The government today stayed the new PF order tightening rules for withdrawal of Employee Provident Fund, within hours of employees protests in Bengaluru today.

“The notification issued on 10th February, 2016 is cancelled. Now the old system will continue,” Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said at a press conference here.I will take ratification from CBT (Central Board of Trustees of EPFO),” he said after violence rocked Bengaluru for the second day when garment industry workers torched several buses and attacked a police station protesting against the EPFO’s new PF Withdrawal Rules.

Giving reasons for the rollback, Dattatreya said, “The reason is the request of trade unions. The earlier decision (new PF withdrawal norms) was also taken after considering the opinion of the trade unions. Now, when the trade unions are requesting, we rolled back the earlier decision to tighten PF withdrawal

Earlier in the day in New Delhi, the Minister had said, “The notification (tightening PF withdrawal norms) will be kept in abeyance for three months till July 31, 2016. We will discuss this issue with the stakeholders.”

The earlier decision to tighten PF withdrawal would have barred employees to withdraw employer’s contribution from the PF money till the age of 58 years- retirement age.

People have also launched online campaign against the earlier decision, which was to be implemented from February 10 but was later put on hold till April 30.

Protesters pelted stones at Hebbagodi Police Station in Bengaluru and torched seized vehicles parked there, as the spontaneous agitation with no trade union leading it spun out of control.

Now, the EPFO subscribers who are out of job for more than two months can file for full settlement of provident fund till July end.

“On the direction of Labour Minister, the said provision will now come into effect from August 1, 2016 by issue of an amended notification,” the statement said.

The proposal to amend the scheme to allow all accumulations on different grounds like purchase of house, serious illness, marriage and professional education of children, has been sent for vetting by the Law Ministry.

The unions have demanded complete rollback of the decision of tightening the PF withdrawal rules permanently.

EPFO Order: EPF Withdrawal New Rule Cancelled

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