COVERAGE OF CHINESE WORKERS WITHOUT ASCERTAINING THEIR SALARIES – TO BE QUASHED
By filing the appeal, the appellant has questioned the validity of the order dated 29.09.2009, passed by the EPF Authority under section 7A of the Act that the amount paid to the technicians working in India and drawing salary in China in Chinese currency would attract EPF contributions.
The EPF Appellate Tribunal observed that the EPF Authority has not ascertained the actual salary/wages of these workers which is an essential requirement before enrolling an international worker a member of the EPF Scheme. The employees drawing salary/wages exceeding Rs.6,500 per month are not liable to be covered under the EPF Scheme. Hence, order of the EPF Authority suffers from serious infirmities and liable to be quashed. The appeal is allowed.
M/s. Wardha Power Company Ltd. vs. APFC, Nagpur,
ATA No.692(9)/2009 decided on 2.2.2012
We, at the Labour Law Reporter, are flooded with the inquiries as to what should be done for provident fund contribution in view of the recent rulings of Madhya Pradesh High Court and the Madras High Court, which have clubbed almost every allowance with basic wages/dearness allowance for deduction and deposit of provident fund contributions.
The Provident Fund Authorities have leapt on it as if they have found the gold mines of El Dorado. Sluggish and lethargic otherwise; the authorities showed the remarkable agility and tearing hurry in sending the circulars in bulk for propagating the operative portions of the decisions forgetting the basic tenet of the legal system that those rulings have not attained the status of finality. This attitude of the authorities is nauseating; reflecting their impaired mentality towards the economic growth of the country.
However, we consider it our bounden duty to clarify the legal position (as gathered by the concerned advocates) which, as on today, is that:
1. Review Petitions have been filed before the Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) which would come up for hearing on 29th July, 2011.
2. A Writ Appeal has also been filed in the High Court of Madras which is likely to come up for hearing on or around 8th August, 2011.
In view of pendency of the aforesaid Petitions, the judgments of the High Courts are not definitive. Accordingly, we have been sincerely advising that the existing arrangement should continue till the final outcome.