Union Labour and Employment Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday said the government had not taken any final decision on reducing the interest rate payable to Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) subscribers from 9.5 per cent given in 2010-11 to 8.6 per cent for 2011-12.

“We have sent the file to the Finance Ministry and it is for them to take the final decision. So far, we have not received any communication,” Mr. Kharge told The Hindu from Bangalore on the phone.

The Board of Trustees of the EPF Organisation, at its meeting on December 23 last year, empowered the Labour Ministry to take the decision in view of the plea for reducing the interest this year to 8.6 per cent (in 2010-11, due to availability of a surplus fund of Rs.1731 crore, the rate was fixed at 9.5 per cent.)

Based on this, which is 0.01 per cent more than what was given in the previous years (8.5%) prior to 2010-11, the Labour Ministry prepared a note mentioning that the rate for 2011-12 could be fixed at 8.6 per cent, benefiting about 5 crore PF subscribers. This is to ensure that the rate matched the interest rate being given to Public Provident Fund scheme customers in scheduled banks.

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