A report to include more workers under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation is likely to be taken up for discussion at the forthcoming meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, reported Business Line.
According to sources, the report has two key proposals to expand the coverage of the scheme – by lowering the threshold for the number of workers employed by a firm to be eligible for coverage and increasing the cap on the salary.
As of now, a firm with 20 or more workers is mandated to register under the EPFO. The report is understood to have suggested halving this to include firms with 10 workers or more.
Similarly, it has also proposed to increase the current monthly wage ceiling of ₹15,000 to ₹21,000 in order to bring in more workers under the coverage of the scheme. This would also sync the wage ceiling with that of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation, the report said.
“These are some of the key proposals of the ad hoc committee on coverage that was set up. It is likely to be taken up for discussion in the upcoming meeting of the CBT,” said source quoted in the paper.
The CBT, which is the apex decision making body of the EPFO, is scheduled to meet on July 29 and 30. The last such revision in the wage ceiling for the EPF scheme was done in 2014.
“At present, there are over 5 crore active members of the EPF scheme. The objective is to expand the coverage of the scheme to bring in more workers and provide them with social security,” said the source. However, it has to be seen how and when the proposal can be implemented given that the Labour Codes are also expected to be rolled out soon.
“While the Labour Codes are not in the jurisdiction of the CBT, the discussions will have to be on how to expand the coverage of the EPF in the backdrop of these Codes,” the source said. Many trade unions have also been seeking an increase in the wage ceiling to expand the coverage of the scheme.