Government is considering a proposal to hike wage ceiling for coverage under social security schemes run by the retirement fund body EPFO to Rs 25,000 per month from the existing Rs 15,000, Parliament was informed on Monday.
The increase in wage ceiling for coverage under EPFO schemes to Rs 25,000 could add 50 lakh additional formal sector workers to around four crore contributing subscribers.
Despite being pressed by trade unions on different fora, the government has not taken a decision in this regard, especially when it has already increased threshold for coverage under the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme (ESI) to Rs 21,000 per month in October last year.
“A proposal for increase in the wage ceiling from Rs 15,000 per month to Rs 25,000 per month for coverage under the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 has been submitted by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). No decision in this regard has been taken,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
All India Trade Union Congress Secretary D L Sachdev said, “The proposal to increase threshold to Rs 25,000 was discussed informally among the EPFO trustees during CBT. We have also raised this issue on different occasions.”
Sachdev, also an EPFO trustee, said that since they have already increased the limit for the ESI scheme, the government should do the same for EPFO as it would add around 50 lakh additional formal sector workers under the social security schemes.
More than two years ago, EPFO had increased the threshold to Rs 15,000 per month from Rs 6,500 on September 1, 2014 in view of price rise and pay revisions in the formal sector.