The Employee Provident Fund Office (EPFO) has launched the online registration facility for allotment of provident fund code number to companies. The new facility would allow the PF code number to be allotted within a day.

Launching the facility the Union labour minister, Narendra Singh Tomar, said online registration facility goes with the new government's overall focus of doing business easy in India.

"Earlier, the registration process would take 20-25 days, but now with the online facility the time has been reduced to a day," he said.

Earlier, an establishment had to physically submit the registration application at the regional PF offices, which lead to many delays in allotting the provident fund code number to applicants.

With the new facility, an establishment can register online filling the form and providing necessary information. On successful completion of the process and verification of the establishment's Permanent Account Number (PAN), the PF code is generated within a day.

When asked if non-registration by establishments should invite penal action by the authorities, the labour minister said that no such plans are there for the time being. He said the government's primary focus now is to make all the processes simpler.

He also said that the final decision on raising the salary cap for compliance of PF deduction rules and allocation of universal PF account number will be taken within two weeks.

At present, it is mandatory for an employer to deduct 12% of the basic salary up to Rs 6,500 from an employee's salary and contribute it to the employee provident fund. The employer also has to make a matching contribution. The government is likely to raise the limit from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000 a month.
Tomar said they expect the universal PF numbers to be rolled out by October this year


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