In good news for about 50 lakh central government employees, the norms for withdrawal of General Provident Fund (GPF) have been relaxed which will enable them to receive payments within 15 days. Employees can also withdraw the fund for select purposes after completing 10 years of service, as against 15 years of service earlier.
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The GPF can be taken for education — including primary, secondary and higher education, covering all streams and institutions. Earlier, a subscriber could withdraw GPF for beyond the high school stage.
“Some amendments have been made (in rules) from time to time to address the concerns raised by the subscribers. However, the provisions, largely remain restrictive. There is a felt need to liberalise provisions, raise limits and simplify the procedure,” the Ministry said.
The provisions in the rules have been reviewed and it has now been decided to permit withdrawals from the fund by the subscriber for obligatory expenses viz. betrothal (engagement), marriage, funerals, or other ceremonies of self or family members and dependants, besides illness of self, family members or dependants, it said.
“It has been decided to permit withdrawal of up to twelve months pay or three-fourth of the amount standing at credit, whichever is less. For illness, the withdrawal may be allowed up to 90 per cent of the amount standing at credit of the subscriber. A subscriber may seek withdrawal after completion of ten years of service,” the ministry said in an order to all central government departments.
The GPF can be withdrawn for purchase of consumer durables also. Existing rules do not give any time limit or sanction and payment of withdrawal amount.
“Therefore, it has been decided to prescribe a maximum time limit of fifteen days for sanction and payment of withdrawal from the fund. In case of emergencies like illness etc., the time limit maybe restricted to seven days,” the order said.