Economy

Labour Ministry notifies provision for non-refundable withdrawal from EPF

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2020

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New norms come into effect from March 27

 

The Labour Ministry has notified norms for withdrawal of money deposited in Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). New norms will come into effect from March 27.

“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,” a notification issued by the Ministry read.

Follow-up measure

This notification is a follow-up to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement of measures last week. Though Government has appealed to all industrial units, be it in private sector or in public sector, not to retrench any worker or cut his/her salary. Nevertheless, there is widespread fear that there could be job loss or even wage cut in many of the sectors as nearly 70 per cent economic activities have come to standstill as a result of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Covid-19 has been declared a pandemic by appropriate authorities for the entire country and therefore 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. A sub-para(3) under para 68L has been inserted in the EPF scheme,1952.The amended scheme Employees Provident Fund (Amendment) scheme, 2020, has come into force from March 28, 2020.

 

Following the notification, EPFO has issued directions to its field offices for promptly processing any applications received from EPF members to help them fight the situation. In its communication, 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 the pandemic.

Published on March 29, 2020

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