The labour ministry has deferred mandatory seeding of Aadhaar for north-estaern states and certain establishments by four months till December 31, 2021 while waiving off the penalty on employers for delayed filing of returns under Employees Provident Fund Organisation for two months, citing the impact of the second wave of the pandemic.
“Considering the low Aadhaar penetration in the EPFO‘s administrative zone of north east region comprising of states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura, time for mandatory seeding of Aadhaar in universal account number (UAN) for filing electronic challan cum return (ECR) is extended till 31.12.2021,” it said in a notification dated September 11.
“Considering the concentration of establishments in remote localities and in areas affected due to insurgency, frequent change in work sites of the workers and other attendant constraints in the classes of establishments, time for mandatory seeding of Aadhaar in UAN for filing ECR is extended till 31.12.2021,” it further said.
The class of establishments which have been extended included beedi making, building and construction and plantation industries including tea, coffee, cardamom, pepper, jute, rubber, cinchona and cashewnuts among others.
According to the notification, delay in filing of ECRs for wage months of August, 2021 and September, 2021 only in respect of EPF members due to non-seeding of Aadhaar in the UANs will not be presumed as employer’s default for levy of penal damages under section 14B of the EPF & MP Act, 1952. This would be applicable in areas and industries or class of establishments other than above.
Further, it has directed the zonal offices to ensure that regional offices and district offices facilitate and coordinate with UIDAI and organize camps for Aadhaar enrollment and corrections in Aadhaar data of EPF members to facilitate Aadhaar seeding in UANs and monitor the progress on a weekly basis.
As per the data, overall about 94% of contributory EPF members’ UAN have Aadhaar seeding barring in the above areas and industries.