While the Indian population is trying to come to terms with the 21-day lockdown, the Government has announced that it will pay the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution on behalf of the employees as well as the employers, for April, May and June. This was one of the measures announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday, March 26.
However, this will benefit only small firms with not more than 100 employees, where the majority of the staff earn less than Rs 15,000 per month.
An economic package of Rs 1.70 lakh crore has also been announced for the marginalised population, who are bearing the maximum brunt of the lockdown.
It was conveyed that the Government will be making amendments to the EPF scheme regulations so that workers are able to withdraw up to 75 per cent non-refundable advance from the credit in the PF account or three months’ wages, whichever is lower, to help them during these difficult times. This measure is expected to help the 4.8 crore workers registered with the EPF.
The economic package rolled out by the Government also comprises distribution of free foodgrain and cooking gas to the poor for the next three months, in addition to one-time payments to women and poor senior citizens. Higher wages are also being given to workers along with measures to boost liquidity of workers.