Rahul slams government over ₹ 30,000 crore of EPFO withdrawals

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has slammed the government as people have to withdraw their savings due to financial distress

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NH Web Desk

As the country struggles hard with exploding pandemic as much as ₹ 30,000 crore has been withdrawn in under four months starting April by 8 million subscribers of the Employee Provident Fund Organisation. EPFO manages a corpus of ₹10 lakh crore built on mandatory contributions from nearly 60 million salaried people and their employers. The huge outgo is likely to impact the fund’s earnings in FY21, officials said. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has slammed the government as people have to withdraw their savings due to financial distress

As the country struggles hard with exploding pandemic as much as Rs 30,000 crore has been withdrawn in under four months starting April by 8 million subscribers of the Employee Provident Fund Organisation. EPFO manages a corpus of Rs 10 lakh crore built on mandatory contributions from nearly 60 million salaried people and their employers. The huge outgo is likely to impact the fund’s earnings in FY21, officials said.According to EPFO officials, the amount withdrawn between April and the third week of July is much more than the usual outgo seen over similar periods, and that pandemic-related job losses, salary cuts and medical expenses explain this substantial increase.“Of the total withdrawals, nearly 3 million beneficiaries withdrew upwards of Rs 8,000 crore under the Covid window while the rest Rs 22,000 crore was a general withdrawal by 5 million EPFO subscribers, mainly as medical advance,” an EPFO official said. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi accused the government of taking away people's jobs and savings, failing to stop the spread of coronavirus and still showing them "lofty false dreams".His attack came amid reports that people who have lost their jobs have been utilising their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) savings for sustaining a living during the lockdown period enforced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Snatched jobs, grabbed savings, could not even stop the disease from spreading. But they continued to show lofty false dreams," the Congress leader said in a tweet in Hindi, without naming the government.

He tagged a news report that claimed Rs 30,000 crore has been withdrawn from Provident Fund accounts by people during the last four months for their sustenance during the crisis caused due to the coronavirus pandemic.The Finance Investment and Audit Committee (FIAC) of the retirement fund body updated its members on withdrawals at a virtual meeting held last week, officials said the full impact on returns of this large withdrawal will be known after “detailed micro-level analysis”. “With Covid cases on the rise, the number of withdrawals are going up faster,” a top govt official said.Going by the current trend, EPFO expects nearly 10 million subscribers to withdraw from their savings in the coming days.

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