New Delhi, April 20, 2017

The Finance Ministry has ratified the 8.65 per cent rate on employees’ provident fund (EPF) deposits for 2016-17, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Thursday.

“The Finance Ministry has agreed to an 8.65 per cent rate of interest. Now, the communication will come. The formal discussions are over,” Dattatreya said on the sidelines of the National Safety Awards function, adding that the Labour Ministry would “immediately issue the notification and credit the rate of interest to over four crore subscribers.”

The Minister’s statement comes in the wake of reports that the Finance Ministry was pushing for a rate lower than the 8.65 per cent proposed by the tripartite Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

The EPFO had provided interest at 8.8 per cent for fiscal year 2015-16.

The Minister also said that the Bill to amend the Payment of Gratuity Act to double the ceiling of tax-free gratuity to Rs.20 lakh would soon be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval.

Earlier, the Minister gave away National Safety Council awards for 2016 to 70 organisations, including IOCL – Digboi Refinery; National Fertilisers Ltd, Panipat and NPCIL Kaiga.

[The Hindu Business Line]