Retirement fund body EPFO has extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar number till March 31 by its over four crore members. Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has set February 28 as the deadline for submitting Aadhaar number. It had made mandatory for subscribers to submit the number for continuing the benefits under its scheme earlier in January. "It is hereby informed that all the member of Employees' Pension Scheme 1995 should also submit Aadhaar number authentication on or before March 31, 2017," an EPFO's official order for its over 120 field office stated. Besides, the office order stated that deadline for submitting Aadhaar linked digital life certificate has also been extended till March 31, 2017. In January, EPFO had decided to extend the date of submission through Jeevan Pramaan Patra programme to February 28. This was done to make the job easy for pensioner In November last year, EPFO had decided to shift the last date to January 15, 2017, to provide relief to pensioners, hit hard by demonetisation. Another extension came in January this year as Aadhaar is needed for submission of digital life certificates. It has done away with the system of accepting life certificate manually through banks.
The pensioners are required to provide life certificates digitally either through their mobile phones or at common service centres or at bank branches providing such facility. EPFO has already joined the vast network of over 2 lakh common services centres (CSC) of the IT department to widen its reach. The CSC network is one of the largest government approved online service delivery channels in the world. As per practice, EPFO pensioners are required to submit their life certificates by November. In case, the pensioners do not submit so, their pension is stopped. EPFO has been accepting life certificates through Jeevan Pramaan software application through mobile phones. Besides, the pensioners are using the services of over 2 lakh CSCs. A notification by the Labour ministry said: "Members and pensioners of the Employees Pension Scheme desirous of continuing to avail pension and membership to Employees Pension Scheme, are here by required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number of undergo Aadhaar authentication as per the procedure laid down by EPFO." It also says, "A member or pensioner desirous of continuing benefit of the said scheme... Shall be required to make an application for Aadhaar enrolment by January 31, 2017." Central government contributes 1.16 per cent of the basic wages as subsidy to every members EPS account in addition to 8.33 per cent deposited by their employers every month. Since the government provides subsidy to an EPFO member, it has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targetted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, for the purpose. Section 7 of the Act provides that where government provides subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India, an individual can be asked to undergo authentication, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number. It also provides that where an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual can apply for enrolment.
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