Key changes from February 1: Check EPFO Life Certificate, ATM withdrawal norm, LPG Cylinder prices


New Delhi: As Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is all set to present Union Budget 2021-22 in Parliament on Monday (February 1), the government has also decided to relax a lot of COVID-19 restrictions amid a consistent drop in the number of new Coronavirus cases for the last four months.

Among the major easing of the COVID-19 restrictions from February 1, the government has permitted cinema halls in the country to operate with 100 per cent capacity. Several state governments have also allowed the re-opening of schools for class 10th and class 12th students who are taking the board exams this year. There are many states that have allowed the opening of schools and colleges for the students of other classes as well.

Check here key changes that would impact your everyday life from February 1, 2021: 

1. In view of the coronavirus pandemic and the vulnerability of the elderly population to COVID-19, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the time limit for the submission of the Life Certificate (Jeevan Pramaan Patra) till February 28, 2021, in respect of the pensioners drawing pension under EPS 1995, and whose Life certificate is due in any month till February 28, 2021.

2. The government has now made the usage of FASTag mandatory for all vehicles in the country from February 15, 2021. Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MORTH) mandated fitment of FASTag with effect from 1st January 2021, in M and N categories of motor vehicles sold before 1st December 2017. Notably, a motor vehicle under category ‘M’ stands for the four wheels used for carrying passengers, while the category ‘N’ stands for those with at least four wheels used for carrying goods, besides carrying persons. 

At hybrid lanes of fee plazas on National Highways, fee payment can be made through FASTag as well as in cash mode till 15th February, 2021. In FASTag lanes of fee plazas, payment of fees will continue to be through FASTag only.

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3. The Punjab National Bank (PNB) customers will have to follow new ATM rules that will commence from February 1, 2021. The had on January 14 tweeted, “To protect our esteemed customers from fraudulent ATM activities, PNB will be restricting transactions (financial & non-financial) from Non-EMV ATM machines from 01.02.2021. Go Digital, Stay Safe!.”

4. Oil marketing companies revise the prices of LPG on the first day of every month depending on the crude rates in the international markets. You can check for the new prices before booking a gas cylinder for this month.

5. According to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), it will resume its e-catering services at 62 stations from February 1. “The company will resume E-catering services at a selected number of stations (62 stations) in the first phase with effect from 1st February 2021 onwards,” the IRCTC said in its statement.

6. Earlier on Friday, the Maharashtra government allowed the resumption of suburban train services in Mumbai for the general public from February 1. The local train services, suspended in March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be opened from the first service till 7 AM, noon to 4 PM and 9 PM to the last service.

7. As the country is witnessing a consistent drop in the COVID-19 infection cases for the lost four-month, the government has decided to relax a lot of COVID-19 restrictions starting from February. Among the major easing of restrictions from February, the government has permitted cinema halls in the country to operate with 100 per cent capacity. 

On the education front also, several state governments have allowed the re-opening of schools of class 10th and class 12th students who will take this year’s board exams. 

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Sagar Biswas

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