterious consequences of delays
6. Present exercise
Chapter II Delays in Settlement of Provident Fund Dues to the Claimants-Circumstances and Causes Identified
2.1 Gathering of information from public sector undertakings as regards extent of claims remaining unsettled
2. Less than pretty picture of Public Sector Undertakings
3. Causes for delays revealed by study
4. Causes attributable to the employers
5. Inaction or indifference on the part of the employer
Stalling payment on mere objection by a third party
Submission of faulty papers by employers
Employers' failure to deposit deductions made from employees' wages and/or their own share
Development of untrained staff by the employers
Withholding disbursement by unwarranted insistence on succession certificate
Unwarranted insistence on production of No Demand Certificate
6. Causes attributable to the Office of Regional Provident Fund Commissioner
Indifference, inaction or fault of officials
Paucity of staff
Indifference or failure of officials to take appropriate steps
7. Other Causes
Lack of Co-ordination
Delay in verifying pay fixation on pay revision
Dispute regarding size of accumulated amount
Identification of beneficiary
Chapter III Magnitude of the Problem-Need for Creation of a Statutory Ombudsman
3.1 Material regarding plight of suffering employees gathered
2. Categories of employers
3. Questions which arise
4. Need for creating a monitoring agency
Constitution and Set Up
Provisions required to be made in order to enable the Ombudsman to exercise the powers and to discharge the duties
Suitable legislation
Chapter IV Other measures Commended for expediting payments of Provident fund accumulations to the Beneficiaries
4.1 Employees should be made aware
Withholding payments for reasons not warranted by law and in violation of spirit of section 10-need for remedial amendment
Enabling the employee to apply directly to the Commissioner and incorporating a time limit for transmitting the claims to the Commissioner
2. Except when prohibited by a court, payment should not be withheld merely because someone else objects
3. Payment not to be withheld on the ground of pendency of disciplinary proceedings
4 and 5. Withholding of P.F. dues on account of employer's failure to deposit his own or the employee's share already deducted from their salary
6. Delay occasioned by non-warranted insistence on Succession Certificate
7,8. Shortage of Staff
9. Non-verification of pay fixation
10. Payment of undisputed portion of claims
11. Identification of beneficiary
12. Need for cultivating sympathetic attitude with desire to assist the claimant
13. Exempted organisations
14. Holding of Lok-Adalats
Chapter V Problem Regarding Legal Implication of 'Nominations' Under the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952-Suggested Solution
5.1,2. In respect of nominations made under the life insurance policies
3 to 5. Conflicting views of High Courts
6,7. The preferable view
8 to 11. Need to end the uncertainty and settle the law urgently
12,13. Nomination under life insurance policies
Chapter VI Conclusions and Summary of Recommendations
6.1 Conclusions
2. The Commission hereby recommends
The Commission Recommends Accordingly Postscript
Appendix A All Public Sector Undertakings and their Unions
Appendix B All Trade Unions
Appendix C ll Provident Fund Commissioners
Appendix DI Information Supplied by Public Sector Undertakings Regarding Pending Provident Fund/Retirement Dues Cases in Response to Request Dated 24-10-88
Appendix DII Information Supplied by Various Public Sector Undertakings Regarding Provident Fund Retirement Dues Cases in Response to Request Dated 24-10-88
Appendix E Press Release
Appendix F Tabular Statement of Pending Provident Fund Cases with concerned Authorities which have been Settled
Appendix G Statement of Delay Involved in Disputed Cases
Appendix H-I Form Required to be Filled up by the Employer/Trustees of/Exempted/Uncovered Establishments Specifying the Details of Provident Fund Cases Involving Delay in Settlement beyond three Months and to be Submitted to the Ombudsman
Appendix H-II Form Required to be Filled up by the Employer of Unexempted Establishments Specifying the Details of Employees Provident Fund and Other Miscellaneous Provisions Case Pending with the Employer Establishment for Compliance with the Schemes Involving Delay Beyond three Months and to be Submitted to the Ombudsman
Appendix H-III Form Required to be Filled up by the RPFC Specifying the Details Employee's Provident Fund and Other Miscellaneous Provisions Case Involving Delay in Settlement Beyond three Months and to be Submitted to the Ombudsman
Appendix I(I) Refund of P.F. accumulation of Parsuram Singh
Appendix I(II) Non-payment of Provident Fund/GPE/retirement dues in respect of Shri Parsuram Singh
Appendix I(III) Office of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner West Bengal, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Appendix I(IV) National Iron and Steel Company (1984) Limited (A Govt of West Bengal Enterprise)
Office of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner West Bengal
Appendix I(V) Non-payment of Provident Fund/GPF/retirement dues in respect of Shri Parsuram and 400 other cases
Appendix I(VI) Office of the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner West Bengal, the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Howrah Local Office 24, Bellilious Road

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