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Centre's decision to refund Seafarers PF welcomed by NUSI

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Dec 4 (UNI) The National Union of Seafarers of India (NSUI) has welcomed the Centre's decision to refund Rs 92.78 crore into the Seamen's Provident Fund (SPF), which was swindled in a hawala transfer in 2002.

Talking to reporters here today, NUSI president Dr Shanti Patel said the amount (Rs 92.78 crore) was the hard-earned money of 35,000 seafarers of 10 coastal states, which was allegedly swindled through hawala transfer by the then SPF Commissioner.

He said the victory has come after a long and decisive political battle by members of the Union, who had time and again threatened to go on strike.

However, when there was no response from the Government, NUSI was left with no alternative, but to declare 'Protest Action' on August 31.

Mr Patel said according to the Provident Fund Act, seafarers, serving Indian and overseas ports and merchant ships, had paid 12 per cent from their regular income into the provident fund from their regular income and they had nothing to depend on during their retirement and long breaks from sea services.

The Centre's decision to intervene came after thousands of seafarers wrote letters to the Union Government, demanding their hard earned Provident Fund money, he added.

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