The government has increased the monthly wage ceiling for becoming member of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) at the time of joining to Rs 15,000 from September 1, from the existing Rs 6,500.
    
Following the increase, more workers are likely to come under the social security schemes run by the retirement fund body EPFO.
    
"A target of 30 percent enhancement in the coverage base is fixed for all the regional and sub-regional offices. All incharges of regional offices shall ensure that the target fixed is achived...any laxity on this count will be viewed seriously," EPFO said in an office order today.
    
It said, "The time has come to ensure that these so called excluded employees are brought under the purview of the Act which will help the organisation to bridge the coverage gaps to a large extent."
    
Earlier, all those formal sector workers who got more than Rs 6,500 at the time of joining were excluded from EPFO schemes.
    
In oder to increase the coverage by 30 per cent, EPFO has asked the staff to especially focus on building and construction industry, placement agencies, mining, public and private sector banks, hospitals, restaurants, schools, workshops, franchises and service centres of branded electronic goods and DTH services providers.
    
EPFO has asked its officers to investigate whether the security personnel deployed by the banks in their ATMs throughout the country were getting provident fund and other benefits
    
According to a study carried by the Labour Ministry, number of workers deployed by various government departments, undertakings and autonomous bodies on outsourcing basis are not getting the benefits of provident fund, pension and insurance.
    
EPFO has also asked to regional offices to hold meetings with trade unions and other stakeholder to inform them about the changes in the EPFO scheme.

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