The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has decided to conduct its meeting at the EPFO headquarters in New Delhi on November 20. Among various agendas, the board also seeks insights and updates into and regarding the alleged PF fraud of more than Rs 21 crore that happened at the Kandivali branch, Mumbai, in August this year.
After the last meeting, which was held in March 2021, the EPFO’s CBT will be meeting for the 229th time at the New Delhi HQ. The meeting was to be held on November 16 but got rescheduled and will now be held on November 20.
“The Central board should be cognizant about the current state of the investigation and the exact situation of the PF Fraud at the EPFO’s Kandivali branch. The Central Board of trustees, which is the apex decision-making body, expects EPFO to provide the exact amount that was siphoned and the progress of the CBI enquiry into the matter,” an anonymous government official told Moneycontrol.
The official added that the fraud amount can be anywhere between Rs 21 crore to Rs100 crore. However, the figures are unconfirmed. He said that at the meeting to be held on November 20, the EPFO must come clean with all the details to maintain the trust among the subscribers and the sanctity of the organization.
The incident came to light in August when the EPFO headquarter was enlightened about money being siphoned from a common Provident fund pool through fraudulent withdrawals using bogus bank accounts.
The accounts mostly belonged to poor migrant workers who were shown as employees of five Mumbai-based companies, reported The Indian Express. All the companies that were listed shut their operations way back in 2006. The fraud, worth crores, was executed by employees working at the Group B and Group C level and was executed at a time when the country was grappling with a deadly pandemic. As many as six officials were fired on account of their involvement in the fraud.
Apart from the PF Fraud, the CBT meeting will also see discussions centred around investments carried out by the EPFO, among other administrative issues. The board will also discuss the plan of action to expand the investment options for the retirement fund manager.
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