After widespread protests by trade unions against the new Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) rules, the government has modified the norms in this regard.
After the February budget session, the union labour ministry had announced changes in the norms that restricted 100 per cent withdrawal by members unemployed for two months or more. According to new norms, one could withdraw only his contribution to the fund and the interest earned on it, and not the employer’s contribution.
The new rules also barred subscribers from claiming PF after 54 years of age. The norms stated that they would have to wait till they turn 57. As per the earlier norms, subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account at the age of 54 years and their claims were settled just a year before their retirement.
The changes were expected to come into effect from May 1, 2016.
However, several trade unions had strongly protested against the new norms.
According to information available, the government has now decided to permit full withdrawal of EPF corpus for purchase of house, medical treatment for self and family members, education of children in medical, dental and engineering colleges and for child’s marriage.
The Ministry of Labour has also put the new norms on hold till August 1, 2016
Meanwhile, several buses were set on fire and a police station was attacked in Bengaluru as protest by garment factory workers against the new provident fund rules turned violent on the second day of their stir on Tuesday.