The Seamen’s Provident Fund Act, 1966

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An Act no. 4 of the year 1966 i.e. ‘The Seamen’s Provident Fund Act, 1966’ being the Act of Parliament was enacted with the view to make provisions for establishment of Institution of Provident fund for seamen. The Act was assented on 26th March, 1966.

Section 3 of the Act of 1966 requires the Government to provide for a Scheme which is to be notifies in the Official Gazette. The scheme referred herein above is called ‘the Seamen’s Provident Fund Scheme’ which may take effect either prospectively or retrospectively, and immediately thereafter there should be constituted a Fund as per the provisions thereof provided in such Scheme and this Act. Such Scheme is required to provide for the matters given under the Schedule annexed to this Act.

Section 5 of the Act of 1966 provides for the constitution of Board, which should vested with the aforementioned Fund and the same to be administered by it. The section 4 thereof gives certain objects and purposes for which such Fund to be utilized by the Board, including pay and allowances of employees of the Board and other administrative expenses thereof.

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Another important provision i.e. section 8 of the Act of 1966 is regarding contributions from all employers to whom the provisions of that Act applies. The said contribution should made by them to the Fund under that Act in respect of each Seaman, being the member, employed by them. Further, section 9 of the Act of 1966 related to the due amount determination under any provision of this Act or of the Scheme, by the Seamen’s Provident Fund Commissioner or any Deputy Seamen’s Provident Fund Commissioner by their order and for this purpose to conduct necessary enquiry. And section 11 is very important so far as it is recognising the Fund under this to be Provident Fund within the meaning of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (Act no. 43 of 1961).

The penal provisions under the Act of 1966 were provided under section 16 thereof. Avoiding payment which is to be made under that Act or Scheme or enabling other to avoid such payment or even making any false statements or representation are offences and liable to punishment. And the punishment extends to two year or fine or both as per this provision. Section 17 provides for offences by company.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.