In the 2021-22 Budget, it was announced that the interest earned on the provident fund contribution by employees and employers will be tax free to a limit of Rs 2.5 lakh. However, now the Centre has increased the cap to a maximum of Rs 5 lakh per year. However, the condition is that, with effect from April 1, the Centre plans to raise the limit to Rs 5 lakhs only in cases where the employer has not contributed to the fund. That means, this hike in threshold limit will not be of any advantage to workers in the private sector, given that, as per the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act, 1952, it is compulsory for employers to make matching contributions. Presently both employees and employers have to contribute 12 per cent of basic salary to the PF account. Employees in private sector cannot contribute more than the limit of Rs 2.5 lakh in a year, to enjoy tax exemption on interest.

For inland container depot/container freight station operators, Ind-Ra forecasts a healthy pickup in volumes though competition remains intense and realisations remain soft. The reduced dwell time after the commissioning of dedicated freight corridor and increased double stacking volume will support higher operating efficiencies.