House panel flays Govt for sitting on wage ceiling

Employees Provident Fund scheme was last revised a decade ago

“The Committee is saddened to note that the Ministry of Labour has been mulling over the wage ceiling revision proposal under the EPF Scheme for too long unwarrantedly,” the Standing Committee on Labour said in its report, which was tabled in Parliament on Thursday.

“Such an attitude of apathy and indifference negates the very mandate to safeguard the interest of workers in general and of those who constitute the poor, the deprived and the disabled sections of society,” it said.

The Committee noted that the wage ceiling of Rs 6,500 for the purpose of coverage under EPF Scheme was last revised with effect from June 1, 2001.

Keeping in view the rapid transformation of the economy leading to substantial increase in the wages of the employees, the Committee had recommended revision of wage ceiling for coverage under EPF Scheme to Rs 15,000 per month.

“Apparently, the Ministry is either oblivious or pays scant regard to the Constitutional mandate directing the State to strive to secure just socio-economic order, among others and to try to secure a living wage and decent standard of living,” the Committee said.

Considering the whopping contributions which have accumulated with the EPFO over the years the Committee had “sound reasons to believe” that given proper will, commitment and concern expected of a welfare state, the wage ceiling could be enhanced suitably.

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