Labour minister commends EPFO officials for speedy claim settlement

Santosh Kumar Gangwar

Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar on Monday felicitated officials of retirement fund body EPFO's Delhi West office, who settled 100 per cent withdrawal claims within 24 hours during during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the COVID-19 non-refundable advance facility, the members can withdraw three months' basic wages (basic pay plus dearness allowance) or half of the total accumulation in his or her Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) account, whichever is less.

This advance is provided to members to meet exigencies due to the COVID-19 situation in the country. This facility was provided after amending the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme through issuance of a notification from March 27.

However, the real flow of COVID-19 claims started from April 24 onwards, Uttam Prakash, Commissioner, EPFO Delhi West told PTI.

"The EPFO Delhi West has settled around 3.37 lakh claims for a total of around Rs 833 crore since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. Covid specific claims have been disbursed to the tune of Rs 200 crore bringing relief to some 89,000 workers and their families. This has been done working non-stop 178 days (till October 18)," Prakash said.

The Delhi West office apart from processing 100 per cent COVID claims within 24 hours, has also been processing more than 90 per cent of all claims within 24 hours during these 178 days till October 18.

The EPFO Delhi West is the 2nd largest claim recipient office in the country. The EPFO has 138 regional office across the country.

The government had imposed lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly virus that causes COVID-19 on March 25, 2020.

During the felicitation ceremony, Gangwar said that the government is committed to extending the reach of social security to every worker and enabling provisions have been made in the new Social Security Code, according to a statement.

For extending social security to 40 crore workers in the unorganised sector, for the first time a special provision of social security fund has been made.

The minister lauded the efforts of the officials for rising to the occasion notwithstanding their personal inconveniences. He gave self-written appreciation letter to the best contributors, the statement said.

The minister also said that opening oneself for public scrutiny is an exemplary model of transparency worth emulating by all EPFO offices in the country.

The EPFO Delhi West office also has a unique distinction of posting a daily performance report through social media for public scrutiny, feedback and transparency and furthering the citizen-government trust, the statement said.

As per a labour ministry statement, all offices of the EPFO have settled more than 44 lakh COVID claims till October 15 and disbursed over Rs 11,500 crore amid the pandemic.

It also stated that the minister on Monday launched an initiative of honouring outstanding performers from offices under his ministry like EPFO, ESIC, DG FASLI, DG Mines.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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