Government has firmed up amendments to Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, to enable the centre to reduce or waive-off mandatory PF contributions by employees in certain cases. As per the proposed changes, the centre would take a decision in this regard based on financial position of class of industry or other circumstances. "The Labour Ministry has completed consultation on the proposed bill to amend the EPF & MP Act," a source said. The source said that besides proposed amendments, Labour Ministry is firming up its views to add some more changes to the Act before introducing the bill in Parliament. The amendment bill is likely to be introduced in the forthcoming Budget session next month. The Labour Ministry had invited public comments on the draft bill till January 10.
It received several representations from various employers and employees bodies. ".. If the central government is of the opinion that having regard to the financial position of any class of establishments or other circumstances of the case, it is necessary or expedient to do so, it may, by notification... reduce or waive off the contribution payable by the employees for such period as may be specified in the notification," states the proposed amendments to the Act. At present, the organised sector workers who are mainly covered under the Act, contribute 12% of their basic wages which include basic pay and dearness allowance. The draft bill also enables central government to reduce the PF contribution to 10% from existing 12% of basic wages. It is proposed to reduce the threshold limit of workers for coverage under the Act. At present firms which have employed 20 or more employees are covered under the legislations which is proposed to be reduced to 10 workers. Reduction in the threshold limit of workers is expected to bring 50 lakh more employees under the purview of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which implements social security schemes under the legislation.