Centre amends Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme to allow withdrawal of non-refundable advance amid COVID-19 outbreak

April 3, 2020
The finance

Union Ministry of Labour and Employment vide its notification dated March 28, 2020 has notified the amendment to the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952. The issuance of this notification now allows the withdrawal of non-refundable advance by Employees’ Provident Fund members/subscribers (hereinafter referred to as ‘EPF’) in light of the COVID -19 outbreak in the country.

The abovementioned notification permits either of the following:

  • Withdrawal of up to the amount of basic wages and dearness allowance for three months, or
  • Withdrawal up to 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever being less.

The World Health Organisation had declared COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. In order to control the outbreak situation in India, the Government of India announced a nationwide lockdown starting from March 24, 2020. In view of the same, employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952 have become eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance.

Following the notification, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has issued directions to its field offices for promptly processing any applications received from EPF members to help them fight this situation of crisis. 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 with COVID-19.

The said notification has been published by the government in accordance with the powers conferred to it under Section 5 (read with Subsection (1) of Section 7) of the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

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