In the current scenario of lockdown announced by the Govt. to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and other disruptions, the businesses and enterprises are not able to function normally and are facing liquidity/cash crunch to pay their statutory dues even though they are retaining the employees on their rolls.
Keeping in view the above situation and to further ease the compliance procedure under EPF & MP Act, 1952, the filing of monthly Electronic-Challan cum Return (ECR) is separated from Payment of the statutory contributions reported in the ECR.
The ECR can now onwards be filed by an employer without the need for simultaneous payment of contributions and contributions may be paid later by the employer after filing the ECR.
The above change will entail convenience to the employers as well as the employees covered under the Act and Schemes.
Filing of ECR by the employer in time is indicative of the employer’s intent to comply will not, therefore, attract penal consequences if the dues are paid within the extended time as announced by the Govt.
Filing of ECR in time shall help in credit of employer’s and employee’s share of contributions, totaling 24% of wages by Central Govt. in EPF accounts of low wage earners in establishments eligible under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana package.
The current ECR data shall also help in policy planning and decisions making for further relief to the businesses and EPF members adversely impacted by the Pandemic.