Covid-19 impact: NLC, TCS employees top EPF advance withdrawal list

Topics Coronavirus | EPFO | Provident Fund

Till April 17, over 40,000 private sector employees, working with these exempted firms, have withdrawn around Rs 480 crore.
Information technology firms, including Tata Consultancy Services and HCL Technologies, and power firm NLC India (formerly Neyveli Lignite Corporation) saw the highest withdrawals of employees’ provident fund (EPF) advance since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

More than 3,200 NLC employees withdrew Rs 84.4 crore, followed by TCS (Rs 43.3 crore), Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (Rs 40.1 crore), NTPC (Rs 28.7 crore), HCL Technologies (Rs 27.1 crore), Power Grid Corporation of India (Rs 26.2 crore), and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (Rs 24.2 crore). The firms that saw the highest amount of applications for EPF advance withdrawals were TCS (9,373 employees), HCL Technologies (6,938), and NLC (3,255).

The Union labour and employment ministry on Monday released a statement detailing the top 10 establishments, maintaining their own provident fund trusts, which saw the highest amount of EPF advance withdrawals through a special scheme launched under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Under the scheme, launched by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), employees can withdraw EPF advance to the tune of three months of their wages or up to 75 per cent of their balance, whichever is less. Employees have the flexibility to withdraw a lower amount.

Some companies manage the EPF accounts of their employees on their own and they are known as exempted firms. But they are governed by the guidelines issued by the EPFO.

Till April 17, over 40,000 private sector employees working with these exempted firms have withdrawn around Rs 480 crore, according to a statement. So, the top 10 firms with the highest PF advance withdrawals accounted for 68 per cent of the total sum withdrawn by all exempted firms so far.

The labour and employment ministry had said in an official statement on April 16 that 331,000 employees had withdrawn EPF advances worth Rs 946 crore under the special scheme launched on March 28.

However, there is no financial outgo from the government towards these PF withdrawals as the sum is a contribution of both employers and employees. At present, 24 per cent of a worker's wage is deducted towards the EPF schemes – 12 per cent counted as employee’s share and the remaining 12 per cent as the employer’s share.

The scheme can be availed by all the 48 million workers subscribed under the EPF schemes in 563,000 establishments. Such employees can claim their advance online if the Universal Account number (for PF savings) is linked with Aadhaar, mobile number and bank account.
Net new enrolments with EPFO dipped to 1.03 million in February from 1.07 million in the previous month, according to its payroll data, providing an employment perspective in the formal sector. However, during the April-February period in 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers had risen to 7.65 million compared to 6.11 million recorded by EPFO during the entire 2018-19, showed the latest payroll data released on Monday.


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