On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet approved the extension of the contribution of both employees' and employers' share under Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) scheme, totalling 24 percent, for another 3 months, as part of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana or Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan announced by the central government in March for COVID-19 relief.
In March, as part of the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana (which was later merged into Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan), the finance ministry announced that the central government would pay the employees' and employers' share of EPF contribution for the months of March, April and May 2020 for all establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90 percent of such employees earning less than Rs 15,000 monthly wage.
On Wednesday, the cabinet decided to extend this scheme to June, July and August 2020.
In a statement, the cabinet said that about 72.22 lakh workers working in 3.67 lakh establishments will be benefited from the extension and would likely to help them continue on their payrolls despite disruptions. The government will provide Budgetary Support of Rs 4,800 crore for the year 2020-21 for this purpose.
The beneficiaries entitled for 12 percent employers' contribution for the months of June to August 2020 under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) will be excluded to prevent overlapping benefit.