PUDUCHERRY: All the bank accounts of Puducherry Municipality has been frozen by the Regional Employees Provident Fund commissioner at Puducherry for failing to comply with its directives for providing records to determine the EPF dues of employees.
“Due to non-appearance and non-production of records by Puducherry Municipality, all its bank accounts have been freezed under Section 7A (2) of the EPF and MP act, 1952 read with section 32 of the code of civil procedure, 1908 by the EPF authorities in order to enforce the attendance and compelling for production of records before the inquiry authority”, said S K Manjunath, Regional PF commissioner, Regional Office, Puducherry in a release
EPF and MP act, 1952 extends to the Municipal corporations for ensuring compliance in respect of daily wage, casual and contract workers who otherwise are not in receipt of any provident fund or pension benefit under the par with permanent employees.
Though Puducherry Municipality has been covered under EPF and MP act, 1952 , it has not started compliance with the provisions of the act. The exemption sought by the Municipality has been rejected by the Ministry of Labour, Government of India on Jan 5, 2915, he said.
Hence an inquiry under 7A of the act has been initiated against the Municipality to determine the dues which is under progress. As Municipality has not cooperated for smooth conduct of inquiry, Secretary, Local Administration on Feb 16, 2017, has directed to the commissions of all Municipalities to attend the inquiry without fail and produce the relevant records to enable the EPF office to assess the arrears that are due to the contract workers since 2011.
The High Court of Madras in its order on April7, 2016 has directed the Municipal authority to attend and produce all the documents before the inquiry authorities. However despite this, the Municipal authority had failed to attend and produce the relevant records, following which the bank accounts of the Municipality has been sealed, said the PF Commissioner.