With over Rs 3,000 crore of arrears to be recovered, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation is set to start a call centre to remind defaulting firms to pay up dues.
Part of a special action plan to improve recovery of provident fund arrears, the EPFO has asked all field offices to send detail on defaults of over Rs 10 lakh.
The proposal is at a nascent stage but the general plan is that the call centre will take up such cases with defaulting organisations and ask them to pay. If after repeated reminders, they do not do so, the EPFO will initiate action, said a senior official.
Under the EPF Act, defaulting companies who deduct but do not deposit employees PF contributions can face criminal prosecution. The EPFO can also attach its assets to recover the dues.
Litigation and attaching property are time taking activities. So before taking such action, we want to try convincing defaulting employers to pay the dues without any such punitive action, the official said. In 2011-12, as many as 1,718 establishments defaulted to the tune of over Rs 710.93 crore.