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Finance Commission concludes deliberationsGovt working on production-linked sops for more sectorsOfficers who are invested with powers u/s 53 of the NDPS Act are 'police officers' within the meaning of s.25 of the Evidence Act: SC by MajorityCus - 200% Customs duty on imports from Pakistan not applicable as goods entered territory of India prior to the issuance/uploading of the notification 5/2019-Cus dt. 16.02.2019 at 8.45 pm: HCIDS - Input Services & capital goods - Awaiting their fateCus - Kerala gold smuggling case - Power of Customs Department to question applicant u/s 108 cannot be curtailed by granting anticipatory bail: HCStatement recorded u/s 67 cannot be used as a confessional statement in the trial of an offence under the NDPS Act: SC by MajorityCOVID-19 - Second wave is back with vengeance - Over 5 lakh daily global caseload is backFinance Commission to submit its report to President of India on Nov 9ITR filing - CBDT extends due date including that of Audit reportST - Advertisement and Business Promotion, Bank Charges, Brokerage, Housekeeping Services, Insurance Service, Legal and Professional Service, Manpower Consultancy Service, Security services, Telephone & Internet Services are Input services; credit admissible: CESTATCOVID Effect - Devolution of taxes - States get Rs 51K Crore less so farPakistan wittingly admits a hand in Pulwama terror attackCX - Once the proportionate reversal of CENVAT credit takes place, it tantamounts to non-availing of credit: CESTATCus - Ignorance of law and cooperation in investigation are mitigating factors & per se cannot take away the guilt of attempting to bring goods into India without payment of duty: CESTATGovt issues draft 'Coastal Shipping Bill, 2020' for public consultation47-day delay in filing appeal is condoned where caused by the assessee having to change the legal counsel handling the matter: ITAT'Filthy Air' Saga - Is it not a case of Pot calling Kettle black!Penalty notice issued u/s 271(1)(c) r/w Section 274 is sustainable where the AO omits to strike off the relevant charge u/s 271(1)(c), for which such penalty was imposed: ITATGovt exempts cash allowance of Rs 36K towards LTC of non-Govt employeesPenalty in respect of bogus purchases, cannot be levied where it is based on an estimation of the assessee's income from such purchases: ITATGST - DGGI nabs man accused of Rs 392 Cr ITC fraudBank credit grows by over Rs one lakh crore in Sept monthIncome tax raids real estate developer; finds dummy companies with investment overseasGST - Another kingpin nabbed in Rs 1278 Cr ITC fraudUS economy recovers in Q3 - grows at 7.4%Govt reduces tariff value of gold and silver but hikes the same for edible oilsPatient Assistance Proramme - Drugs of many companies exempted from Customs dutyCore Sector output shrinks by 0.8% in Sept monthCabinet approves extension of norms for mandatory packaging in Jute MaterialsPradhan invites Global Oil & Gas majors to partner India in energy transition
Gangwar launches virtual hearing in quasi-judicial cases under EPF Act


By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, SEPT 10, 2020: THE 227th Meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), EPF was held yesterday under the Chairmanship of Mr Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State for Labour & Employment (I/C), and Vice Chairmanship of Mr Heeralal Samariya, Secretary (L&E), Central Provident Fund Commissioner, Sh. Sunil Barthwal, conducted the meeting as Member Secretary, CBT, EPF through Video Conference mode.

Following were the highlights of the Central Board Meeting:-

1.Mr Gangwar launched virtual hearing facility in quasi-judicial cases under EPF & MP Act, 1952 through Video conferencing by use of secure IT applications compatible with Desktop/Laptop/Mobile Phones. The aim of integration of virtual hearing utilities with EPFO's e-Court process on Compliance e-Proceedings Portal ( is to eliminate physical presence of parties in hearings before Adjudicating Officer leading to ease and convenience for employers & employees to appear in hearings from remote location of their choice. The system entails savings on time, travel and expenditure for parties, ensures compliance to social distancing norms during pandemic and fast tracks assessment of worker's EPF dues to generate better confidence in the quasi-judicial mechanism. It is a critical development towards the objective of faceless quasi-judicial proceedings in EPFO.

2.The Central Board accorded approval for amendment of paragraph 22(3) of Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976 to enhance the maximum assurance benefit to Rs. 7 lakhs from the present maximum assurance benefit of Rs. 6 lakhs. This amendment will provide additional succor to families and dependents of members of the Scheme in case of their unfortunate death while in service. CBT was also informed that the actuarial valuation of EDLI Fund has allowed for continuation of minimum assurance benefit of Rs 2.5 Lakhs beyond 14.02.2020 and extension of minimum assurance benefit of Rs 2.5 Lakhs to family of those deceased members who were employed in multiple establishments during the 12 months preceding the month in which they died, as approved by CBT EPF in its 226th meeting.

3. In view of exceptional circumstances arising out of Covid-19, the agenda regarding interest rate was reviewed by the Central Board and it recommended the same rate @ 8.50% to the Central Govt. It would comprise of 8.15% from debt income and balance 0.35% (capital gain)from the sale of ETFs subject to their redemption by 31st December, 2020. It further recommended to account such capital gains in the income of the financial year 2019-20 as being an exceptional case.

4.  The Central Board was apprised of the various initiatives taken by EPFO for extending nirbadh seamless service to stakeholders during Covid-19 pandemic. Members of the Board appreciated these initiatives and gave suggestions to further improve service delivery to all stakeholders. The Central Board was also apprised of the relief measures announced by Central Government for establishments and members under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna (PMGKY) which were successfully implemented by EPFO on digital platform.

5. Recent IT initiatives along with a future roadmap for making EPFO a paperless organization were taken note of by the Central Board. The Board members appreciated the fact that EPFO is using latest trends and technology and availing benefits by use of existing initiatives of other Government Departments as well as by effectively harnessing its in-house capabilities for internal services.