April 1: Companies listed in the Social Security Fund will be receiving government support under the relief package announced by the cabinet on Sunday.
The government has decided to provide Rs 300 million to the companies struggling to pay their workers due to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown imposed by the government since March 24. Only those companies that have been contributing to the newly-established fund will be entitled to the benefit, said government sources.
The SSF has been collecting 31 percent cut from the salary of each employee from the private sector. Out of the 31 percent, the company contributes 20 percent while 11 percent is deducted from the employee’s basic salary.
Following the government announcement on Sunday, the contributors will not have to deposit the 31 percent amount for the month of Chaitra (mid-March to mid-April). The government itself will contribute the amount to the fund for the time period owing to the crisis caused by the pandemic that has spread to 202 countries and caused over 42,000 fatalities as of March 31.
Executive Director of the Social Security Fund Kapil Mani Gyawali informed New Business Age that the government itself will contribute the amount on behalf of the companies for this month.
As of March-end, a total of 12,315 companies and 153,276 employees have been listed in the ambitious project announced by the government during the start of the current fiscal year. However, the companies and staffers contributing to the fund is actually less than the listed numbers. According to Gyawali, so far only 36,000 employees have made contribution to the fund. The fund has received Rs 870 million so far.
Meanwhile, vice president of Nepal Cement Producers’ Association Tara Prasad Pokharel said that more than 75 percent of cement companies have been listed in the SSF and urged others to join the fund.
He, however, argued that other companies that are not yet listed in the SSF but are contributing to the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and the Citizen’s Investment Trust (CIT) should also be entitled to relief.