We are glad that the labour unions have agreed, at least half-heartedly, to the rate of 8.5 per cent interest for EPF. This rate is reasonable. Insisting on 9.5 per cent is to take advantage of the political situation at the expense of other deserving segments, especially the unorganised sector.

J. J. Bennett


***The decision of the EPFO to fix the PF interest rate at 8.5 per cent despite the shortfall of Rs 370 crore is a cause of concern. As noted, the issue is an unending dispute every year, caused by the uncompromising stand on both sides, on the gainful deployment of the PF funds. If the funds are parked with more profitable sectors such as the stock market aided by professionally skilled advice coupled with the accountable regulatory provisions, the EPFO could pay interest, perhaps even at a rate more than 9.5 per cent. The only prerequisite, which the trade union leaders should insist, is the structure of a qualified, unbiased and accountable committee to decide on the investments with a committed approach to the depositors who save the money in PF mostly for use post-retirement.

C. P. Velayudhan Nair


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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 13, 2005)
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