Minister for Finance, Labour and Employment Dr Haseeb Drabu today directed the Jammu and Kashmir Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) to adopt better and effective fund management system to make the EPFO a self sufficient body. He said that this move will surely help in to achieving higher returns which can be used for betterment of employees.
While chairing the 79th meeting of Board of Trustees of Jammu and Kashmir Employees Provident Fund Organization (JKEPFO), here today, the Finance Minister said that proper fund management is the need of the hour and the majority of the corpus lying with the organization should be invested properly in GOI Bonds, securities and others so that the returns would be utilized on welfare of the employees.
“Engage a good set of Fund managers to wisely deal with the investment portfolio to get better results and create flow of funds”, the Finance Minister said.
The Chairman asked the organization to come up with a working model to show inflow of funds and investment pattern clearly so that the goals can be achieved.
He said the EPFO should restructure its organizational setup to achieve its objectives.
The Finance Minister also approved Rs 1420.66 lacs budget for financial year 2017-18 for the organization.
The board was informed that the organization has around 3.75 Lakh subscribers from government departments, PSU’s, and from organized as well as organized sector. The Finance Minister asked the organization to cover the left over employees in both organized and unorganized sectors under EPFO.
It was informed that 58 new types of business units have been included in schedule-I of J&K Employees Provident Fund Act 1961 for widening of enforcement Jurisdiction of the Act thereby making 142 total types of Business units covered under J&K EPF Act.
The board also decided to engage a firm to deal with all legal cases pertaining to the organization. It was informed that the organization is getting all possible support from the Central Provident Fund Organization.
Provident Commissioner informed the board that the digitization of records is undergoing and the online portal would be developed soon to provide hassle free services to the subscribers.
The Finance Minister directed to complete the pending audit works in a time bound manner and to engage reputed private firms for carrying out audit for the backlog years.
The Annual report for the year 2015-16 was also presented in the meeting for the information of the board.
Commissioner Secretary Labour & Employment Gazzanfar Hussain, Provident Fund Commissioner Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary Board of Trustees, senior officers of Finance Department and members representing various trade and employees organization attended the meeting.
Later the Finance Minister chaired the meeting of Jammu & Kashmir Building & Other Construction Workers Welfare Board (JKBOCWWB).
The Meeting was also attended by Vice Chairman Syed Mohammad Baqir Rizvi, Commissioner Secretary Finance N K Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary Labour & Employment Gazzanfar Hussain and members of the board.
Addressing the meeting, the Finance Minister asked the board to put sincere efforts in providing health and other welfare measures for the workers subscribed with the board.
It was informed to the Minister that the board has developed an online portal and a mobile application for the registered workers. Customization and preparation of software solution as per the requirement of the J&KBOCWWB and is at final pre-launch stage. The solution will have various modules including online workers registration, welfare scheme management, Cess management, Building/Establishment registration and office & financial management.
The Finance Minister asked the board to compile digital data base of already registered 3 lakh workers which is very rich data.
The meeting was further informed that till ending March 31 2017, Rs 4121 lakhs was released in welfare schemes. The meeting also discussed insurance schemes for registered construction workers in detail and decided to register workers for Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana.
Micro Credit facility will also be provided to the workers with certain conditions so that they will have some amount in their hands for use. The board is contemplating to provide the credit card facility up to Rs 10,000 at one year MCLR to each registered worker and the J&K Bank will provide credit and this will be automatically initiated once the worker registers.
In order to promote the idea of digital JKBOCWWB and spread greater awareness about the new digital board, the Board has decided to declare 2017-18 as ‘Year of Digital JKBOCWWB’.
Dr Drabu approved budget to the tune of Rs 99.06 Crore for the financial year 2017-18 for the board.
The Finance Minister asked the board to develop a mechanism to check duplicity while providing benefits to the workers. He also asked to work on providing income supplement to the workers for the remaining days of year. He stressed on clearing insurance claims smoothly so that the workers did not get harassed.
The meeting decided to launch the online portal on trial basis and also approved various agenda points to further develop the board.