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Case filed against industrialist in Rajasthan for not depositing staff PF contributions

The enforcement wing of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has lodged a police complaint in Sriganganagar on Thursday against industrialist BD Agarwal for not depositing contributions of the staff of Vikas WSP Ltd.

jaipur Updated: Feb 23, 2018 22:22 IST
Aparnesh Goswami
Aparnesh Goswami
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Provident Fund,Industrialist
EPFO enforcement officer Sandip Agarwal said industrialist BD Agarwal deducted money from his employees’ salaries from September 2015 to September 2017, but did not deposit it in their EPF accounts.(HT File Photo)

The enforcement wing of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has lodged a police complaint in Sriganganagar on Thursday against industrialist BD Agarwal for not depositing contributions of the staff of Vikas WSP Ltd.

EPFO enforcement officer Sandip Agarwal said the industrialist deducted money from his employees’ salaries from September 2015 to September 2017, but did not deposit it in their EPF accounts.

“We served him several notices but he did not respond. I filed a complaint against him at Sadar police station (Sriganganagar) on Thursday because the deductions are a trusted contribution from employees,” the officer said.

He said not depositing employees’ contributions to EPF account was an offence under the EPF Act and section 406 (punishment for criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Sadar police said the company allegedly cheated around 600 employees of ₹1.45 crore. “The case is for breach of trust and cheating,” said sub inspector Balwant Ram who is investigating the case.

BD Agarwal said there had been a delay in depositing the deductions but “there’s no cheating or breach of trust.”

“We are depositing the deductions in instalments. We deposited the first instalment in February and the second will be deposited in March. We will pay all dues by April,” the industrialist said.

“We are a Rs 3,000-crore group; how it is possible that we will cheat our employees for just one and a half crore of rupees?”

The PF department, examining the paperwork of the company, found the alleged misconduct and issued notices.

BD Agarwal raked in big bucks during the fracking boom in the US, which saw a surge in natural gas production to offset rising oil prices. Fracking is a method of extracting shale gas by pumping high-pressured gas into the ground, which requires a processed powder called guar gum made from guar (cluster beans).

Rajasthan is India’s largest guar producer, with a share of 84% in national output. At its peak, the total export value of India’s guar gum – most of it from Rajasthan – rose to Rs 21,287 crore from about Rs 121 crore in 2003-04.

BD Agarwal formed a political party, National Unionist Zamindara Party, in 2013 and fielded 25 candidates in assembly polls, claiming support of 350,000 guar farmers in the state. Agarwal’s wife Bimla Devi Jindal contested from Sangaria and daughter Kamini Jindal from Ganganagar. Together, they declared assets worth Rs 2,959 crore. Bimla Devi was the richest candidate and her wealth was 700 times more than that of chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

The party won two seats – Ganganagar (Kamini Jindal) and Raisinghnagar (Sonadevi) -- in the 2013 assembly elections.

First Published: Feb 23, 2018 22:22 IST