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Significant Reforms in EPFO Highlighted in Review Meeting

New Delhi: In a crucial step towards enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Sumita Dawra, Secretary, Ministry of Labour & Employment, chaired a review meeting focused on recent reforms in the organization. The meeting was attended by Neelam Shami Rao, Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC), along with other senior officials from the Ministry of Labour & Employment and EPFO.

During the meeting, Secretary Dawra commended EPFO’s recent initiatives to automate claim settlements and reduce claim rejections. She highlighted the implementation of auto settlement for advances up to ₹1 lakh for illness, education, marriage, and housing, which has significantly expedited the claims process. To date, approximately 2.5 million advance claims have been settled through this automated system, with over 50% of illness claims processed in auto mode. This has resulted in many claims being settled within just three days.

A major reform discussed was the elimination of the requirement to upload cheque book/passbook details for KYC Aadhaar-linked accounts. This change has streamlined the process, removing scrutiny requirements in nearly 1.3 million claims in the past month alone. Additionally, EPFO has simplified and rationalized the remarks for returning incomplete cases and rejecting ineligible claims, making the process more transparent and easier for members to understand.

The meeting also noted a threefold increase in auto transfers, with numbers rising from 200,000 in April 2024 to 600,000 in May 2024. Secretary Dawra advised EPFO to continue these proactive steps towards systemic reforms.

Looking ahead, EPFO is in the process of revamping its application software to implement a Universal Account Number (UAN)-based single accounting system for each member. This new system aims to automate process flows with minimal human intervention, ensuring faster settlement of claims. The development of this software is being carried out in consultation with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC).

The review meeting also emphasized the need to expand social security and introduce new initiatives to enhance ease of living and ease of doing business. Operational reforms in litigation management and audit were also key topics of discussion.

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