Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), an statutory organisation under Labour and Employment Ministry, has stated that an article was published in a section of media on 18.11.2020 under the caption “EPFO subscribers, firms down in Oct”. In this regard, EPFO has categorically clarified that the information contained in the article is incorrect and unsubstantiated.
The article published claims a decline of 30,800 contributing establishments with EPFO in October from September 2020 and a simultaneous decline of 1.8 million contributing members in October as compared with the previous month. EPFO has emphasized that the dataset published regarding contributory members and establishments does not match with the official data of EPFO for any of the wage months mentioned. The data published in not based on EPFO’s data and is incorrect, EPFO said.
EPFO’s official data regarding contributory members and establishment is published on 20th of every month in the form of Payroll data. The Payroll data for any wage month is taken after one month from due date for filing ECR. Consequently, the data for September, 2020 (due date 15.10.2020) shall be taken only on 15.11.2020 and that for October, 2020 (due date 15.11.2020) on 15.12.2020.The last Payroll data published on 20.10.2020 has shown that except for the month of April and May 2020, there has been a continuous growth trend in net payroll additions till August 2020. EPFO’s payroll data for month of September will be published on 20.11.2020.
In EPFO, the data regarding contributing members and contributory establishments is derived from the Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) filed by the establishments for any particular wage month. The due date of filing of ECR is 15 th of the subsequent month but employer may pay belatedly with liability of interest for period of delay.
“Due to this flexibility, to be able to file ECR even after due date, EPFO’s contributory member and establishment data for any wage month remains dynamic. In this regard, concluding a count of contributory members and establishments for October, 2020 as on 16.11.2020 is premature and totally erroneous. Projection of incomplete data from unknown source without considering the dynamics nature of the data is highly objectionable,” EPFO added.