EPF row: Nitish slams Centre, says financial future of youth in jeopardy

New Delhi : Lashing out at the Bharatiya Janata Party- led Centre over its plan to tax pension withdrawals by private sector employees, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) further put the financial future of India’s youth in jeopardy.

“GOI has barely delivered on their promise of creating jobs & now a tax on EPF further puts the financial future of our youth in jeopardy. Acc. to 14th Finance Commission recommendations, central funds to Bihar had already decreased significantly by 10.8%.,” Nitish tweeted.

He asserted that now with the imposition of the new cesses, the government has further ‘swindled’ the states of their share.

If implemented, the tax plan could hit lakhs of employees who pay up to 33 percent tax on income, forcing them to explore other options to save for their old age.

Meanwhile, the government is all set to reconsider the budgetary proposal under which a part of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal will be taxed with 60 percent corpus, considering several options to cushion the impact of the proposal on the salaried middle class, stated sources.

A high-level meeting took place between the officials of Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Finance Ministry on March 3 where in EPF tax proposals were discussed.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had proposed a change in rule aiming at reducing litigation and increasing transparency in the Union Budget 2016, is likely to make an official statement in the House outlining the revised proposal.

According to the impositions, only 70 lakh out of 3.70 crore active EPF subscribers will be impacted by the proposed tax change, a rethink has been prompted because of protests from the vocal middle class.

There has also been recognition that the plan to tax EPF is the only major proposal to have attracted significant criticism. (ANI)