The labour ministry has clarified that over 6 crore subscribers of EPFO are allowed to withdraw an amount not exceeding their three months basic pay and dearness allowance from their EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) account in view of the lockdown to fight COVID-19.
In this regard, the ministry has issued a notification dated 28 March 2020 to amend the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme 1952, it said. The scheme withdrawal rules were eased in the light of the ongoing lockdown across the country to fight COVID-19.
The notification permitted non-refundable withdrawal not exceeding the basic wages and dearness allowance for three months or up to 75 percent of the amount standing to the credit of their EPF account, whichever is less, the ministry said.
The COVID-19 has been declared pandemic and therefore employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952 are eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance.
A sub-para (3) under para 68L has been inserted in the EPF scheme, 1952.
The amended Employees Provident Fund (Amendment) scheme, 2020 has come into force from 28 March.
Following the notification, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has issued directions to its field offices for promptly processing any applications received from 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.
With inputs from PTI