In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the government of India will pay the EPF contribution both of the employer and the employee (12 percent each) for the next three months.
In a press conference held today, chaired by Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced the amended EPF regulations which will be applicable for establishments with up to 100 employees, where 90 percent of employees drawing less than Rs. 15,000 salary.
Benefiting 4.8 crore employees the government also amended EPFO regulations to allow workers under EPFO to draw up to 75 percent of their non-refundable advance or 3 months of wages, whichever is lower.
Sitharaman announced a slew of measures to deal with the economic distress caused due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown announced to deal with the situation. These measures also includes:
- A medical insurance scheme for health workers which includes Rs. 50 lakh per individual insurance plan would be applicable to all health workers that includes sanitation and ASHA workers, paramedics, doctors, nurses.
- The state governments have been directed to utilize the Rs. 31,000 crore welfare fund for building and construction workers for the benefit of 35 million workers in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
- Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGS), government has announced wage increase from Rs. 182 to Rs. 202 per day. This wage increase is said to benefit 50 million families, as their income will increase by nearly Rs. 2,000.
- Sitharaman also shared scheme for old age, Divyang, pensioners, which will cover three crore people who will receive an additional one-time amount of Rs. 1000 in two installments through DBT over there months.
The Finance Minister had already announced some measures including extension of tax deadlines, easing minimum balance norms for savings account, and increasing threshold of insolvency filing to Rs. One crore from Rs one lakh.
Earlier, the Prime Minister had announced an Economic Task Force to be chaired by the Finance Minister.