The labour ministry is all set in preparing a large housing scheme for the Employee Provident Fund subscribers wherein over five crore subscribers of the EPFO will be offered affordable housing in accordance with the agenda of the central government “Housing for All by 2022”.
The labour ministry proposes to collaborate with the various Public sector units, PSU banks, state owned construction companies like NBCC, National Housing development Authority, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), HUDA, PUDA, etc. to construct houses at a price fixed by the government.
The ministerial sources said that the labour ministry is currently preparing schemes for offering affordable housing for the Employees Provident Fund Organization subscribers and especially for those under the low income group category. With this the sources said that there are over 70 percent of the EPFO subscribers whose wages are lesser than Rupees 15, 000 per month.
The prime minister’s office sent a recent note asking the retirement fund body to promote this initiative of providing affordable housing for the subscribers and to utilize its funds for this purpose. The sources from Provident Fund Office said that if a corpus from the EPFO is created deploying 15 percent of the total provident fund it will amount to a credit flow of about Rupees 70 000 crores and is equivalent to funds required for 3.5 lakh additional low cost homes for the subscribers. Presently the EPFO manages a huge sum of Rupees 6.5 lakh crores and its annual incremental deposits is more than Rupees 70,000 crore. The EPFO is looking at a scheme wherein the subscribers can utilize their provident fund savings as a loan to fulfil the part payments of the cost of houses. Presently according to the stipulations the EPFO subscribers can withdraw money for the cause of building houses after completing five years of contribution to the provident fund.
The labour ministry is also thinking of options where it can provide subsidy to the EPFO subscribers who belongs to the low income category to facilitate the subscribers to avail various schemes of the government for low cost housing. This scheme will be kept optional for the subscribers of the EPFO as the ministry doesn't consider it necessary to provide affordable houses for the ones who already own a house.
The housing schemes will have different categories under different income brackets namely high income, low income and middle income. The houses offered and the financial schemes and incentives will be according to the basis of one’s income category.
Through the provident fund account the subscribers will pay the equal monthly instalments’ of the home loan procured. Information from sources reveals that the Employees Provident Fund Organization may create a fund from the total funds to create provisions for the housing loans for the subscribers at reasonable interest rates.
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