New Delhi, June 26: The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Friday said it opposes any move to reduce interest rate on employees’ provident fund (EPF) fixed at 8.5 per cent for 2019-20 by retirement fund body EPFO earlier this year. The AITUC’s statement came after certain reports suggested that the government may cut interest on EPF for the previous financial year 2019-20 for the Employees Provident Fund Organisations’ (EPFO) over six crore subscribers.

“AITUC deplores any plans to once again reduce the interest rate on PF. The employees/workers are already hard pressed in a situation where they did not get wages in lockdown due to COVID-19, and many have faced retrenchments and now the wage cut is the scenario in rejoining during unlock,” it said in the statement. The government took unilateral decision to reduce the employer, employee share without consent from the EPFO’s apex decision making body CBT (Central Board of Trustees) during COVID-19 lockdown, the statement added. EPF Withdrawal: EPFO Using Artificial Intelligence to Settle COVID-19 Related Claims of Employees in 3 Days.

The earlier-announced reduced interest rate of 8.5 per cent for 2019-20 (as compared with 8.65 per cent for 2018-19) is yet to be approved by the government and then on top of that, planning for such reduction without decision of the CBT would amount to total disregard to the statutory functioning of the body, it added. AITUC is opposed to any attempt to reduce the interest rate on EPF, it added.