Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - Agen­cies

NEW DELHI: The Union govern­ment dou­bled on Thurs­day the limit on money from prov­i­dent fund that can be in­vested in stock, bond and com­modi­ties mar­kets, de­fy­ing labour unions that say such in­vest­ments are more prone to risks.

The labour min­istry said the dou­bling of the 5% ceil­ing on in­vest­ments in ex­change­traded funds (ETF) will en­sure higher re­turns for PF ac­count hold­ers.

The move by­passed the cen­tral board of trustees of the Em­ployee Prov­i­dent Fund Or­gan­i­sa­tion that usually takes de­ci­sions on the prov­i­dent fund corpus which gives fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity to mil­lions of work­ing In­di­ans who con­trib­ute to it.

“We de­cided to raise it... keep­ing the good eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion, ground con­di­tions and how so­cial se­cu­rity funds in­vest glob­ally. We are cus­to­di­ans of work­ers money and our re­spon­si­bil­ity is to see they get good re­turns,” labour minister Ban­daru Dat­ta­treya said at a press con­fer­ence.

EPFO has al­ready in­vested Rs1,500 crore in ETFS in the first half of the cur­rent fis­cal and will in­vest about Rs500 crore in the re­main­ing six months.

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