AF­TER PROTESTS, GOVT RAISES EPF IN­TER­EST RATE BACK TO 8.8%

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Correspondent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: The Cen­tre rolled back on Fri­day a move to slash the em­ploy­ees prov­i­dent fund ( EPF) in­ter­est rate, the third failed gov­ern­ment at­tempt to tinker with re­tire­ment funds that act as a safety net for mil­lions of In­di­ans.

The fi­nance min­istry cut the in­ter­est rate to 8.7% on Mon­day, go­ing against the rec­om­men­da­tion of 8.8% by the Cen­tral Board of Trustees, the Em­ploy­ees Prov­i­dent Fund Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s apex de­ci­sion-mak­ing body.

This trig­gered widespread dis­con­tent and trade unions an­nounced a na­tion­wide protest on Fri­day, crit­i­cis­ing the “uni­lat­eral and un­demo­cratic” ac­tion. “I am happy the fi­nance min­istry has agreed to 8.8% for 2015-16,” labour min­is­ter Ban­daru Dat­ta­treya said.

The EPF’s in­ter­est rate typ­i­cally in­creases ev­ery year to help em­ploy­ees save more and fight in­fla­tion. The CBT ap­proved 8.75% in­ter­est rate in 2013-14 and 2014-15, higher than 8.5% in 201213 and 8.25% in 2011-12.

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