EPFO puts on hold decision to make Aadhaar must for new accts

New Delhi: Retirement fund body has decided to put on hold the decision to make it mandatory for new members joining EPF scheme to provide Aadhaar number as credential for enrolment from March 1, 2013.
"In view of discussion with UIDAI official and the time required in the process of obtaining Aadhaar numbers, it may not be possible to obtain Aadhaar number by EPF members by March 1, 2013. Therefore it has been decided to not to make Aadhaar number mandatory for EPFO members March 1, 2013", an EPFO order to the field staff said.
Late last month, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) decision drew flak from trade unions, following which the body has now decided to put it on hold.
However, the field staff has been asked to make efforts to obtain the available Aadhaar number of EPF members.
The staff has also been asked to collect core banking account numbers of all contributing members.
The EPFO order has observed that getting the Aadhaar is a time consuming process and the scheme covers 18 states only.
The remaining states are covered by the Register General of India under the National Population Register which would be digital database of country's residents.
EPFO had envisaged replacing members' account numbers with their Aadhaar numbers to avoid inconvenience to people as they had to apply for transfer of PF money to new accounts while changing jobs.
Now, EPFO is working on creating a central data base where all members would have a permanent account number and would not require to transfer PF accounts on changing job.
Besides, this will help EPFO members, particularly construction workers, who often change their jobs or contractors.