EPFO issues notice to Jet for not remitting employee dues

New Delhi, May 10 (IANS): Grounded Jet Airways’ troubles seem to be mounting each passing day. The Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has now served a show-cause notice to the airline for not remitting provident fund and other allied dues in various employee accounts.

In a letter to the Jet Airways Managing Director, the EPFO regional office in Mumbai has said it will initiate an enquiry to assess the total dues and also file a case with the police for non-payment of the employees’ share of provident fund.

“It is once again advised to abide by the statutory requirement of the Act & Scheme and report compliance to undersigned to avoid above unpleasant action against Establishment and responsible persons,” EPFO assistant PF Commissioner Dilip K. Rathod has written to Jet Airways.

According to the letter, the dues pertain to March, 2019, onwards in various accounts.

A Jet Airways official spokesperson has not responded so far to an IANS query on the issue.

Besides statutory dues, debt-ridden jet Airways has delayed payments to many of its vendors, associates and service providers. State-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also acted tough and has taken over many of the office spaces rented out to the airline on account of non-payment of dues.

To recover a part of its dues, AAI is also in the process of encashing the bank guarantee furnished by the airline.

“We have to answer to our auditors. We cannot allow dues to pile up when the airline has closed operations,” an AAI executive said.

Left completely out of cash, Jet Airways suspended its operations on April 17.

Subsequently, hundreds of employees have left the carrier to join rival companies. Its aircraft are also being gradually de-registered. These events have added to growing uncertainty about the airline’s revival.

Lenders of Jet Airways led by state-run State Bank of India (SBI) are currently in the process of selling the airline to recover their dues of over Rs 8,400 crore. Private equity firm TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and Etihad Airways have been shortlisted to submit their bids after they submitted their Expressions of Interest.

The deadline for submitting binding bids for the airline is May 10, 2019.