Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 – Expansion and Strengthening of current program of Nidhi Aapke Nikat – Standard Operating Procedure by EPFO
EPFO, HEAD OFFICE
MINISTRY OF LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT, GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
BHAVISHYA NIDHI BHAWAN, 14, BHIKAJI CAMA PLACE,
NEW DELHI 110066
Date : 13-January-2023
All Additional CPFC (HQs) (Zones)
All Additional CPFC (Zones)
All Regional PF Commissioner(In-charge of Regions)
Subject : Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 – Expansion and Strengthening of current program of Nidhi Aapke Nikat
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) caters to the social security needs of its members. In the past various outreach programs like Nidhi Aapke Nikat, Webinars, Pension Adalat, etc were initiated for ease of living of members. However, these programs were restricted to the districts where our offices were situated.
2. Now, with the intent to expand the horizon in all the districts of the country, it has been decided to launch Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 as District Outreach Program. The strategy of this program is to reach out to every district in the country on the same day every month.
3. Detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), in this regard, is enclosed herewith. All the Offices are expected to implement it in letter and spirit to make its impact far reaching and meaningful.
( Issues with the approval of Competent Authority )
Regional P.F. Commissioner – I (C&PR)
EPFO STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
SOP No.: C&PR/2023/1
SOP Title: Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0
Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0—Expansion and Strengthening of current program of Nidhi Aapke Nikat
1.1 This program shall be called Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0.
1.2 The objective of the programme is to increase the footprint and EPFO’s presence in all the districts of the country through an inclusive & cohesive outreach program.
1.3 This SOP subsumes all the relevant points of the circulars on the subjects of Nidhi Aapke Nikat, Pension Adaalat and outreach at Aspirational/Border Districts which are enlisted below:
a) Circular No. VI(31)2015/7781 dated 08.06.2015
b) Circular No. V1I(31)2015/6288 dated 09.07.2015
c) Circular No. V1(31)2015/8477 dated 05.08.2015
d) Circular No. Publicity 1(05)2016/Nidhi Aapke Nikat dated 17.08.2018
e) Circular No. Publicityl(05)2016/NidhiAapkeNikat/290 dated 05.04.2019
f) Circular No. Pension-1 /1(5) /2021 / Pension Adaalat / 3205 dated 02.03.2021
g) Circular No. Coord/PM instructions/2022 dated 17.06.2022
2. Introduction & context
2.1 Over the years, EPFO has taken several measures and reforms for the benefit of its subscribers. In the year 2015, vide circular No. V1(31)2015/7781 dated O8-June-2015, Bhavishya Nidhi Adalat was rechristened as Nidhi Aapke Nikat and vide Circular’ No. V1(31)2015/6288 dated 09.07.2015, the facility of reporting of Nidhi Aapke Nikat was provided in MIS Dashboard. Further, vide Circular No. V1(31)2015/8477 dated 05.08.2015, format for reporting by field offices was prescribed. Later vide circular Publicity I (05)2016/Nidhi Aapke Nikat dated 17.08.2018, the Nidhi Aapke Nikat was further strengthened and streamlined.
2.2 In the year 2019, vide circular No. PublicityI(05)2016/Nidhi Aapke Nikat, the outreach of the Nidhi Aapke Nikat Program was further improved by inviting participation of trade unions and directing field offices that sufficient publicity should be done before conducting the programme to ensure maximum participation of stakeholders.
2.3. In the year 2021, it was felt that pensioners needed an exclusive platform for their grievance redressal and hence the programme on monthly Pension Adalat was initiated vide Circular No. Pension-1/1(5)/2021/ Pension Adalat/3205 dated 02.03.2021.
2.4 Vide DO letter No.1/28/1/2022 — Cab. dated 04.04.2022 Cabinet secretary addressed all Secretaries, wherein the key points of the discussions held by Hon’ble PM with secretaries were communicated. Accordingly, a letter bearing No. Coord / PM instructions / 2022 dated 17-June-2022 was issued for conducting outreach program especially for aspirational districts.
2.5 After consultations with various stakeholders on issues pertaining to awareness on Social Security benefits through EPFO as well as delivery of services it is observed that the point of absence in more than 500 districts of the country is a big impediment in improving social security coverage and providing seamless services to its members. Moreover, EPF officers are not moving out of office on 10″ (the day fixed for Nidhi Aapke Nikat) because they are too busy in settlement of claims & submission of returns.
2.6 The programs referred in Para 2.1 & 2.2 do provide some latitude for enhancing the reach of EPFO. However, more targeted approach would be required if high public satisfaction as well as actual benefits delivery is to be achieved. For this, one of the key strategies shall be to increase the foot print of EPFO through extensive outreach in all the districts. Since offices are not present in all the districts, same will be achieved through an outreach program.
2.7 In this backdrop, it has been decided to further strengthen and increase outreach of Nidhi Aapke Nikat as a District Awareness Camp and outreach program.
2.8 While Nidhi Aapke Nikat is a programme where EPFO stakeholders visit the field offices, the approach now will be to reach out to the stakeholders, thereby increasing accessibility and visibility of the organisation, in all the districts of the country, with regular periodicity.
3.1 The scope of this program would be to reach out to all the districts in the country on the same day every month.
3.2. It also aims at inclusive, cohesive and coherent outreach program with a district as a unit of focus.
3.3. ‘It will be a broad based participatory awareness and outreach program for the employers and the employees acting as a grievance redressal platform for members and information exchange network.
3.4. The Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 should be conducted on 27th of every month Starting from January 2023. However, if 27th is a holiday, it shall be conducted on the next working day.
4.1 In this SOP- Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0, unless the context otherwise requires, terms are defined as follows:
a) District Nodal Officer (DNO): Enforcement Officer (EO)/Accounts Officer (AQ) who is designated as district nodal officer under SOP – Industrial accidents for each district by the regional office, provided that no DNO will have more than 1 district. In case of shortage of EO/AO, OIC can request ZO to entrust the task to an EO/AO of the nearby region.
b) Theme of the month — C&PR Division will identify monthly themes at the beginning of the quarter and it will be circulated to all Zonal and Regional Offices for special emphasis during monthly outreach of Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0.
5.1 Responsibilities of Head Office:
a) At Headquarter level Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 shall be implemented through and monitored by C&PR Division.
b) It will ensure deployment of officers from HO level particularly with the focus on aspirational and border districts.
c) It will also monitor the entire program and prepare Report- NAN-5.
d) HO may also align Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 with their monthly thematic awareness Campaigns.
5.2 Responsibilities of Zonal Offices:
a) Nominate an EO/AO as Nodal Officer from surplus to deficit region.
b) Zonal Office may also nominate Section Supervisor as DNO in case of shortage in the cadre of EO/AO.
c) In case of further shortage of staff in the Zone, it may request Head Office to nominate officers from surplus zones or Head Office.
d) Zonal Office shall also nominate Group-A officers for attending the program in a way that each officer undertakes at least one such visit in two months.
e) It will also ensure monitoring of Report-NAN-2 and Report- NAN-3 and submission of Report-NAN-4 to HO.
f) It will translate the publicity material provided by C&PR Division in the regional language(s) of the state.
g) It shall be responsible for removal of difficulties and doubts of the ROs under their jurisdiction, if any.
h) Orient and sensitise teams and officials about the format and sensitivity of the programme.
5.3 Responsibilities of Regional Offices:
a) The OIC shall nominate an EO/AO as DNO and will form teams to assist the DNO for each district under the jurisdiction of the RO.
b) The OIC shall nominate one Section Supervisor/Sr. SSA in every team to man the service delivery kiosk.
c) The OIC shall be responsible for sensitization of the team, communication with the district authorities, provisioning of outreach material through C&PR/ZO etc.
d) The OIC shall constitute a team of officers and staff in RO which shall be in regular contact with DNO for on-the-spot disposal of grievances.
e) The primary responsibility for the implementation of the SOP — Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 and successful conduct of the programme shall be with the OIC of the region.
5.4 Responsibilities of DNO:
a) DNO with his/her team will be responsible for orderly conduct and successful implementation of Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0.
b) DNO will lead the team, interact with stakeholders, and exchange information on coverage with district administration, address grievances and conduct awareness sessions.
c) DNO will also submit NAN-Report-2 in a timely manner.
d) During Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0, the DNO should also examine and review the implementation of the SOP on Industrial Accidents in the coverage districts, incident districts and resident districts. All possible assistance should be extended to the beneficiaries to claim their rightful dues.
6 Specific Procedure:
6.1 Formation of teams:
a) The team for district outreach program will consist of District Nodal Officer as Team Head accompanied by 2-3 SS/SSAs nominated by concerned OIC of RO. The DNO nominated for a district shall be changed after every 6 months and SS/SSAs nominated for a district shall be changed after every 3 months.
b) Teams for large districts may be provided more manpower, if necessary. A large district is defined, for this purpose, as one having more than one lakh subscribers.
c) Some large districts may have geographical jurisdiction of more than one Regional Office. In such case, each RO shall organise one Camp in its geographical jurisdiction.
d) Due to current officer & staff shortage some of the Regional offices having many districts spread over a wide geographical area may find it difficult to conduct Nidhi Aapke Nikat simultaneously in all the districts. The recruitment process for providing sufficient officers and staff is being undertaken. Till then, such Regional Offices may identify districts where the establishment and membership concentration is less for conducting Nidhi Aapke Nikat once in every two months. However, prior approval of the Headquarters shall be obtained for making such an exception.
6.2 Briefing and preparedness of the team:
a) OIC of Regional Office should properly orient and sensitise the team about the program. The team shall have demographic, geographic and industrial landscape/data of the district. The team must also have following information with it:
- > List of newly covered establishments of the district for extending helping hand, in making compliances through an interactive session in the NAN 2.0.
- > List of non-contributing establishments but not marked closed, for sharing with concerned district authorities for securing compliance.
- > List of establishments showing significant drop in contribution, for sharing information with concerned district authorities with the objective of securing proper compliances.
- > List of long-pending grievances/claims for resolution with the help of establishment/member/district authorities.
- > List of Pensioners (with complete details) who have not received pension for last three years, for sharing with District Social Welfare/Development/ other authorities to find out their whereabouts.
- > List of exempted establishments with their compliance & return filing status and specific issue, if any, for discussion with their representatives and resolution of issues.
- > Any other information deemed necessary by the OIC/Team.
b) Logistics Support: The team should have PC/Laptop, Public Address system, Internet connection, Printer, Projector, Audio Video material, Banners, Standees, etc.
a) The venue for the district outreach program would preferably be in a place which is easily connected vide different modes of transportation.
b) Preferred venue may be District Collectorate, District Industries Office, State Labour Commissioner’s Office, Venue should be decent, easily accessible, neat & clean.
c) Efforts should be made to organise the camp at different venues and at Tehsil level in due course.
d) DNO should identify the venue a month before the date of event.
e) DNO shall give wide publicity about the programme and location through email, SMS, social media handles of RO and other modes of communication to employers, employees and other stakeholders.
a) Team shall place standees and banners provided by HO/RO in proper place with clear visibility.
b) Digital form of displays should be preferred.
c) Displays in the regional language shall be prepared in clear fonts preserving the original design and placed at conspicuous locations.
d) Team shall setup a service delivery Kiosk at the venue for grievance redressal and rendering online services to the visiting members.
e) The team shall have requisite awareness related materials like Employer-Employee Guides, etc.
6.5 Pre-publicity of the event :
a) A wide publicity is to be given through email, WhatsApp, SMS, local newspaper (as news), social media, etc. SMS to all establishments and members and pensioners shall be sent by the IS Division. The time and venue of the NAN shall be informed by the ZO, at least 10 days in advance, to the IS Division.
b) Timely invitation must be sent to covered establishments, members, local CBT member(s), Regional Committee member(s), office bearer(s) of industrial associations & trade unions, etc.
c) The invitation must be sent at least 1 week in advance, and reminders should be sent one day prior and on the day of the program.
6.6 Time slots for the program :
a) The program would consist of two verticals where service delivery and awareness would be conducted simultaneously.
b) The DNO will conduct the outreach and awareness activities while the section Supervisors would be involved in registering and settling of grievances at the service delivery kiosk.
c) All efforts should be made to provide online service delivery and redressal of grievance on the spot. The grievances which remain unresolved after the outreach programme shall be registered on EPFIGMS and such grievances shall be flagged by the IS Division. Such grievances shall be reviewed by the OIC on a weekly basis for complete resolution.
d) Model Time Table of the programme is attached as Activities Schedule. Any modification required due to weather and cultural conditions or any other reason of the venue may be done with the approval of OIC of RO.
6.7 Exchange of information with district authorities: A formal communication from the Regional Office/OIC should be made to district authorities explaining the rationale, outcome and benefits of District Outreach Programme requesting their full fledged participation. Formal letter followed by email and SMS shall be made from time to time.
a) DNO should reach a day prior to the programme at the station where the outreach programme is scheduled and interact with the district authorities, especially state labour and industries departments to apprise them of recent activities and developments. He shall also share the following information with them:
- > List of non-contributing establishments but not marked closed should be given to industries’ department, labour department, electricity department, GST department
- > Long pending recoveries
- > List of Pensioners, with their complete details, who have not received pension for last 3 years, may be provided to Tehsil and state social welfare authorities to find out their whereabouts
b) DNO should seek the following information from district authorities and submit to OIC for exploring possibilities of coverage of uncovered establishments and extending social security benefits to all eligible employees:
- > List of new establishments from industries departments
- > List of contractors and contractual workers from labour departments
- > List of contractors working with various district departments
c) District Nodal Officer should follow up the same on regular time intervals from district authorities for getting the above information and updates on the information gathered.
6.8 Budget: The expenses for organising these camps shall be booked under the head “Publicity”, in consultation with Finance Division.
6.9 Post Programme Activities
a) Thanks Giving email/SMS must be sent to attendees (VIPs, CBT members, Regional Committee members, officials of state/district administration, etc).
b) Two-Three best photographs and videos of success stories/narrative videos(less than 60 seconds) to be forwarded to C&PR (Head Office) on [email protected] immediately after the program.
c) IS Division shall develop reporting and monitoring tool within the period of 3 months from the issue of this SOP.
7 Reporting & Feedback
a) The ZOs shall submit intimation about the planned Nidhi Aapke Nikat 2.0 details in the NAN-Report-01 by 15th of every month.
b)The DNO shall submit his report by 29″ of Month to OIC in proforma NAN-Report-02.
c) The OIC for region shall submit report along with his comments in NAN-Report-03 to ZO by 1st of the next month.
d) The ZO shall analyse the report of ROs and submit NAN-Report-04 to HO by 03rd of next month.