The Union Labour and Employment Ministry said on Sunday that it had notified an amendment to the Employees’ Provident Scheme (EPF) allowing members to withdraw non-refundable advance amounts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic .
As announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on March 26 , the Ministry notified the amendment on March 27, making it effective from March 28.
“The notification permits withdrawal not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or up to 75% of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account in the event of outbreak of epidemic or pandemic,” a statement from the Ministry said.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic for the entire country, all employees of establishments and factories in India who are members of the EPF scheme would be eligible for the amended scheme, the statement said.
“Following the notification, EPFO has issued directions to its field offices for promptly processing any applications received from EPF members to help them fight the situation. In its communication, the 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 statement said.