New Delhi: Unmoved by threats of protest by trade unions, a top Finance Ministry official on Tuesday said there is "no question" of going back on decision to fix interest rate at 8.7 per cent for EPF subscribers, down from 8.8 per cent decided by retirement fund body EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation).
The finance minister, the source said, has approved an 8.7 per cent interest rate on EPF for 2015-16 after taking into consideration various factors, including returns on the Fund.
"There is no question of going back on 8.7 per cent," the official said.
The Finance Ministry's decision to fix a lower interest rate than what was suggested by EPFO's apex decision-making body, Central Board of Trustees (CBT), has evoked sharp criticism from trade unions which dubbed the decision as "anti-worker".
Ten central trade unions on Tuesday gave a call for day-long nationwide protest on Friday against the decision.
CBT had proposed an interim rate of interest at 8.8 per cent for EPF subscribers for 2015-16. The EPF interest rate for 2014-15 and 2013-14 was fixed at 8.75 per cent.
The latest move comes on the heels of the government withdrawing two proposals pertaining to EPF. Buckling under pressure, the government rolled back its move to tax EPF as well as tighten withdrawal norms.
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