EPF to cover contractual workers of local bodies

Written by Surabhi Rastogi | Surabhi | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 28 2011, 06:24am hrs
Contract workers employed by municipal corporations will now be given retirement benefits. The ministry of labour and employment has amended the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 to include municipal corporations and councils under its ambit.

Though most employees of municipal corporations and councils are government employees and already enjoy retirement benefits including pension, many workers are hired by these urban local bodies on contractual basis in a number of areas including teaching, construction, sewerage and cleaning.

This is perhaps one of the single largest coverage moves by the labour ministry and will bring a few lakh workers under the Act, which already covers nearly 4.7 crore workers.

There are a total of 139 municipal corporations and 1,595 municipalities in the country, according to the 13th Finance Commission.

We expect about 2 to 3 lakh workers to be covered by the Act now and will get pension, provident fund and insurance benefits, said an official with the Central Provident Fund Commission.

Workers covered under the EPF&MP Act, 1952 are members of three social security schemes - the Employees Provident Fund, the Employees Pension Scheme and the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme.

Recently, the EPFO has also begun an exercise to enroll workers engaged in construction and building industries under its ambit. It has set up a special sub committee for the purpose and has directed its regional offices to send data on such workers by next month.