The subscriber base of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the government-run retirement fund manager, has swelled by over 20%—thanks to an amnesty scheme it unveiled five months ago.
A month before the deadline for the scheme ends, EPFO added 8.2 million employees to its active subscriber base of around 38 million. The net addition also means the EPFO kitty will increase by up to Rs12,000 crore per year. “82,01,533 workers enrolled, as on 31 May 2017 under the Employees’ Enrolment Campaign 2017," EPFO said in a monthly update.
“The response is really huge. We hope to add 10 million subscribers to the base because of this scheme," V.P. Joy, central PF commissioner, said over phone.
Ten million additional subscribers by June-end, when the scheme ends, will mean EPFO’s membership will jump by over 25%. “Our primary aim is more people under social security net and the additional money flow to EPFO is a natural outcome. We hope new additions will help EPFO corpus increase between Rs6,000 crore and Rs12,000 crore per annum," said Joy.
Currently, EPFO has a monthly incremental corpus of between Rs11,000 crore and Rs12,000 crore. The amnesty scheme encouraged employers to enrol in EPFO workers who had joined them between 1 April 2009 and 31 December 2016. Employees’ contributions, if not collected during the period, were waived. The employers’ contribution will be required to be remitted but the default of past years will not attract any penalty.
Joy said that in the past few months, most of EPFO’s resources had gone into making the scheme a success. The key catchment locations for the scheme were industrial states, including Maharashtra and Karnataka, and the national capital region centred on Delhi.
As per the amnesty scheme, once a firm declares to add a certain number of employees under EPFO coverage, it has to pay the employers’ portion of remittances within 15 days.