EPFO Alert: During the Corona period, the facility to take advance was given to PF subscribers. During three years, 2.2 crore people availed this facility but now EPFO has stopped this facility. Know what effect it will have.
This is important news for crores of subscribers of EPFO. The retirement fund institution has closed the Covid advance facility. During the Corona epidemic, the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) had given its account holders the facility to withdraw money from their PF account in the form of advance. But now this facility has been removed. The World Health Organization had announced seven months ago that the Covid-19 pandemic is no longer a public health emergency. An EPFO official said the decision was taken in a meeting held with officials a week ago.
The official said, ‘Notification in this regard has not been issued yet. Efforts are being made to disable the provision of non-refundable Covid advance in the software so that subscribers cannot apply for it. Experts say that this move of EPFO is likely to affect consumption as Covid advance is being used as unnecessary expenditure. He says that EPFO has taken this decision very late and this has affected the availability of funds with EPFO.
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Labor economist KR Shyam said that this facility of EPFO boosted consumption in the country but it was not right to continue it for a long time. This has affected the supply of funds to EPFO that could have been invested. That means indirectly the returns of EPFO subscribers have been affected. A leader associated with the trade union said that this shows negligence on the part of government officials. He said, ‘This decision was taken very late even though everyone knew that it was not being used for treatment. Due to this the savings of subscribers has reduced.
A total of 2.2 crore subscribers availed the Corona Advance facility, which is more than one-third of the total number of EPFO members. This facility was started in 2020-21 and will last for three years. During this period, PF subscribers withdrew Rs 48,075.75 crore as Corona advance. This information has been given in the draft annual report 2022-23 of EPFO. According to the report, EPFO distributed Rs 17,106.17 crore in 2020-21, which benefited 69.2 lakh subscribers. In the year 2021-22, 91.6 lakh subscribers availed this facility and withdrew Rs 19,126.29 lakh crore.
When and how much money was withdrawn?
Similarly, in 2022-23, 62 lakh subscribers withdrew Rs 11,843.23 crore from their PF accounts. The government had amended the rules of EPF Scheme, 1952 in March 2020 for this facility. This facility was launched on March 28, 2020 and in the first four days i.e. till March 31, 2020, 33 people took advantage of it. EPFO has more than six crore subscribers and manages funds of more than Rs 20 lakh crore. Every month a certain amount is deducted and deposited in the PF account of employed people from their salary. Annual interest is also available on this money.