The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) yesterday decided against investing in the stock market in view of the finance ministry's refusal to provide any guarantee on returns and safety of such investments.
Further, it stuck to its decision on payment of 9.5 per cent interest rate on the provident fund deposits for 2010-11, a move which would benefit around 4.71 crore employees.
"We don't want to invest in equities. No further decision has been taken on this and the same status (of not investing PF money in the stock market) would prevail. We did not get any guarantee from the finance ministry on such investments in the stock market," said labour and employment minister Mallikarjun Kharge.
He was speaking to reporters after a two-hour-long meeting of the Central Board of Trustees, the top-decision making body of the EPFO.
Refusing to offer any guarantee, the finance ministry said, "there is no question of government providing the sovereign guarantee to any provident fund."
Market analysts say, with its Rs5,00,000 crore of funds, the EPFO could have given a big boost to the stock market.