PF contribution by Kingfisher fishy, probe agencies

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New Delhi, March 14: The beleagured multi-millionaire businessman Vijay Mallya is facing ire from all quarters. Ex employees too have joined hands to claim their dues acounting for crores of rupees.

The Labour Ministry will too launch an investigation into the provident fund contributions made by Kingfisher Airlines for its employees when the carrier was functioning, said Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya.

Vijay Mallya

He said,"We have not examined the issue so far. I will look into that. We will examine (all the issues)."

An open letter written by the women employees of the KFA recently alleged that the company did not pay salaries, but kept depositing the PF due to fear of action from the authorities.

Former KFA pilot captain Kedar Wagh alleged that the defunct company owes him Rs 45 lakhs towards his salary dues.

He further informed that many such employees are trying to come under the same banner and start a legal battle for their dues.

Wagh said,""We are trying to form a group and approach the Supreme Court seeking justice. We have received positive responses from over 900 former employees. We are in the process of gathering more (employees on the platform)."

Meanwhile the CBT (Central Board of Trustees) will meet on March 17 to take stock of the investment Kingfisher made in terms of index-linked ETFs (Exchange trade Funds).

According to Dattatreya, the results have not been encouraging for the past 3-4 months despite signs of optimism in th einitial stages.

He further added,"We (EPFO) have invested approximately Rs 5,000 crore in exchange-traded funds. For the first six or seven months, returns appeared to be better. After that, for two or three months, we don't see it as encouraging. Even then, we will have to wait and watch."

The minister further added,"There may not be profits in the short-term. Even then we must go ahead in a cautious way. CBT meeting will be held on March 17, we may discuss the issue in that meeting."

The minister further added that a meeting was held with portfolio managers and other stakeholders last week on the innovative methods to be followed for future investments, but no decision was taken.

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