Yesterday, Retirement fund body EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) extended the deadline for mandatory Aadhaar-linking with universal account number (UAN) of individual subscribers by three months from June 1 to September 1, 2021.
EPFO in an order said the date of implementation of ECR (electronic challan cum receipt or PF return) with Aadhar verified UANs has been extended to September 1, 2021.
According to sources, the decision has been taken after several representations to Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar about the inconvenience faced by EPF subscribers at the time of the pandemic.
Issuing a circular regarding the extension of the deadline on June 15, EPFO said: “Further, all the employers may be advised by concerned field offices to be ready for implementation after the period of deferment.”
The EPFO had decided to make the Aadhaar seeding compulsory after a labour ministry notification in the matter. A notification was issued by the labour ministry on May 3. This order mandated the labour ministry and bodies under it to seek Aadhaar number from beneficiaries under the Social Security Code.
EPFO, with more than 220 million accounts and a corpus of Rs. 12 lakh crore, is one of the world’s largest social security organizations.
The labour ministry on May 5 specifically clarified that the government has only notified the particular clause – “Section 142” of the Code on Social Security and as other provisions of the Code were pending, Aadhaar should not be made mandatory at this stage.
“At present, only Section 142 of CoSS is notified, which aims to create the National Database for unorganized workers (NDUW) and not to create any inconvenience to members of ESIC or EPFO,” sources said.
On May 5, Gangwar said Section 142 was notified “only for the collection of data of workers including migrant workers. No benefit will be denied to workers for want of Aadhaar”.