This is a discussion on Investment options within the Investment forums, part of the Financial Services category; The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) board will meet here next week to consider investing in schemes that yield higher ...
- 08-21-2010, 03:39 PM #1Unregistered Guest
The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) board will meet here next week to consider investing in schemes that yield higher returns so that its 40 million subscribers get enhanced interest.
The EPFO's Central Board of Trustees (CBT) will also discuss a proposal to invest five percent of the Rs.1.28 trillion corpus in equity markets, though an EPF official said the board was likely to shoot it down.
About 80 percent of the corpus is currently invested in the special deposit scheme (SDS) of the finance ministry and the balance in public sector or financial institutions and government-guaranteed loans.
The government is under pressure to raise additional resources to meet its commitment to pay EPF subscribers the increased interest rate of 9.5 percent, which translates into an additional expenditure of Rs.9.27 billion.
While the government approved 9.5 percent returns on EPF contributions 2002-04, it is yet to ratify this rate for 2004-05 pending a report from the EPFO board.
Labour Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has stated that the finance ministry had permitted his ministry to invest five percent of EPF in any venture, triggering speculation that it could be parked in equities.
"The EPFO board will reject such a proposal (investing in stock market). The minister has spoken on behalf on the government and not on behalf of the board," said an EPFO official.
Rao has, however, made it clear that the government would not take the risk of investing EPF in equity without first finding alternative means for getting better returns.
With the finance ministry ruling out the possibility of increasing the interest rate on SDS from the current eight percent, the labour ministry has been forced to look for lucrative investment strategies.
In February, the government appointed consultancy firm Mercer to suggest investment options to mobilise revenue.
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