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PF office pulls up ICAI for default

Vishaka Zadoo in New Delhi | August 12, 2004 13:17 IST

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, a regulatory body for chartered accountants, has been pulled up by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation for violating provident fund norms for more than a decade.

In a notice served to ICAI, the EPFO has held the institute guilty of not complying with provisions of the Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act since 1982, when the institute was brought under the its purview.

"Not only has the institute not been filing the requisite returns with EPFO, it has been contributing a lower amount than it was liable for since 1986," an ICAI employee union source said.

After the Fourth Pay Commission in 1986, the institute has been considering only the basic pay to calculate the amount to be contributed to the provident fund.

In addition, the institute has also been contributing at a lower rate of 10 per cent than the rate of 12 per cent prescribed by EPFO ever since 1996, he said.

When contacted, Ashok Haldia, secretary, ICAI admitted that the institute was contributing 10 per cent of the basic salary towards PF. He, however, denied any violation saying that the institute did not come under the EPF Act and hence was not liable to pay at the higher rate.

The institute has also failed to meet the deadline set by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, in the notice, of paying the necessary dues and submitting the required challans by February this year. Failure to abide by the EPFO notice has led the organisation to initiate proceedings against ICAI.

ICAI had been asked to submit all the data related to employees' compensation for the last 20 years, but it had till now been able to provide data for the last 10 years only, the union member said.

This was the reason why EPFO has not been able to calculate the exact liabilities due to the institute. The proceedings were still on at the provident fund commission, he said.

He, however, said that the indications were that the liability would be in the range of Rs 1.5-2 crore (Rs 15-20 million)"

But the EPFO commission, hearing the case, would be able to come to a final figure of the total dues, as soon as the institute would stop delaying the proceedings by submitting incomplete data," the union member said.

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