Decision on EPF interest rate deferred

New Delhi: The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees'' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) headed by the union labour minister, Sis Ram Ola has deferred its decision on the interest rate payable to three crore subscribers of employees provident fund (EPF) for the current fiscal to a date after the union budget.

The CBT has scheduled its next meeting for July 13, five days after the presentation of the budget.

Talking to press persons after the CBT meeting here on Wednesday, Ola said, "There was unanimous opinion in the meeting to wait for the budget and see the situation after that. So we will decide after seeing what happens in the budget." The EPFO is the single largest provident fund manager in the country handling a funds worth Rs 1.28 lakh crore. Last fiscal, it paid an interest of 9.5 per cent to its subscribers, including a 0.5 percentage point golden jubilee bonus.

This year, the investment sub-committee of the EPFO has recommended an 8 per cent rate of interest, while the trade unions are demanding 12 per cent.

The trade unions have also taken up the issue with the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, who has assured them of "sympathetic treatment."