New Delhi, March 26 | In a major relief for certain private sector companies and their staff, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that the government will make 24 per cent contribution to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), 12 per cent each for employer and employee for the next three months.
The government will make this contribution only in case of establishments with up to 100 employees, 90 per cent of whom draw less than Rs 15,000 per month, Sitharaman told the media here.
The scheme would benefit 80 lakh employees and 4 lakh establishments, she added.
“That (24 per cent) will be paid for the next three months by the government of India, so that nobody suffers, because the EPF contribution has lost continuity and as a result they could be lot more difficulties. So 12 plus 12, a 24 per cent contribution, which has to go into the EPF account of an employee will be borne by the government of India for the next three months,” she said.
Announcing the second measure for the organized sector, she said that employees would be allowed to take non-refundable advance for 75 per cent from credit in provident fund account or the wages for three months, whichever is lower.
Sitharaman said that around 4.8 crore workers registered with the EPF will be able to withdraw the money.
The decisions come as a major relief for the working class and the private companies which would go through financial stress amid the 21-day nationwide lockdown. The coronavirus crisis has already hampered businesses and normal life across the country.
Of late, the government has announced a slew of measures to provide support to the common man and enterprises, including extension in the deadline for filing I-T and GST return for the financial year 2018-19.
On Thursday, the Finance Minister also announced a Rs 50 lakh per person health insurance cover for the doctors, paramedics, nurses, ‘Asha’ workers, cleaning workers who have been involved in the fight against coronavirus pandemic and treating the affected patients.
She also announced an economic relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Scheme.