Nearly 3.8 mn EPF members withdraw Rs 44,000 cr since lockdown: Labour Min

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PTI

New Delhi

As many as 38,71,664 employees provident fund (EPF) withdrawal claims worth Rs 44,054.72 crore were settled since March 25, Parliament was informed on Monday. The government had imposed the nationwide lockdown on March 25, 2020, to contain deadly coronavirus.

Total 38,71,664 EPF withdrawals claims from EPF accounts worth Rs 44,054.72 crore were settled till date since lockdown was imposed (March 25 this year), Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

These withdrawals also include COVID-19 claims, as per the reply. The maximum amount of Rs 8,968.45 crore EPF withdrawals from March 25 to August 31 were recorded in Maharasthra against 7,23,986 claims, followed by Karanataka Rs 6,418.52 crore for 4,84,114 claims and Tamil Nadu (including Puducherry) Rs 5,589.91 crore for 6,20,662 claims.

The total EPF withdrawals in Delhi during the period stood at Rs 3,308.57 crore for 3,16,671 claims.

A non-refundable COVID advance from the EPF by amending the EPF Scheme, 1952 was unveiled earlier.

As part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana announced by the government to address COVID-19 situation, the EPF scheme was amended to provide for a non-refundable advance from the provident fund account of a member not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowances of that member for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to his credit in the EPF account, whichever is less. In order to ameliorate hardship faced by the labourers due to economic disruption caused by COVID-19 pandemic, various initiatives have been taken by the Ministry of Labour and Employment as part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) and
Atmanirbhar Bharat.

These include payment of 12 per cent employers’ share and 12 per cent employees’ share under employees’ provident fund (EPF), totalling 24 per cent by the government for six wage months from March to August 2020 for all the establishments having up to 100 employees with 90 per cent of such employees earning less than Rs 15,000
monthly wage.

Besides, the government also reduced EPF contribution from 12 per cent to 10 per cent of wages for the wage months of May, June and July 2020.