The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has deferred a decision on revising the interest rate on the PF fund for the 4.7 crore subscribers from the present 8.5 per cent per year for 2010-2011, even as trade unions demanded that the percentage should be kept at 9.5-10 citing increasing inflation.
The board accepted the suggestions of the unions for approaching the Finance Ministry for a subsidy so that more interest could be paid to the employees as there would be a shortage of Rs. 426.23 crore even if the interest rate was increased to 8.75 per cent.
It recommended enhancement of the cash benefit payable to the family of PF subscribers who die while in service, to a maximum of Rs. 1 lakh from the present Rs. 60,000; extension of the PF scheme to the contract workers of the local bodies; and relaxation of investment guidelines in PSUs/Public Sector Banks, private sector bonds/securities within the permissible limits, so as to augment the yield on investments.
Union Labour and Employment Minister and CBT Chairman Mallikarjun Kharge, who presided, said it was decided to take some more time on fixing the interest rate and hold a meeting with the Finance Minister prior to that.
Sources said there was no hard and fast rule or deadline for fixing the interest rate, as in 2009-10 it was fixed in July 2009 and in the previous year (2008-09) in September 2008.
Source : The Hindu