Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a press conference on March 26 said that the Government of India will pay EPF contribution of the employer as well as the employee (12 percent each) for the next three months.
"This is for all those establishments that have up to 100 employees and 90 percent of whom earn under Rs 15,000 per month," the FM said while announcing a slew of relief measures following a national lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The finance minister also said that the govt is ready to amend the regulation of EPF due to the coronavirus pandemic so that workers can draw upto 75 percent non-refundable advance from credit in PF account or 3 months salary, whichever is lower.
"This will benefit 4.8 crore workers who are registered with the EPF," Sitharaman said.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week had constituted a task force headed by the Finance Minister to work out a package for the economy hit by coronavirus.The government today unveiled a Rs 1.70 lakh crore economic package involving free foodgrain and cooking gas to poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees as it looked to contain the impact of unprecedented nationwide lockdown.