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COVID-19 effect: Over 70 lakh EPF accounts closed in April-December 2020

The number was 66.66 lakh in the same period last year, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

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As many as 71.01 lakh employees' provident fund (EPF) accounts were closed during April-December 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, the government informed on Monday.

The number was 66.66 lakh in the same period last year, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

"The number of Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) accounts closed during the period from April to December 2020 is 71,01,929," Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The surge comes in wake of the massive job cuts that took place during the period. A complete lockdown was imposed by the government to contain the COVID-19 pandemic on March 25, 2020.

Gangwar also informed that the number of EPF accounts with partial withdrawal climbed to 1,27,72,120 in April-December 2020 from 54,42,884 in the same period in 2019.

Total withdrawals from EPF account in April-December 2020 rose to Rs 73,498 crore from Rs 55,125 crore in the corresponding period year ago.

Notably, there are several reasons for EPF account closure including superannuation, job loss or changing jobs.

In another reply, the minister said the EPFO has invested Rs 27,532.39 crore in exchange traded funds (ETF) till February 28, 2021. The retirement body had invested Rs 32,377.26 crore in 2019-20 and Rs 27,743.19 crore in 2018-19 in the ETF.

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