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The Employees Provident Fund Organisation has raised a demand of Rs 33.97 crore from the Sahara Group companies and the matter is now sub-judice, state labour and employment minister Rameswar Teli said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

“A demand for an amount of Rs 33, 97, 30,000 has been raised by EPFO and the matter is now sub-judice,” he said.

The minister, in his response, further said that the exemption granted to M/s Sahara India, M/s Sahara India Financial Corporation Limited, M/s Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited and M/s Sahara India Mass Communication was cancelled during the month of March, 2018 due to violations of terms and conditions of exemption.

The minister clarified that the exemption to an establishment under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF & MP Act) and the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 is accorded in accordance with the provisions of the Act and scheme guidelines.

M/s Sahara India and four other companies, namely, M/s Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd., M/s Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd., M/s Sahara Airlines Ltd. and M/s Sahara India Mass Communication were granted exemption on June 12, 2006 after ascertaining the various aspects including transfer of contributions by the establishments and its participating units to the Trust and also on the basis of reports of the enforcement authorities of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

“No loss of any provident fund (PF) benefit was reported at the time of grant of exemption by the enforcement authorities of EPFO. In fact, a corpus of Rs 185.32 crore was reported in the trust in respect of the then PF members,” he said.

“After cancellation of exemption, past accumulations of PF amounting to Rs 278.56 crore along with details of all the employees in respect of four establishments were received from the Trust by EPFO,” he added.

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