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Last Updated : Sep 24, 2019 10:17 PM IST | Source: PTI

Trade unions oppose proposal to empower govt to reduce EPF contribution

The unions have demanded that the proposed amendment should be deleted.

As many as 10 central trade unions on Tuesday opposed a proposal to empower government to reduce or modify employees' provident fund (EPF) contribution by employers and employees in an amendment bill. The proposed amendment can increase take-home pay of organised sector workers and reduce contributions by employers.

"10 central trade unions have boycotted a meeting called by Labour Ministry to discuss proposed amendments in the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act on September 24.

"Among other amendments, it is proposed to empower central government to modify or reduce the EPF contribution for employees and employers. This would defeat the purpose of social security scheme run Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)," Hind Mazdoor Sabha General Secretary H S Sidhu told PTI.


The unions have demanded that the proposed amendment should be deleted.

"In Section 6, proviso Para 2, which is empowering Central Government to modify, as and when it deems fit, the rates of contribution from employers as well as employees from 'twelve per cent' to 'ten per cent', is a blatant attempt to dismantle our well tested social security system- that is EPF," the unions in a joint letter to the Labour Ministry said.

The unions said it is the most dangerous that proviso Para 3 under section 6, with all its audacity, trying to hit the final nail in the coffin of entire EPF system as it empowers the government to announce any rate of contribution, for any class of employee for any period of time.

In other words, they added that this amendment empowers the government both directly and indirectly in an open-ended manner to reduce employers' contribution along with that of employees in EPF just by executive order in their pet project of ensuring ease of doing business.

The unions also asked the government to include special allowance as part of the basic wages, which is the base for computing EPF contributions.

"As you have not invited one of our important Central Trade Unions, INTUC, for the meeting, we are constrained to place on record our strong objections once again for this unfair and untenable action of the Government which is against the spirit of tripartism. So, we all central trade unions have decided not to participate in this meeting.

"As you have not been seriously taking our opinion into consideration in any tripartite consultations, we have decided to send our comments only in writing to you, rather than attending in person....we ...are sending our comments on the proposed Amendments," the letter said.

The unions which shot off the joint letter are -- INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.

They also demanded deletion of the proposal which invokes the concept of limitation from the Act.

They pointed out that the proposed new sections are aimed at helping and/or indulging the employers to violate the law and evade the penalty.

The unions said the proposed amendment for giving an option to the EPFO subscribers to join National Pension System (NPS) should be deleted.

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First Published on Sep 24, 2019 10:16 pm
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