The government has extended support under the Employee's Provident Fund (EPF) scheme by another three months.
The fresh liquidity support amounts to Rs 2,500 crore and will be beneficial for over 70 lakh employees, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The government will take up PF for firms with 100 staff, earning less than Rs 15,000, as announced earlier under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Scheme.
This support, earlier provided till the end of May, will now continue till the end of August.
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.
The statutory PF contribution has also been reduced from 12 percent to 10 percent. For state PSUs, government will continue to pay 12 percent while govt staff pays 10 percent.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here