Hyderabad: Union minister of state for labour Bandaru Dattatreya has asked his staff to finish Employee Provident Fund (EPF) settlements within a day’s time. At present, the claims are processed in three days, but the minister wants officials to expedite things and complete them in a shorter time.
The minister pointed out that these processes used to take nearly two months before the NDA government led-by Narendra Modi undertook major reforms in 2014. “Introduction of e-governance improved services besides ensuring accountability and transparency. Activation of Universal Account Numbers (UAN), SMS facility to know the balance, online transfer facility were some of the many initiatives that have made things easy for the public,” he said.
At present, EPFO has 4.3 lakh subscribers and 52 lakh pensioners, the minister said, adding that the feedback from subscribers was positive. “People used to say that going to EPF office was a big headache as staff used to make them go round in circles and harass them for several days. But the situation is not the same anymore,” Mr. Dattatreya said, adding that the interest rate on EPF deposits has been increased to 8.65 per cent.
EPFO officers sing paeans for minister
“Saaho Dattanna..Saaho. Saaho Dattanna...Saaho.”One can relate to these encomiums from the recently released Baahubali 2, which has received a massive response from movie lovers across the country. Interestingly, officials of Employee's Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) of the Union labour ministry, who assembled in Hyderabad from different parts of the country, tried to thank their minister in a Baahubali way.
The reason? Union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya's decision to reorganise the department because of which over 11,000 employees got promotions and benefits.
Group A officers (350 members) organised a felicitation programme for the minister in Hyderabad on Sunday.Officers from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattis-garh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttara-khand, Maharashtra, Goa, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal hailed the minister for taking up such an exercise in the department after 65 years.
The cadre restructure process also benefited around 6,000 employees in Group-B and over 5000 employees in Group-C.Regional Provident Fund commissioners M. Srikrishna and Ravindra Kumar Kondru, along with Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner J. Srinivas hailed the minister for the decision and assured that officials would strive hard to offer better services to members.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dattatreya said he had done his duty, and not a favour."I am very happy at this felicitation by my staff and that too in my own constituency. This honour is not for me but to the Labour Ministry. Increase of zones (to 21 from the earlier 10) and regions (to 135 from previous 40) will pave way for offering better services," he said.