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New Delhi, September 9, 2020
The Employment Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will pay 8.50 per cent interest to the formal sector employees for the year 2019-20.
This was decided at a meeting of the 227th meeting of the EPFO's Central Board of Trustees chaired by Labour & Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar today.
"In view of exceptional circumstances arising out of COVID-19, the agenda regarding interest rate was reviewed by the Central Board and it recommended the same rate @ 8.50% to the Central Government," an official press release said.
"It would comprise of 8.15% from debt income and balance 0.35% (capital gain) from the sale of ETFs subject to their redemption by 31st December, 2020. It further recommended to account such capital gains in the income of the financial year 2019-20 as being an exceptional case," the release said.
During the meeting, Gangwar launched the virtual hearing facility in quasi-judicial cases under EPF & MP Act, 1952 through video conferencing by use of secure IT applications compatible with desktop and laptop computers and mobile phones.
The aim of integration of virtual hearing utilities with EPFO’s e-Court process on Compliance e-Proceedings Portal (https://eproceedings.epfindia.gov.in) is to eliminate physical presence of parties in hearings before Adjudicating Officer leading to ease and convenience for employers and employees to appear in hearings from remote location of their choice.
The system entails savings on time, travel and expenditure for parties, ensures compliance to social distancing norms during pandemic and fast tracks assessment of worker’s EPF dues to generate better confidence in the quasi-judicial mechanism. It is a critical development towards the objective of faceless quasi-judicial proceedings in EPFO, the release said.
According to it, the Central Board accorded approval for amendment of paragraph 22(3) of Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976 to enhance the maximum assurance benefit to Rs. 7 lakh from the present maximum assurance benefit of Rs. 6 lakh.
"This amendment will provide additional succor to families and dependents of members of the scheme in case of their unfortunate death while in service.
"CBT was also informed that the actuarial valuation of EDLI Fund has allowed for continuation of minimum assurance benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh beyond 14.02.2020 and extension of minimum assurance benefit of Rs 2.5 lakh to family of those deceased members who were employed in multiple establishments during the 12 months preceding the month in which they died, as approved by CBT EPF in its 226th meeting," it said.