Ministry of Labour and Employment Current Affairs

PENCIL Portal launched for effective implementation of National Child Labour Project

The Union Ministry of Labour and Employment launched Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour (PENCIL) Portal at National Conference on Child Labour.

The PENCIL portal is an electronic platform that aims at involving Centre, State, District, Governments, civil society and general public in achieving the target of child labour free society.

PENCIL portal

It encompasses various components- Child Tracking System, Complaint Corner, State Government, National Child Labour Project and Convergence. Each district will nominate District Nodal Officers (DNOs) who will receive the complaints. Within 48 hours of receiving complaints, DNOs will check genuineness of complaint and take rescue measures in coordination with police, if complaint is genuine. So far, 7 states have appointed DNOs.

National Child Labour Project (NCLP)

NCLP is central sector scheme launched in in 1988 for rehabilitation of child labour. Under it, special schools/rehabilitation centres for rehabilitation of child labourers are opened so that they can be mainstreamed into formal schooling system. These centres also provide nonformal education, vocational training, supplementary nutrition and stipend to children withdrawn from employment.

SOPs for enforcement of legal framework against child labour

Government also launched Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) for enforcement of legal framework against child labour. The SOPs aims at creating a ready reckoner for trainers, practitioners and monitoring agencies to ensure complete prohibition of child labour and protection of adolescents from hazardous labour ultimately leading to Child Labour Free India. They will be useful to the enforcement agencies

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EPFO signs Agreement with Five Banks

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has inked an agreement with four private banks and Bank of Baroda for the purpose of collection of provident fund dues from the employers and payments to its subscribers.

Salient Facts

This is the first time the EPFO has roped in private banks, namely, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. Earlier, the EPFO was making use of the services of only the state-run banks. This move of the EPFO will help the organisation to save nearly Rs 300 crore per year as the five banks have agreed to zero transaction charges.

Already the EPFO had tied up with five other banks. The five other banks are State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank and Union Bank of India. The latest agreement will now authorise 10 banks to collect provident fund contribution and make payment to the employees. Every year, the EPFO settles around 1.16 crore claims and collects ₹75,000 crores from establishments under the EPF Act.

Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefit applicable only to salaried employees. It is a fund to which both the employee and employer contribute fixed amount (percent) of the former’s basic salary amount each month. This percentage is pre-set by the government. At present, the entire EPF amount is tax-free at the time of withdrawal if the employee has completed five years of continuous service.

EPFO

EPFO is a statutory body of Union Government that comes under the aegis of Ministry of Labour and Employment. It is one of the largest social security organisations in India in terms volume of financial transactions undertaken and the number of covered beneficiaries. Its headquarters is located in New Delhi. The main functions of the EPFO: Administers a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme (1952), Pension Scheme (1995) and Insurance Scheme (1976).

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