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In a bid to make the provident fund (PF) withdrawal process hassle-free, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has allowed its subscribers to claim the saved amount without getting an approval from their employers.

The facility will be available for employees whose Aadhaar unique identity number and bank account number have been linked to their universal account number (UAN) allotted by the retirement body and know-your-customer (KYC) has been verified by the employers, the EPFO said on Tuesday.

"Employees whose details like Aadhaar number and bank account number have been seeded into their UAN and whose UAN has been activated, may submit claims in Form 19, Form l0C and Form 31 directly to the commissioner without attestation of their employers, in such form and manner as may be specified by the central provident fund commissioner, for fast settlement of claims," the EPFO order dated 1 December said.

Currently, employees are required to take the approval of their employers to withdraw their PF amount, which often consumes more time and in some cases it results in delay in receiving the amount.

The EPFO have also received complaints about employers misusing their approval authority to "harass" the employees.

"If the withdrawal happens through Aadhaar and bank account, it will reduce the settlement period and also cut down the chance of corruption in the EPFO," Mint quoted Sharad Patil, secretary general of Employers Federation of India, as saying.

In October, the EPFO had said that it was looking to roll out online PF withdrawal facility by March next year, which would allow its subscribers to claim their PF amount within three hours of sending a request.

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