Labour minister Santosh Gangwar on Tuesday (September 17) said over 6 crore EPFO accounts will be credited with interest amount at 8.65% for 2018-19 ahead of the festival season.
The Central Board of Trustees – the apex decision-making body of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) – had approved 8.65% interest rate for the last fiscal on 21 February, this year.
The proposal was sent for the concurrence of the finance ministry. Once approved by the finance ministry, the EPFO would credit the interest amount at 8.65% rate in subscriber accounts and settle claims on this rate.
At present, the EPFO is settling PF withdrawal claims at 8.55% interest rate, which was approved for 2017-18.
“Ahead of the festival season, over 6 crore EPFO subscribers would get 8.65% interest for 2018-19,” Gangwar told reporters on the sidelines of the National Safety Awards function in New Delhi.
On the delay in notifying EPF interest rate, the minister said, “Finance minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) is busy these days. She has the file (proposal for EPF interest rate for 2018-19). She does not disagree on this. The 8.65% rate of interest approved by us would be provided to EPFO subscribers for 2018-19. It should be done in a few days.”
Talking about new infrastructure to be set through bodies under the labour ministry in the two union territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladhak, the minister said, “The Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) would open a 30-bed hospital in Leh and a 100-bed hospital in Srinagar. Besides, the EPFO would open its offices in Srinagar and Jammu, and if needed in Leh also.”
After the abrogation of special status for Jammu and Kashmir, as many as 106 central laws would be implemented in the two union territories from 31 October, 2019. Therefore, the central government needs to create an infrastructure to enable the implementation of those laws in the new Union territories.
On the issue of unemployment, he said, “The number of workers increased by 2 crore in all those establishments where 20 or more workers work in the last three years. Their number increased from six crore to eight crore now. We are also working for over 40 crore unorganised sector workers in the country.”
About having a true picture of employment scenario in the country, he said, “We are also working on employment generation data from all those businesses where only one to two people work. They have got loans from the government. It would take one more year to firm up unemployment data.”