EPFO is in ‘worrying state’, CPI MP Viswam writes to labour minister


NEW DELHI, oct 23: Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam wrote to Minister of State for labour and employment, Santosh Gangwar, bringing to minister’s attention ‘the worrying state of affairs in the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).’
In his letter, Viswam pointed out to Gangwar two primary issues of ‘immediate’ concern: a cap on the computation of pension and raising of monthly minimum pension. The issues, he wrote, were adversely affecting the lives of millions of workers in the country.
“The central government contributes 1.16% of EPF subscribers’ monthly salary towards their Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) account, but the salary base for computation is capped at Rs 15,000 per month, so that the monthly contribution doesn’t exceed Rs 174 per month,” Biswam wrote in his letter.
The Rs 15,000 capping, Biswam said, ‘defied logic’ when the 7th Pay Commission recommended Rs 18,000 per month, as of January 1, 2016, as the minimum salary.
He further pointed out that an expert committee appointed by EPFO had recommended raising the minimum monthly pension to Rs 2,000 while the Labour Standing Committee’s recommendation in this regard was Rs 3,000. However, Biswam lamented, till date the government had not taken action as per any of these recommendations.
He further called the provident fund a ‘vital component’ of workers’ wages during their employment. Mentioning how EPFO has been brought under the Social Security Code in the new labour laws, Biswam called on the government to raise both the computation cap and minimum pension and prove it is indeed ‘pro-workers.’
Concluding his letter, Biswam wrote that a positive response from Gangwar will bring immense relief to millions of workers.

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