he Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday announced a higher interest rate of 8.8 per cent for this fiscal (2015-16), marginally up from 8.75 per cent in the previous fiscal (2014-15).
Nearly 5 crore subscribers regularly contribute to the retirement fund.
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said the hike is an ‘interim one’ and indicated that it could be further revised later.
There is global slowdown and interest rates in India are also coming down, the minister said, adding that the Reserve Bank of India and other central government organisations are monitoring the market trends.
“We had last time given 8.75 per cent and this time, seeing the situation, we are declaring 8.8 per cent for the workers,” he told reporters after chairing the 211th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
While trade unions had demanded that the interest rate be fixed at 8.90 per cent, the government had revised it to 8.80 per cent, he said, underlining the Centre’s commitment to the working class.
On trade unions’ demand for 8.9 per cent interest rate, he said, if that was implemented, the ‘surplus’ the government will have would be Rs. 285 crore. And in the case of 8.8 per cent, the surplus will be Rs. 673 crore, he explained.