Govt may set up task force on mandatory seeding of Aadhaar for enrollment and remittances under the EPFO

Government may soon set up a task force to address the challenges faced by employers and employees on mandatory seeding of Aadhaar for enrollment and remittances under the Employees Provident Funds Organisation as it gears up to expand the social security net while reducing duplication of beneficiaries.

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is in talks with the industry and trade unions to set up the task force with equal representation of all stakeholders before the deadline of September 1, a top government official told ET.

“The idea is to handhold employers while creating awareness among employees for the need of seeding of Aadhaar with the universal account number (UAN) so that beneficiaries are not deprived of their statutory dues,” the official said, adding the mismatch in data often results in delay in settlements.

An official of the Confederation of Indian Industry said that both workers and industry will face issues if Aadhaar seeding is made mandatory as there is huge mismatch in the data. “Hence, the need for a taskforce on resolving all issues related to Aadhaar linkage before it gets implemented,” the official said.

The employers are finding it difficult to seed Aadhaar with UAN, especially for workers engaged in short-term employment of three-six months, as they keep shifting jobs very often.“The government should give 90 days’ time to the employers to chase the employee for verification as the early cutoff for the same every month is creating a huge bottleneck for employers,” Suchita Dutta, executive director of the Indian Staffing Federation said.

According to ISF, the government should also look at the possibility of allowing any other document along with Aadhaar for verification to avoid penalising employers for late deposits.

The labour ministry has deferred by three months to September 1, 2021 the mandatory requirement of seeding Aadhaar with EPFO database for new enrollments and remittances of employees’ dues to EPFO every month.

The section 142 of the Social Security Code provides for establishing the identity of an employee or an unorganised worker or any other person through Aadhaar number for seeking benefits and availing services under the Code.

The government aims to bring the gig workers under the social security ambit and further expand social security benefits to other unorganised workers as it intends to provide universal social security cover to all 500 million workers in the country.

Currently, a little over 12%of India’s total workforce is in the formal sector while the majority of the workforce is deprived of all social security benefits, including even the minimum wage.

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