Plan to credit migrant workers’ earnings directly to EPF

The Government plans to sign a new agreement to credit the provident funds of migrant workers directly to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) of Sri Lanka, Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva stated in Parliament yesterday (9).

He said that many Sri Lankan workers were working in various fields in countries such as India and Bangladesh and that their provident funds would be credited to the existing provident funds in those countries, adding that the money would be available to those workers after many years.

Accordingly, he said he hopes to inform the Cabinet of Ministers and sign a special agreement with those countries to credit the existing provident funds of the employees working in those countries directly to the EPF of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, Minister’s Media Secretary Upul Jayasinghe stated that Sri Lankans working in various institutions in India are required to make contributions to the Social Security Fund of India. These contributions can only be obtained once they reach the age of 58.

“Indians working in various institutions in Sri Lanka are also required to be members of the EPF and Employees’ Trust Fund (ETF) in Sri Lanka. EPF/ETF contributions and interest, thereon, will be paid to them upon completion of their journey to India. However, Sri Lankans working in institutions in India will be able to receive contributions credited to the Social Security Fund of India only after reaching the age of 58, as per the existing laws in that country. The Minister further said that the decision was taken after considering the complaints received that Sri Lankans working in India would face serious practical difficulties in obtaining the money later,” Jayasinghe said.

According to the agreement to be signed, Sri Lankans working in Indian institutions will no longer be required to pay contributions to the Social Security Fund in India.

Indians working in various institutions in Sri Lanka will henceforth be eligible for EPF and ETF.

Accordingly, preliminary drafts related to the amendment of the Employees’ Provident Fund Act No. 15 of 1958 to enable the signing of a social security agreement between Sri Lanka and India are in progress and the draft will be tabled in Parliament soon.