New Delhi: Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is considering a scheme for its subscribers so that they are able to own a house by retirement, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in New Delhi on Friday.
“We have to see that by retirement every EPFO subscriber has his own house. We are considering this," he said while unveiling ‘Nidhi Aapke Nikat’ or ‘PF Near You’, a public outreach initiative for its 6 crore members.
While he did not provide details of the scheme, sources said the ministry intends to collaborate with public sector undertaken (PSU) banks, housing finance companies, state-owned construction firms like NBCC and authorities like DDA, PUDA, HUDA to build houses at prices to be fixed by the government. EPFO’s Central Provident Fund Commissioner K K Jalan later told PTI that a committee comprising of EPFO trustees and senior Labour Ministry officials is working the proposal.
The panel is expected to submit its report soon. He also said EPFO has proposed to increase the maximum sum assured under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 to ₹ 4.5 lakh, from ₹ 3.6 lakh.
At present, there are over 70% EPFO subscribers whose basic wages are less than ₹ 15,000 per month who could benefit from the scheme. EPFO’s plan comes against the backdrop of the Centre’s recently launched mission - ‘Housing for All by 2022’.
Dattatreya also said the EPFO would soon launch a service to provide details of subscribers account on their mobile phones. Jalan said the EPFO is in the process of launching a mobile application for availing services like passbook details. The app will be launched by year-end, he added. The ‘Nidhi Aapke Nikat’ initiative is aimed at increasing the interaction between the various stakeholders of EPFO.
The ‘PF Near You’ would replace Bhavishyanidhi Adalat and would be held on 10th of every month starting from July, 2015. The programme was observed at all the 122 offices of the EPFO in the country.