Home/ News / India/  EPF rules changed for getting non-refundable advance

To help tide over hardship caused by the coronavirus lockdown, Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) rules will be relaxed, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced today. EPF subscribers can now withdraw 75% of their PF balance or 3 month wages as a non-refundable advance, whichever is lower. This will benefit about benefit 4.8 crore employees.

Experts have welcomed the move. "The proposal to permit non-refundable advance to employees out of their PF balances will help employees to tide over their liquidity issues," says Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner at Deloitte India.

Currently non-refundable advances are permitted only for specified purposes such as housing, marriage etc. Even these are permitted where the employee has put in a minimum services period.

The finance minister's proposal will enable employees to withdraw up to 75% of the PF balances limited to 3 months wages as non refundable advance enhancing liquidity of employees, she said.

The finance minister also said that the government of India will pay the Employees' Provident Fund(EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together 24% of an employee's basis salary, for next 3 months. This is applicable for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less that 15,000.

These are part of 1.7 lakh crore Gareeb Kalyan package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today to mitigate the hardships of the poor due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Women Jan Dhan account holders will get 500 per month for next 3 months through direct transfer. This will benefit about 20 crore account holders.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) was launched in August, 2014 with the objective to provide universal access to banking facilities to the people of the country.

The finance minister also announced distribution of 5 kg of wheat or rice and one kg of preferred pulses free-of-cost every month over the next three months to 80 crore poor across the country to deal with the economic impact of the lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak.

Also, the daily wage under MNREGA has been increased to 202 a day from 182 to benefit 5 crore workers.

The minister said the government will front-load 2,000 payment to farmers in the first week of April under the existing PM Kishan Yojana to benefit 8.69 crore farmers.

Also, the beneficiaries of Ujjwala LPG scheme will get free cooking gas for the next three months, she said. (With Agency Inputs)

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Updated: 26 Mar 2020, 02:32 PM IST
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