Hit by Covid-19 lockdowns, 1.04 Cr Salaried Workers Withdraw INR 39,402 Crore from PF Since March
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As Covid-19 wreaked havoc on livelihoods of millions of workers, salaried individuals withdrew a whopping INR 39,402 crore from the Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) since the first nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25 till end of August. This data was released by the union labour ministry in the Lok Sabha this week.
The ministry further added that about 104 crore salaried workers dipped into their retirement savings during the same time period.
Data shows that INR 39,402 is slightly less than one-third of the Employee Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) yearly collections.
The government shared information with regard to withdrawals from the EPF in response to a question asked by MPs Sudheer Gupta, Benny Behanan, Srirang Appa Barne, Bidyut Baran Mahato and Sanjay Shivrao Mandlik.
Of the 24 states and union territories (UTs) whose data has been shared, Maharashtra recorded highest withdrawal of INR 7,837 crore, followed by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu (including Puducherry) at INR 5,743 crore and 4,984 crore, respectively.
These three states made up 47 per cent of the total withdrawal amount.
Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh recorded lowest withdrawal of INR 44 lakh, followed by Goa at INR 184 crore. National capital Delhi witnessed withdrawal of INR 2,940 crore.
Earlier this month, EPFO announced that for the financial year 2019-20 it will pay out the 8.5 per cent interest in two installments due to the impact of Covid-19 on the retirement fund’s earnings.
“There is no going back on 8.5 per cent rate for FY20, but the current situation has pushed us to go for two instalments. Some of the investments could not be encashed due to bad market situation, hence this new formula," said Virjesh Upadhyay, member of CBT,” said Virjesh Upadhyay, member of Central Board of Trustees (CBT), apex decision-making body of EPFO.