The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has processed about 1.37 lakh claims across the country in less than 10 days, the retirement fund body said on Friday, as India entered the 17th day of a 21-day countrywide lockdown imposed by the government to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement, the EPFO said it disbursed Rs 279.65 crore under a new provision specially formulated to help subscribers endure the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
All applications which are fully compliant with the KYC or Know Your Customer norms are being processed in less than 72 hours, the EPFO said, and the remittances have started taking place.
The total number of coronavirus cases in India has jumped to 6,412 as of April 10 morning, according to Union Health Ministry figures.
The government announced the provision for a special type of withdrawal from the EPF Scheme under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) scheme. It has amended the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) scheme to allow subscribers to withdraw non-refundable advance from their corpus to bear the brunt of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
That enabled EPF members to withdraw up to 75 per cent of the employee's contribution to the corpus or the sum of basic wages and dearness allowance for a period of three months.
Separately, the government this month issued revised instructions to its field offices to facilitate the rectification of birth records for provident fund (PF) subscribers. The retirement fund mandated that the date of birth recorded in Aadhaar would be accepted as valid proof of date of birth for the purpose of rectification, provided the difference between the two dates was less than three years.
EPFO is the provider of the Employees' Provident Fund, a pension scheme for salaried persons in the country.