While appreciating your valuable opinions on several queries from fellow cite-hrians relating to PF/ESI,I seek your reasoned comments on the following practical problem ,my organisation is facing:
--One contractor having obtained independent PF Code absconded from the work site without depositing the PF contributions of his labourers for several months.The management(PE) continued to pay wages to the labourers for some months deducting the PF dues in absence of the contractor afterwhich the contract of the contractor was terminated. The management sought direction from the RPFC under which code the PF dues of the workers for the past period is to be deposited,if PE wants to deposit the same,but the RPFC sat over the matter for months together and did neither take any action against the contractor nor communicated to PE under which code the PF dues for past months will be deposited by PE and as to how past PF dues will be assessed in the absence of contractor’s wages sheets(for the period ,the wages were paid by him). One day the union/labourers went on wildcat strike demanding instant deposit of PF dues by P.E. for the entire period (both for the period wages paid by contractor as well as by PE).To diffuse the situation,the management(PE) signed a MOD with the workers’union to deposit the PF dues of the workers after jointly discussing with RPFC.After hearing both parties,the RPFC initiated action under Sec-7A to determine the PF dues issuing notices to the contractor & the P.E.
Now the RPFC is insisting the P.E. to deposit the PF dues of the workers in respect of wages ,which the contractor has paid and the wages which PE has paid to workers,without taking action to recover the PF dues from the contractor by way of freezing his bank account ,initiating certificate proceeding etc.The P.E. has now deposited the PF dues for the months ,the wages for which it has paid wages to the workers.Can the P.E. now plead before the RPFC on the next date of hearing not to insist it to deposit PF dues for the past months,the wages for which period , the contractor has paid to the workers and the same should be recovered from the absconding contractor.
20th February 2013 From India, Calcutta