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Questions and Answers

Loss of EPF "B" Card

Question:

I worked at the Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation, Kantalai and Haldumulla from 1976 to 1981, resigned and joined a Private Firm where they had their own Provident Fund.

Now I want to get a refund of my Provident Fund, but the EPF 'B' Card, got lost and I applied to Labour Department, Colombo 5 for a duplicate 'B' card through Jaffna Labour Office in December 2008. My "B" Card No. is A11140/09767 but still I have not received a reply.

Could you please help me to get this problem solved?

S.P. Rasanayagam,

Uduvil, Jaffna

Answer:

We are sorry for the delay in replying as it is very difficult to contact the EPF Department. However, we managed to contact them and they don't seem to have received your application for a duplicate "B" Card as per Ref. 11140A/09767. They suggest that you get an "ABH Form" filled by the "Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation if they are still in operation. With that form you can complete the "K" Form and apply for the refund. In case Sri Lanka Sugar Corporation is not in existence any more you can apply for the refund even without the "B" Card. You will have to state your "B" Card reference as 11140A/09767 whilst completing the "K" Form and complying with all other requirements such as photo copy of your NIC, Thumb impression, photograph etc along with copies of your last received EPF Statement and salary slip. You may apply through the Labour Office in Jaffna. Do not wait for your duplicate "B" Card as your application of December 2008 cannot be traced by the EPF Department.


Claiming EPF, ETF and Gratuity

Question:

I was 58 years old when I joined company "X". I was given job on contract basis, with no EPF/ETF benefits. After 14 years I was moved to company "Y". Both X & Y belong to the same party. At company "Y" too I was engaged on yearly renewable contract and this time with EPF/ETF benefits.

In this connection, I shall be very thankful to receive your valuable advice on the following:

1. Whether once I leave or my services are terminated at a future date, I have the Legal right to claim EPF/ETF and granting for 14 years service at company "X".

2. Whether I have 100% chance of winning a claim

3. Is there a time limit before which a claim can be filed?

4. Can the company evade payment by any subterfuge!

Concerned Employee, Colombo

Answer:

Yes, you are entitled to EPF/ETF and Gratuity for your 14 years service at Company X.

We cannot specifically state that you will have 100% chance of winning the claim but we can say that your chances are greater. As far as we know there is no time limit for you to file a claim through the Labour Department but your chances are greater the sooner you make a claim. What if Company X is no longer in existence. We cannot say whether the Company can evade payment by any subterfuge but what makes you think so. As far as we are concerned we can only tell you that you are entitled to EPF, ETF and Gratuity for your 14 years service. Since you are still employed by the same party you don't want to have a claim now but if you delay there can be changes even with the Labour regulations. As it is, you can make your claim on Company X when you cease to work with Company Y.


Transfer of Money out by Non-citizens

Question:

Two of my children are US citizens. I have some property and Bank Savings in Sri Lanka. Upon my demise these children will inherit them.

After the disposal of these properties and Savings they may require the money in US Dollars to be taken back to USA.

If so

1. What is the procedure?

2. Whom to contact?

3. limit for remittance

K.N.G. Dharmasena,

Uduwaka, Getahatta

Answer:

As the exchange control regulations stand now, each of your children can take out of the country USD 150,000. This can be done through any Commercial Bank and there is no need to get any exchange control approval. The procedure is to apply through any Commercial Bank operating in Sri Lanka. Your children will be requested to make a declaration as required by the Bank.

They should be able to prove that they were Sri Lankan citizens before becoming US Citizens. They should also produce documents to prove that they are now US Citizens, that is the permanent stay Visa issued by the USA. Although it is unlikely, exchange control regulations can change over a period of time and it will be necessary to check when the need arises either with any Commercial Bank or the exchange control section of the Central Bank of Ceylon.


Entitlement for W&OP

Question:

Please let me know when the husband is holding a permanent and pensionable post in government service whether his wife is entitled to W & OP after his death?

An Anxious wife-Gampaha

Answer:

Usually when a husband is holding a permanent and pensionable post in government service, his legal wife is entitled to his Widow's and Orphans Pension (W&OP) after his death. Provided he has contributed towards the W&OP Fund.

From August 1, 1981 it was made compulsory for all male employees in the government service to contribute for the W&OP Fund. Persons joined before this date had the option of not contributing to this fund in which case his wife will not receive the W&OP. Also a person should have a minimum of 10 years service in order to be entitled for his pension and the W&OP for his wife and children (if qualified)


Tax liability for small business

Question:

I appreciate your service as questions and answers.

On July 30, 2009 a question from T. Chandrasena, Wattala regarding Tax Liability for small business, I wish to state the following.

A) Since, he has mentioned the word cost of production will assume it's a manufacturing business. Otherwise, if it's buying and selling he is liable for Turnover Tax.

B) The tax rate 15% for income below 5 million is applicable only for the Limited Liability Companies.

If it's a partnership business the first SLR 600,000 profit is exempt for income tax, in the case of sole proprietor the first SLR 300,000 (Y/A 2007/2008) is exempt for income tax.

C) The personal expenses such as schooling, home expenses are not allowable for tax purposes.

Geetha, Wattala

Answer:

We thank our reader Ms. Geetha, of Wattala for the further clarification provided as above. Also there is a correction to our answer in the Daily News of July 30 to the above referred question that is the ESC (Economic Service Charge) is payable only if the quarterly turnover is Rs. 7.5 million and above (not over Rs. 65,000) per quarter which is applicable to VAT and NBT only).


Non-receipt of NIC after correction

Question:

My son has applied for an identity card through the Principal St. John's College Jaffna last year and received same with error.

The authorities have made an error by putting female instead of male.

In the circumstances, I have sent for error correction through our Government Agent of Jaffna and I still have not received. Please check on this and let me know.

Name: Vivekanantharajah Harivathanan

Received IC No. 922111138V dated 17.11.08

Address No. 36, Church Lane, Hospital Road, Jaffna

AGA Division Jaffna

GS Division Chundikuli North J/76

Application number CB571757 dated 16.02.09

Bundle number 2006/06/ Duplicate/29/ Correction registered number of the letter 5102 dated 16.02.09.

K. Vivekanantharajah,

Jaffna.

Answer:

We contacted the Department of Registration of Persons. Your application number CB571757 of 16.02.09 is with them but has got held up with the numerous numbers of applications both for new NIC as well as for replacements and correction. Consequent to our contacting them they have agreed to treat your application as urgent and will expedite same. This should be ready within another week or two the most. However, we are not sure how long it will take to reach Jaffna by mail. If you don't receive it in a month's time please contact us for any further assistance.


Renewal of Identity Card

Question:

My identity card bearing Nos. 363480225V became unreadable due to the ink fading away. I met the Grama Niladhari of Borella South who gave me a form to fill up, which on completion, he took promising to send the form to the relevant authorities along with the original of my birth certificate and the original of the disfigured Identity card.

He tore a piece of the form I submitted, a copy of which is attached, and a copy of my old ID no. 363480225 V. It is nearly 10 months now and I am still awaiting for a replacement of my ID. Do they want such a long time to issue a replacement? I shall thank you kindly grant me some redress in this matter.

W.A.A. Wijeyaratne,

Colombo 8.

Answer:

We checked with the Department of Registration of Persons at Jawatta Road. According to them your application Ref. CA 911871 was forwarded to them by the Divisional Secretary's office at Thimbirigasyaya.

Accordingly, your new Identity card No. 363480225 V has been sent by post in April 2009 to the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretariat. You may inform your Grama Niladhari to check on it or you can personally check at the Thimbirigasyaya Divisional Secretary's office by taking the receipt CA 911871 along with you.


Payment of Gratuity

Question:

I was working in a firm from 01/06/92 to 30/04/07 -14 years.

The salary paid to me - when I left the firm is - Basic Rs. 15,000 + Living Allowance Rs. 25,000 = totally Rs. 40,000. When I claimed for my gratuity the management paid only Rs. 60,000 in instalments as follows:

Between 30/04/07 - 30/04/08 = 30,000.00 (Three instalments @ 10,000)

After 30/04/08 = 30,000 (One payment)

Total = Rs. 60,000.00

Please let me know what is the balance gratuity money (including the default charges - after one year) the employer will have to pay me.

S. Sumangala - Jothie, Trincomalee

Answer:

You should take up your matter with the Labour Department in the area where your employer's office is, without any delay. You are entitled to half months salary for every year of service as gratuity. In our estimation you are entitled to about Rs. 105,000 (14 years x 7500) of which they have paid your Rs. 60,000.

Thus there is a balance due to you of Rs. 45,000. In our estimation we have only taken the salary of Rs. 15,000 per month and not the allowances. Gratuity is not payable on cost of living allowance but we are not sure of the nature of your allowance. This you may clarify with the Labour officer.


Appeal to Labour Tribunal

Question:

I was a permanent employee with more than 10 years of service of a large Company in down South.

A Labour dispute of mine, when it was taken up with Labour Commissioner, after my retirement, was decided in favour of the employer. However, I am not satisfied with the said order.

Please let me know whether,

a. I can file a case at the Labour Tribunal, on the same dispute, within six (6) months;

b. and if I do so, whether it will become unfavourable for me in lieu of the earlier decision of Labour Department.

I would like to have your advise through the valuable "Question and Answer" Page in the Daily News.

R. Waduge, Kalutara.

Answer:

Yes you can take up your case with the Labour Tribunal but you have to do it within six months from the date of termination.

The Labour Tribunal will go through as a fresh case. The decision of the Labour Commissioner will not be considered unfavourable. The purpose of going to the Labour Tribunal is lost if they are to be guided by any previous decision. Therefore, you can be assured that the Labour Tribunal will hold a fair hearing and give a decision. Labour Tribunal only entertains cases of termination of service and any dispute over gratuity payment. In your case there must have been a good reason why the Labour Commissioner gave a ruling in favour of your employer.

************

Do I have to pay a JP for authentication :

Question:

I am in receipt of a government widow's pension. I'm required to sign on a stamp that I'm not re-married. This has to be authenticated by a professional or a JP. There is a JP close to my residence who is willing to come to my house and sign the form. What I want to know is; whether he is expected to charge a fee; I was told by a friend that he might. If so about how much can he charge? Or how much should I offer him as a fee? My impression is that a JP's duty is honorary. Please clarify this point for me at your very earliest. (Mrs) M de Silva - Kotte

Answer:

The services of a Justice of Peace (JP) is supposed to be honorary. However there seems to be wrong practice of persons giving whatever they feel like for the service rendered by a JP. All the JPs are not affluent persons, thus it is related to the status and standing of a particular JP. Certainly the JP is not expected to charge you for his service. In your case you state that the JP is willing to come to your residence and sign the form instead of your going to his place and obtaining his signature. Therefore, you may consider his travelling expense and offer an amount equivalent to his travelling cost. Why not ask your friend who told you that the JP might charge you a fee and as to how much he would recommend. Whilst trying to be helpful we are not by any means advocating or encouraging you to pay a JP for an honorary service.

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