Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has deferred the due date for filing Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) and paying the employers’ March contribution until 15 May. The announcement was made to give some relaxation to the employers during the scenes of nation-wide lockdown.
If not for the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, the contribution must have been made by 15 April. EPFO’s move provides relief to 6 lakh firms and over five crore subscribers. Employers who have paid wages to their employees for March must abide by this new due date.
The Ministry of Labour and Employment intends to support these employers through this move. Also, the delay can be seen as an act of encouragement or incentive to employers for paying to their employees.
EPFO’s announcement is in-line with the objectives of the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, i.e. to prevent disruption in employment and ensure finances to employees during the time of the pandemic.
As a result of the extension in the due date, the employers can escape defaulting payments. That is they need not pay any penalty and interest charges for the delayed payments. Consequently, the companies can plan their cashflow better due to the extension.
However, there could be an impact on the interest earned in employees’ accounts due to the delay in employers’ depositing their contributions.
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