The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the retirement fund body EPFO may retain interest rate at 8.5 per cent for 2013-14 at its meeting to be held on Monday.

The meeting is being held nearly a year after the last in February 2013.

“There are 38 items on the agenda, including approval of the annual report, as the meeting is taking place after so long,“ said a CBT member, adding that after the board’s reconstitution in May 2013, it was meeting only now.

The CBT is headed by the Labour Minister. However, this fiscal, the Labour Ministry has seen a change of three Ministers — from Mallikarjun Kharge to late Sis Ram Ola and Oscar Fernandes now, who has been given additional charge of Surface Transport.

Contributions

In 2012-13, the total contributions received by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) from its 8.87-crore subscribers stood at Rs 77,000 crore. The investment corpus, as of end March 2013, stood at Rs 6,32,159 crore.

With retail inflation hovering around 11 per cent, trade union representatives in the tripartite body said they would press for a higher interest rate this year.

Union demand

“We will demand 9.5 per cent for this fiscal,” D.L. Sachdeva, Secretary, All India Trade Union Congress and CBT member, told Business Line.

Once the trustees approve the interest rate, it has to be cleared by the Finance Ministry, which then notifies it, after which the interest is credited to the accounts of subscribers.

(This article was published on January 12, 2014)
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