At a press briefing on economic relief measures by the Central Government amid COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that an EPFO subscriber can withdraw 75 percent of balance or 3-month wages as non-refundable advance, whichever is lower. The relaxation on EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) withdrawal is likely to benefit 4.8 crore workers. registered under the scheme.
Further, for businesses with less than 100 employees having 90 percent of their wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month, the Government of India will pay the EPF contribution of the employer as well as the employee, that is 24 percent of an employee's basic salary, for the next 3 months. This is to prevent disruption in their employment.
The government has allocated Rs 5,000 crore for this purpose.
These announcements have been made in light of the COVID-19 pandemic that has called for a government-imposed lockdown of 21 days to curb the spread of the outbreak which has already affected 649 people in India already. India's death toll is at 13.
Latest data released by the Union Health Ministry showed that Maharashtra has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases so far at 124, followed by Kerala at 118.