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Govt notifies 8.5 per cent EPF rate for 2005-06

However, within hours, Left parties and trade unions came out hammer and tongs against the order.

business Updated: Jan 11, 2006 14:23 IST

The Centre on Tuesday notified 8.5 per cent rate of return on Employees Provident Fund deposits for the current fiscal, leaving trade unions and Left parties fuming.

A Labour Ministry notification said: "The subscribers of the Employees Provident Fund are to get 8.5 per cent interest on their deposits for 2005-06."

However, within hours of the central notification, Left parties and trade unions came out hammer and tongs against the order and demanded a rollback, failing which they threatened to launch mass action.

It said the total payout would be Rs 6,889.04 crore as interest to its four crore subscribers for the current fiscal against its projected interest income of Rs 6,523.15 crore.

An official release said the EPF Organisation would meet the deficit of Rs 365.89 crore on account of 8.5 per cent interest rate from its own resources.

The notification comes after a few rounds of meeting of the CBT chaired by Labour Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram to apprise them of the strong demand from central trade unions to retain 9.5 per cent interest paid in last fiscal.

The notification came two days ahead of the Left-UPA Coordination Committee meeting, where the matter is likely to be raised forcefully by the left supporters of the Congress-led coalition.

First Published: Jan 11, 2006 11:46 IST