Private provident fund trust have disbursed Rs 481.63 crore to 40,826 employees as non-refundable advance to cope up with difficulties during the lockdown to contain COVID-19. These trusts include NLC, TCS, Vizag Steel Plant, state-run power giant NTPC, HCL and Power Grid.
Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) regulates these trusts as exempted establishments. They have exemption from filing EPF returns with the EPFO and manage their employees EPF account as well as funds.
“The exempted PF trusts have also risen to the occasion amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. As on the forenoon of April 17, 2020, Rs 481.63 crores have been disbursed to 40,826 PF (provident fund) members as advance under para 68-L for COVID-19 by the exempted PF Trusts”.
Earlier on March 28, the regulator had given relief to subscribers of the EPFO and trusts to withdraw three months basic wages (basic pay and dearness allowance) as non-refundable advance from their EPF account to meet both end during lockdown.
Among these trust, NLC topped the chart with settling 3,255 such EPF withdrawal claims with disbursal of Rs 84.44 crore, followed by TCS with 9,373 claims for payment of Rs 43.34 crore.
The Visakhapatna Steel Plant, Vizag settled 1,708 such claims valued at Rs 40. 99 crore. Similarly, NTPC settled 925 such claims and disbursed Rs 28. 74 crore.
HCL Technologies settled 6,938 claims worth Rs 27.14 crore. Power Grid also settled 1,089 claims worth Rs 26.17 crore.
ONGC, Dehradun settled 1,723 claims valued at Rs 24.17 crore.
The provision for a special withdrawal from the EPF Scheme to tide over the COVID -19 pandemic is part of the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kakyan Yojna (PMGKY) Scheme which was announced by the government and an urgent notification had introduced Para 68 L (3) in the EPF Scheme for this purpose, on March 28, 2020.
Under this provision non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of the basic wages and dearness allowances for three months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to the member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less, is provided.
The member can apply for lesser amount also.