The Employment Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) — which maintains the provident fund accounts of employees — rejected more than one-lakh claims of settlement and withdrawals from its subscribers in 2009-10.
EPFO received 46.5 lakh settlement and withdrawal claims in year 2008-09 — the year of global slowdown .
This is 6.5 lakh more than in 2007-08 (40 lakh). In 2009-10, the claims are 47.9 lakh (provisional).
The jump in the claims is also a matter of concern for the organisation, as it would have a bearing on the EPFO corpus.
The organisation, which has a corpus of R3.25 lakh crore — of which a majority R1.7 lakh crore is PF assets, invests the money in other sectors — bonds and securities — for interest.
"Yes, we have seen an increase in number of claims which can be attributed to the slowdown in the economy that effected jobs and salaries," Samirendra Chatterjee, Central PF commissioner told HT.
But what is to be noticed is the number of rejections in 2009-10. Though the claims number went slightly up to 47.9 lakh during 2009-10, the rejections doubled.
The organisation flooded with claims turned down 1.07 lakh claims in 2009-10. The figure was 51,749 in 2007-08 and 55,128 in 2008-09.
"Rejection of claims is done usually when applications are not according to EPF norms. But I do not know as why the rejections shot up to one lakh in one year," Chatterjee said.
The trade unionists smell a rat. “Huge jump (in rejections) might be owing to concern of the EPFO whose corpus would be diluted with increase in withdrawals," said DL Sachdev, secretary, AITUC and member of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), EPFO.