The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
It is unfortunate that the government has notified the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) rate of interest at 8.5 per cent this year. This will be a loss for four crore workers and employees who are members of the PF, a majority of whom are employed in small and medium industries. The EPF is their only social security or old age benefit.
The CPI(M) had demanded that the government should increase the rate of interest on the Special Deposit Scheme (SDS). This scheme was created in the seventies to provide a better rate of interest on PF to workers. The government has benefited greatly from the SDS as under the scheme the government has secured over one lakh crore rupees from EPF deposits. A marginal increase in the rate of interest on SDS can ensure 9.5 per cent interest.
At a time when the government is announcing eight per cent growth in the economy, it is regrettable that workers are getting their share reduced by the reduction of interest on EPF. The CPI(M) demands that the government reconsider the decision and the interest rate of EPF be retained at 9.5 per cent.