Archive for July 13th, 2009

Unclaimed EPFO money cannot be utilised: Govt

Unclaimed EPFO money cannot be utilised: Govt

The Government on Monday said it has no plans to utilize unclaimed money of Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which has accumulated to the tune of Rs 3,837 crore, even as EPFO is making efforts to trace those who have not taken their dues.

As the money, lying in the inoperative accounts belongs to the members or their heirs, and is payable at any time when claims are received. It cannot be utilised for any other purpose,” Minister of State for Employment Harish Rawat said in the Lok Sabha.

He said that as of March 31, 2008, money to the tune of Rs 3,837 was lying unclaimed in the inoperative accounts of Employees Provident fund.

In a written reply in the House he said instructions have been issued to all field officers of EPFO to scrutinise the claims of the inoperative account holders and release the amounts only to the rightful claimants.

EPFO on its part is also making efforts to trace out the beneficiaries through advertisements in newspapers and inviting those who have not preferred their claims for more than three years after leaving their job.

The total membership of the provident fund organisation as on March 2009 was 4.49 crore and the Central Board of Trustees of EPF which met last week had recommended a rate of interest of 8.5 per cent on EPF deposited for 2009-10.

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Twenty20 Test matches in future?

Twenty20 Test matches in future?

Twenty20 Test matches in future?

How about a Twenty20 Test match? Sounds odd but who knows, it could become a reality in future.

As the International Cricket Council (ICC) mulls on ways to save Test cricket from the Twenty20 onslaught, a new format of a two innings Twenty20 match is slowly gaining momentum.

And many former players are not averse to the idea though some of them question whether it would suit the needs of spectators, who have lapped up the slam-bang version for its quick results.

The new format has been mooted by cricket experts and broadly envisages a Twenty20 match in two innings of 20 overs each. In other words, the match will have four innings like in Tests but would be restricted to a total of 80 overs (40 for each team in two innings).

The idea of two innings mainly stems from the fact that it would give an opportunity to top players, who fail in the opening essay to make amends in the second innings.

Moreover, the proposal has innovations like each team would be allowed to make two substitutions in the second innings.

Although the proposal has not been formally submitted to the ICC, many Indian cricketers like former captain Chandu Borde and Syed Kirmani have supported the idea. Others like former captain Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil and Erapalli Prasanna are not sure whether it will work.

“It [proposal] sounds interesting and worth experimenting. Also if one team does not do well in the first innings it has a chance to do well in the second. Not a bad idea, but it would be better if it’s tried out at a lower level, at the club or state level, to see how it works, but it definitely looks to be an interesting concept,” Borde said.

Sandeep Patil, a former India cricketer and coach, said it is necessary to take the views of the sponsors, teams and players before proposing such a format.

“It’s the ICC’s take. First of all it has to be seen whether it’s logical. A lot of money is involved and it’s important to take the views of the sponsors, teams and players.

“There should not be a tendency to rush for fast food all the time. There should also be time to savour a lovely meal,” Patil said.

Former India wicketkeeper Kirmani wanted his modifications in the format.

“It will become little laborious and spectators will not be able to get the result in quick time. The present T20 format can be played in two innings of four 10-overs-a-side in a match which would mean the team that opts to bat will play the first 10 overs and then the rivals and the same is repeated for the second time,” he suggested.

Prasanna, however, is not in favour of introducing such a format.

“It should not be done as the sheen of the format is taken away. The present T20 format is comparable to Fast Food at McDonalds,” he said.

“If two innings in a match is introduced, only venues in the sub-continent will attract spectators. In all other cricket playing nations in the world, time is money and people shift to entertainment only in the evenings as was seen in England, West Indies and South Africa ,” he added.

“You cannot afford to change the present format. Time is more important and people want entertainment too. It is like walking in to McDonalds and waiting for over 25 minutes for delivery and the very essence of the word fast food is lost,” he explained.

Former India captain Ajit Wadekar is worried that stretching the match to 80 overs could take interest away from the game as the spectators would have to wait longer for the results.

“It will lose its sheen if played in two innings a side. The present slam-bang style is the reason why more spectators watch the matches. If people are to wait longer for a result, the charm of the format is lost,” he said.

“The present Twenty20 format is good for youngsters to get attracted to the game and thereby reflect in the development of the game,” Wadekar said.

The ICC, on its part, said that such proposals are referred to the Cricket Committee, which decides whether they can be sent for further deliberations.

“The process is that the proposal is discussed by the Cricket Committee first. After deliberating on the issue and if it wants the proposal to go ahead, it is moved to the Chief Executive’s Committee and ultimately to the Executive Board which is the final decision making authority of the ICC,” an ICC spokesman said.