To make the contours of the schemes appear attractive and gain more subscriber base, the centre is mulling at bringing the National Pension Scheme (NPS) for traders and self-employed and Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) for unorganised workers under the regulatory framework of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
Even after several years since the launch, these two schemes have failed to attract investors. "We are looking at bringing the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) for unorganised workers and the National Pension Scheme (NPS) for traders and self-employed persons under the administrative control of EPFO," an official from the labour ministry privy to the development told a leading publication.
As per another official, the talks are currently going on as to whether the provident fund body needs to come up with a new scheme to provide its coverage to these categories or bring the two schemes within its ambit. Besides, the measure aims at rendering implementation of both the schemes simpler as well as more effective. "However, EPFO doesn't have the experience of handling individual contributions without the intervention of an employer. Hence, the move will require a lot of preparations," said the second official.
Notably, the Code on Social Security, 2020, enables the centre to structure any other scheme or schemes to provide social security benefits to self employer or any category of persons.
Also, there is news doing the rounds that the EPFO which invests 15% of its corpus into equities via ETFs of SBI and UTI Mutual fund have redeemed their positions into these funds for as much as Rs. 3000-4000 crore this month.