MORE THAN 4,000 teachers of private-aided schools in the city are reportedly yet to have their Provident Fund (PF) accounts opened.
The issue came to light after it was raised by Shivnath Darade, standing committee member of the education department of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Darade claimed that the EPF amount of teaching and non-teaching staff is being deposited in a joint savings account
with the school management. “The teachers and school staff are not able to claim tax exemption on their EPF, which is illegal,” said Darade in a letter to the Deputy Municipal Commissioner.
This has been the case for staff of at least 427 private-aided schools since 1995, Darade said.
According to Darade, more than `70 crore is lying in these savings accounts and teachers cannot avail the tax exemption they are eligible for.
However, officials from the finance department of the BMC said the teachers did not have provident accounts yet because of a policy requirement.
“These 4,000 teachers belong to schools whose trusts were approved by the BMC in the past 10 years,” said a highly
placed official. He said the trusts could open the EPF accounts only 10 years after the approval. He agreed that teachers from schools whose trusts were recently approved will not be able to claim tax benefits or avail pension if they retire before the 10-year embargo is over.
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