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Cabinet approves extension of EPF contributions by the government until August

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The Union Cabinet on July 8 approved, among many other things, the proposal to extend the scheme for payment of the employer and employee's provident fund (PF) contribution for three months until August. Under this, the government will make the entire 24 percent contribution towards Employees' Provident Fund (EPF).

The move will offer huge relief to around 3.67 lakh employers and 72.22 lakh employees.

The proposal for extension of this scheme had been announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in May. She had, at the time, announced that the scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMKGY) would be extended for another three months till August.

Addressing media persons following a Cabinet meeting earlier on July 8, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the decision has been taken in order to facilitate a higher take-home salary for employees and to provide them a breather in payment of PF dues.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan package, the payment of 12 percent of employer and 12 percent employee contribution was made into EPF accounts by the Centre. The benefit was earlier available for the months of March, April and May.

For the salary months of June, July and August, the scheme will cover all the establishments having up to 100 employees, with 90 percent of such employees earning a monthly wage less than Rs 15,000.

The idea behind the move, according to the government, is to offer support to workers and businesses who continue to face financial hardships in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown that followed.