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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

GMCH fined 20 lakh by EPFO regional office

Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, July 06, 2014
First Published: 12:01 IST(6/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:03 IST(6/7/2014)

The regional office of Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has imposed a penalty of Rs. 20 lakh on Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, as the contractor providing workers at the hospital failed to deposit their provident fund money.

Sources in the provident fund organisation said the college had been imposed the penalty as the college was a principal employer in this case.

In May 2010, the GMCH administration roped in a Faridabad (Haryana)-based firm, Shree Shyam Enterprises, to provide general service personnel, including ward attendants, watchmen, gardeners, cooks, mortuary attendants, for three years. The contractor deputed only 50% of the staff of the total strength. But it kept on withdrawing salaries in the name of non-existent staff on forged papers through fake bank accounts.

Earlier, in February and March, with a series of stories HT had highlighted how a contractor at GMCH-32 had deputed only 50% of the staff of the total strength but was withdrawing the salaries of the full strength employees. HT had also highlighted how the contractor didn’t deposit employees’ provident funds as well as their ESIC funds.

Following that, the contractual workers of the hospital had filed complaints with various authorities alleging that the amounts of their provident funds were being deducted from their salaries but it was not being deposited to their accounts.

The workers alleged that it was the duty of the GMCH-32 administration to make sure that their PFs were deposited timely.

“How the hospital administration released the payment to the contractor despite our complaints? It allowed the contractor go away with his security also when the matter was still pending. It seems that scam was done by the contractor in connivance with GMCH-32 authority,” said Harjit Singh, a former employee of the hospital, who first alerted regarding such irregularities.

Dr Atul Sachdev, directorprincipal of GMCH-32, said: “The matter is being taken up with the EPFO. In this entire case, the contractor is guilty. We initiated action against him in time. It is unfair that a penalty has been imposed on a government institute like GMCH-32.”

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