Coronavirus COVID-19: Centre notifies news withdrawal criteria from EPFO A/c

BL2201EPFONEW DELHI : The labour ministry has allowed over 6 crore subscribes of retirement fund body EPFO to withdraw an amount not exceeding their three months basic pay and dearness allowance from their EPF account in view of the lockdown to fight COVID-19.
The ministry has issued a notification in this regard on March 28, 2020 to amend the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme 1952, a labour ministry statement said.The decision is taken in view of lockdown across the country to fight COVID-19.
The decision is taken in view of lockdown across the country to fight COVID-19.
The notification permitted non-refundable withdrawal not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to the credit of their EPF account, which ever is less, the ministry said.
The amended Employees Provident Fund (Amendment) scheme, 2020 has come into force from March 28.
Following the notification, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has issued directions to its field offices for promptly processing any applications received from members to help them fight the situation.
In its order , the EPFO has stated that officers and staff must process claims of EPF subscribers promptly so that relief reaches the worker and his family  to help them fight with COVID-19.

“The Commissioner or, where so authorised by the Commissioner, any officer subordinate to him, may, on an application from any member of this Scheme employed in any establishment or factory located in an area declared as affected by outbreak of any epidemic or pandemic by the appropriate government, permit a non-refundable advance from the provident fund account of such member not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowances of that member for three months or up to seventy-five per cent of the amount standing to his credit in the Fund, whichever is less,” the Ministry’s notification said.
“Please note that the COVID-19 has been declared pandemic by appropriate government for the entire country and therefore the employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952, are eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance … ,” the communication said.
On Thursday (March 27), Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that the Centre will pay the EPF contribution both of the employer and the employee (12% each) for the next three months under PM Gareeb Kalyan Scheme.

The Union Minister remarked that the scheme will be applicable for companies with up to 100 employees, where 90% of employees are getting less than Rs 15,000 as salary.
Sitharaman had also announced that the Centre had decided to amend EPFO regulations which will benefit 4.8 crore employees. After the amendment, workers under EPFO will be allowed to to draw up to 75% of their non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.

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