EPFO to launch payment scheme for house buyers in March

Retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will, next month, launch a housing scheme for its over 40 million subscribers, which will enable them make down payment and pay EMIs from their EPF accounts.

Under the scheme, EPFO subscribers can utilise their PF accounts to buy homes for themselves during their service period.

The scheme is likely to be launched any time after 8 March, when assembly elections in the five poll-bound states would be over, say reports.

For making use of the facility, subscribers as well as their employers would be required to form a group housing society, which would further tie up with banks and builders or home sellers to enable EPFO members to buy homes.

Further, it is stipulated that each such housing society should have a minimum of 20 members to avail the facility.

Subscribers would be allowed to club the benefits under various schemes of the centre as well states like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, say sources.

EPFO would provide a certificate indicating the subscribers' paying capacity and ability to repay loans, which will help the formal sector employees improve their credit worthiness.

However, EPFO will not be a party to any agreement between a home buyer and the seller and will not get involved in any dispute or legal battle, either with the banker or builder or seller of the homes.

In case of any dispute, the EPFO will have the right to stop the down payment or monthly installment of loan on the request of the promoter or executive head of the group housing society.