The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) invests in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) based on Nifty 50, Sensex, Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and Bharat 22 Indices. The EPFO does not invest in shares and equities of individual companies, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.
According to Gangwar, the total amount invested by EPFO in ETFs as on September, 2019 was Rs. 86,966 crore. In its 207th meeting on 31.03.2015, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) had decided to invest only in ETFs in the category of equity and related investments.
The Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 applies to every establishment employing 20 or more persons. This establishment can be either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.
Gangwar said that to extend social security benefits to all the eligible workers in the country, continuous efforts are made by EPFO to bring the coverable establishments under the EPF & MP Act, 1952 and also for bringing the eligible employees under the umbrella of Schemes under the Act.
Till 31.03.2019, 197 industries/classes of establishments were notified for coverage which has brought 4.69 crores contributory members within ambit of EPF.
In reply to another question, Gangwar said that for old age protection in the form of monthly pension, Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana, which is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme for providing monthly minimum assured pension of Rs. 3,000 on attaining the age of 60 years.
Unorganised workers in the age group of 18-40 years whose monthly income is Rs.15,000 or less and not a member of EPFO/ESIC/NPS can join the scheme. Under the scheme, 50 per cent monthly contribution is payable by the beneficiary and equal matching contribution is paid by the Central Government.