Industrialists among top 10 EPFO defaulters in Ludhiana
After putting Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in the dock for embezzling provident fund of its staff, the employees provident fund organisation (EPFO) on Wednesday released a list of top 10 defaulters with realisable arrears in the city. Majority of the defaulters are industrialists based at Focal Point, Tajpur Road, Kohara and Khanna and have been evading their PF dues for a long time.
One of the private firms, Rajit Paints based in Vikas Nagar, is currently the biggest defaulter in the region with the dues running into over ₹54.3 lakh.
Ludhiana regional provident fund commissioner-2 Brij Mohan Singh said, “An arrest warrant has been issued against the owner of Rajit Paints but we have not been able to trace his whereabouts for the past one and a half years. Whenever the person is caught, he will be imprisoned for six months. If he is able to clear the died at the time of the arrest, the department may consider relaxing the action.”
Interestingly, the firm’s website has been declared permanently closed online. Even the contact number provided online has been transferred to another person.
Other defaulters include Vigil Security Detective & Industrial Service, a security firm based in Model Gram, which has pending arrears to the tune of ₹5.69 lakh and Rishi Ganga Power Corporation Limited, Phase 2, with pending PF balance of ₹5.5 lakh. Gurkirpa Rice and Gen Mills, Khanna, Prem Industries Tajpur Road and Mianji Steel Private Limited, Kohar, have also been listed among the major defaulters in the district with the embezzlement of ₹4.8 lakh, ₹6.5 lakh, ₹5.7 lakh respectively.
Among the defaulters, Punjab state civil supplies corporation, Khanna, is the only entity that recently cleared all the pending balance. The office was earlier second in the list with the total defaulting PF fund amounting to over ₹16.7 lakh.
WHAT ACTION AWAITS THEM
Realisable arrears are the ones in which the EPFO can take punitive action against the defaulters in the absence of stay in such cases. The action against such defaulters is being taken under various provisions of the Income Tax Act 1961.
“There is a procedure which is followed for making recoveries under which we first attach the properties of the establishment, the bank account of the defaulters, attach the personal properties of the employer, send a show cause before the arrest and finally the arrest of the employer in case the recovery is not made,” said regional provident fund commissioner (RPFC-2), Ludhiana, Brij Mohan Singh.
The official informed that many of them have already been sent a show-cause notice along with attachments of their bank accounts, but they have failed to respond to the repeated notices.
“We advise them to urgently clear their PF dues and get their case closed otherwise more cohesive actions shall be made against them,” RPFC added.