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EPFO launches WhatsApp helpline service

Retirement fund body EPFO has launched a WhatsApp helpline service for speedy redressal of grievances of its subscribes, the labour ministry said on Tuesday.

This facility is in addition to various other means of grievance redressal forums of EPFO which include EPFiGMS portal, CPGRAMS, social media platforms (Facebook & Twitter) and a dedicated 24×7 call centre.

“To further enhance ease of living experience for its members,  Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation  (EPFO) has now launched a WhatsApp based helpline-cum-grievance redressal mechanism, under its series of Nirbadh initiatives aimed at ensuring seamless and un-interrupted service delivery to subscribers during COVID-19 pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

With WhatsApp emerging as a huge platform for communication in India, EPFO grabbed the extraordinary opportunity that the app provides to reach and communicate directly with all its stakeholders.  This initiative will allow the PF subscribers to interact directly with EPFO’s regional offices at a personalised level adhering to one-to-one guidance principle.

WhatsApp helpline is now functional in all the 138 regional offices of EPFO.  Any stakeholder can simply file grievance or seek guidance on any queries relating to services provided by EPFO, by putting a WhatsApp message on the helpline number of the concerned regional office where the PF account is maintained.  Dedicated WhatsApp helpline numbers of all regional offices are available at the homepage of EPFO’s official website.

The helpline aims to make the subscribers self-reliant by taking digital initiatives of EPFO to the last mile, thereby reducing dependence on intermediaries.

To ensure expeditious resolution of the grievance and reply to the queries raised on WhatsApp, each regional office has been equipped with a dedicated team of experts.

The ease of raising query and grievance on WhatsApp will drastically reduce the need for the subscribers to physically visit EPFO’s office. This in turn will help maintain social distancing in EPFO’s workplace during the pandemic.

The helpline has already gained immense popularity among stakeholders.

So far, EPFO has redressed more than 1,64,040 grievances and queries through WhatsApp.  This has led to decline in registration of grievances/queries on Facebook /Twitter by 30 per cent and on EPFiGMS (EPFO’s online grievance resolution portal) by 16 per cent.

The helpline is an attempt to further strengthen the direct channel of communication between EPFO and its subscribers amid the pandemic, thereby enhancing EPFO’s responsiveness and facilitating timely delivery of services to subscribers.

By PTI

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