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EPFO trustees fail to reach consensus on interest rate, to meet again on Dec 7

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NO DECISION YET: The Minister for Labour, Mr K. Chandrashekhar Rao, with the trustees of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation at the 172nd meeting of the Central Board of Trustees in the Capital on Monday. - Ramesh Sharma
NO DECISION YET: The Minister for Labour, Mr K. Chandrashekhar Rao, with the trustees of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation at the 172nd meeting of the Central Board of Trustees in the Capital on Monday. - Ramesh Sharma

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Nov. 21

THE Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Monday failed to reach a consensus on the rate of interest payable to the more than three crore subscribers of the EPFO for current fiscal.

To further deliberate on the issue the trustees have decided to meet again on December 7.

Coming out of the more than five-hour long meeting of the trustees, the Minister for Labour, Mr K. Chandrashekhar Rao, told reporters that the CBT would meet on December 7 to arrive at a decision.

Meanwhile with the trade unions pitching for 9.5 per cent rate of interest and saying that the figures provided by the EPFO office are not accurate, the Minister has said that he would ask his officials to do all necessary calculations once again.

According to EPFO's estimates the organisation can pay a maximum of 8-8.25 per cent interest to its subscribers for the current fiscal based on its earnings during the year.

However, the nine central trade unions that have representatives on the trustee board have demanded that the Government should stick to its commitments as have been made by the Prime Minister.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, CITU leader and member of the CBT said that the Trade Unions want the Prime Minister to intervene if the EPFO is unable to pay on its own.

All the trade unions, including Congress affiliated INTUC and the RSS affiliated BMS urged the Labour Minister to take up the issue with the Prime Minister for raising the interest on the Special Deposit Scheme (SDS) and the Government bonds where the bulk of EPFO's funds are parked.

The CITU representative, Mr W.R. Varadarajan said that when the Prime Minister had announced that the interest rate would be 9.5 per cent, the Government should honour his statement and the 9.5 per cent rate should hold for the entire regime of the UPA Government.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 22, 2005)
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