April 6, 2022
Derek O’Brien’s Special Mention on modifying PF software to address the issue of names with apostrophe and dash
Sir, you did not allow us a discussion on price rise, but thank you for this. Sir, owing to poor computer programming, people are facing hardships in redeeming their Provident Fund, NEFT transfers are being refused by the EPFO. The EPFO software is unable to process the ‘apostrophe’ in some of the surnames. The EPFO officials now ask individuals to change their surname in Government issued KYC documents such as Aadhar/Passport in order to process the PF. These names were accepted earlier in official documents and by banks. Asking to change such surnames are unfair and illegal. Why should citizens who have the apostrophe or a hyphen in their names be pressurized to change their
names? This is unconstitutional and hurts the citizens, especially of Goa. Names with an apostrophe in their surnames such as D’Cruz, D’Rozario, D’Silva, D’Gama, D’Sa, D’Mello is common, especially amongst people from
Salcete in South Goa. Many with these surnames live in eight Assembly segments namely, Nuvem, Fatorda, Curtorim, Margoa, Navelim Benaulim, Velim, Cuncolim. Besides these names of Portuguese descent, the microscopic Anglo-Indian community also have names with apostrophes such as: O’Connor, O’Brien, O’Donnel. Similarly, double-barrel names like Taylor-Smith would be rejected by the EPFO. Asking Indian citizens to
change their names because the computer programme is unable to process them is unnecessary. The Government has promised a seamless digital experience to all. I urge the Government to modify the EPFO software to accommodate names with apostrophes and hyphens. No one should be deprived of their provident funds. No one is Goa must be humiliated.