The minimum wage ceiling under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) could soon be raised to Rs 25,000 from the existing Rs 15,000. A proposal to to enhance the limit is likely to be sent by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to the government. A decision to propose the change has been taken at a recent meeting of Sub-committee of the Central Board of Trustees, EPFO, on contract workers held on November 7. Central Board of Trustees (CBT) is the highest decision-making body of the EPFO.
A hike in the wage limit as proposed would mean all employees drawing basic salary Rs 25,000 would have to compulsorily contribute to the provident fund. However, those drawing above that limit will have the option to become member of the provident fund, and can opt out if they want to.
The move comes in wake of changes in the wage structure in accordance with the proposal of the 7th Pay Commission. Trade union representatives at the CBT sub-committee meeting pointed out that the minimum wage of Central government employees after implementation of the Pay Commission report has been hiked to Rs 18,000. and hence the EPFO’s wage ceiling of Rs 15,000 needs to be altered. They pointed out that there could be further increase in minimum wages from the Rs 18,000 is likely with the trade unions demanding a minimum wage of at least Rs 21,000 to Rs 22000.
In fact, the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) is directly linked to the minimum wage ceiling. At present, If an employee is earning up to Rs 15,000 he or she can avail of benefits under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI). The scheme provides life insurance of up to Rs 6 lakhs.