Arun Jaitley’s ministry lowers interest rate on PF, angers trade unions


Union Finance ministry on Monday set aside retirement fund body EPFO trustees’ decision by lowering interest rate on PF deposits to 8.7 percent for 2015-16.

The decision has caused strong protest from trade unions that dubbed the move as ‘anti-labour’.


According to PTI, the Finance Ministry has approved 8.7 percent interest rate, which has implication for over 5 crore subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

“The (EPFO’s apex decision-making body) CBT, at its meeting held in February 2016, had proposed an interim rate of interest at 8.8 per cent to be credited to the accounts of EPF subscribers for 2015-16. The Finance Ministry has, however, ratified an interest rate of 8.7 per cent,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.

Trade unions including RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) have lodged their protest against the Finance Ministry’s decision of lowering the interest rate approved by the CBT.

“BMS strongly condemns the cut in EPF interest rates and will hold demonstrations at EPF offices on April 27,” BMS General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay said, adding the Fund is managed by the CBT, an independent and autonomous body.

“The step taken by the Finance Ministry to over-rule the recommendation of the CBT is not acceptable. It is a wrong step and is an encroachment by the Finance Ministry in EPF’s functioning,” he said.