The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has settled 3.31 lakh claims in last fifteen days under the EPF scheme, disbursing an amount of Rs 946.49 crore, according to a statement issued by labour ministry on Thursday.
Besides, Rs 284 crore has been distributed by the exempted PF Trusts under EPF scheme, the ministry said.
"EPFO is committed to serve its members during this crisis, and EPFO offices are functional to maintain the continuity of essential services even in difficult situations," the labour ministry said.
The availability of these facilities through online services has brought much relief to the needy subscribers during the lockdown period, coming to their rescue during these testing times, it added.
Last month, the labour ministry had announced that about 4.8 crore employees who are members of EPF can withdraw 75 per cent of the amount standing to their credit, not exceeding their three months' basic pay, to tide over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministry had issued a notification in this regard on March 28, 2020 to amend the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme 1952, so that organised sector workers can withdraw the non-refundable advance.
In its communication, the EPFO had stated that officers and staff must process claims of EPF subscribers promptly.
Under this provision, the member can apply for lesser amount also. This being an advance, does not attract income tax deductions.
Last week, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) also allowed subscribers of the National Pension System (NPS) for a partial withdrawal of funds for meeting expenses related to the treatment of coronavirus. Employees working in central, state government establishments, as well as corporates, who are members of the NPS, can avail this benefit. However, this benefit will not be available to the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers.
PFRDA runs both the flagship pension schemes -- APY and NPS. While the NPS is for the central, state governments, autonomous bodies and corporates, APY is mainly meant to cater to the pension needs of those employed in the unorganised sector.