Prime Minister concerned over grievances of EPF beneficiaries

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed concern over the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries and said a system should be in place under which the process of finalisation of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Discussed methods of redressal of grievances pertaining to the Labour & Employment Ministry and how technology can play a big role in this,” Modi tweeted after his monthly meeting of PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation), an ICT-based platform where he interacts directly with top officials of the Centre and states to discuss implementation of programmes and schemes.

During the meeting, he expressed “concern at the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries” and said the government must be sensitive to labourers needs.

“Governments have to be sensitive to the needs & grievances of the workers, who toil day & night and have a major role in India s progress,” he added.

He said that in a democracy, the labourers should not have to struggle to receive their legitimate dues and requested introduction of a system so that the process of finalization of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance, a PMO statement said.

In case of an untimely death, he said the papers should be completed within a specified time, and officers should be made accountable for the same, the statement added.

During the meeting, Labour Secretary outlined the improvements brought in the grievance redressal system, such as introduction of online transfer of claims, electronic challans, mobile applications and SMS alerts, linking UAN to Aadhaar numbers, introduction of tele-medicine and empanelling of more super-speciality hospitals.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of e-NAM (Electronic National Agriculture Mandi) initiative which began in April this year with 21 mandis spread over 8 states.

Officials said it has now expanded to 250 mandis spread over 10 states, the PMO statement said.

13 states have completed the process of amending the APMC Act, the meeting was told, after which the Prime Minister urged the remaining states to quickly make the required changes in the APMC Act, so that e-NAM could be enabled across the country.

He said the farmer can benefit only if ‘Assaying’ and ‘Grading’ facilities are made available, so that the farmer can market his produce in mandis across the country.

He also invited Chief Secretaries of states to give their suggestions on e-NAM.