Retirement fund body EPFO has settled 10.02 lakh withdrawal claims, including 6.06 lakhs COVID-19 non-refundable advance claims, and disbursed Rs 3,600.85 crore in the last 15 working days. Around 90 percent of COVID-19 non-refundable advance claims were settled within 3 days, as per a Labour Ministry statement.
Under the COVID-19 non-refundable advance, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has allowed withdrawal of three months' basic wages (basic pay plus dearness allowances).
The central government had launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) on March 26 to help the economically weaker sections cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
A provision for withdrawal from the EPF Scheme to fight COVID-19 pandemic was announced by the government and an urgent notification issued, providing for non-refundable withdrawal to the extent of basic wages and DA for three months or up to 75 percent of the amount standing to member's credit in the EPF account, whichever is less.
The EPFO has settled a total of 10.02 lakh claims, including 6.06 lakhs COVID-19 claims, disbursing an amount of Rs 3,600.85 crore in just 15 working days, the statement said.
It said that despite only one-third staff being able to work due to lockdown, 90 percent of COVID-19 claims have been settled in three working days, setting new standards of service delivery.
The EPFO has also provided facility to file online COVID-19 advance claim, along with other services, on UMANG APP.
The exempted (private) PF trusts have also risen to the occasion. These are the firms which manage their employees' provident fund account and money themselves. Thus they are exempted from filing EPF returns with the EPFO.
As on the forenoon of April, 17, 2020, Rs 481.63 crore was disbursed to 40,826 PF members as advance under para 68-L for COVID-19 by the exempted PF Trusts.
The top three exempted establishments in terms of the amount disbursed for COVID-19 claims are NLC Ltd, TCS and Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, it added.
The EPFO reiterates its commitment to serve its members during this difficult situation, and its offices are functional to help them overcome this crisis, the ministry said.