Union Labour and Employment Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Tuesday clarified that the Finance Ministry has accepted the plea of the Labour Ministry and dropped the proposal to bring interest on provident fund contribution under Income Tax Act.
Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Kharge said that an Income Tax official had sent the proposal to the Central Provident Fund Trust and submitted a note to the Finance Ministry after the Central Provident Fund Trust had increased interest rate on provident fund contribution to 9.5 per cent.
Mr. Kharge said that he spoke to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and pleaded against the move of the Income Tax Department as it would eat into the savings of the working class and affect their retirement plans. “Mr. Mukherjee, after considering various options, decided to give up the move to bring interest on provident fund contribution under Income Tax Act,” he said. Interest on provident fund would continue to remain exempted from income tax, Mr. Kharge added.
He said that the Labour Ministry has sought land for establishing zonal office of mines safety in Bangalore having jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry. Earlier, these States were under the purview of the Mines Safety Zone situated in Andhra Pradesh. Now, Andhra Pradesh zone would have jurisdiction over mines in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Goa.
Mr. Kharge said that the Labour Ministry has also sought land for taking up construction of the Regional Office of Employees State Insurance Corporation in Gulbarga, Peenya in Bangalore, sub-regional office of the provident fund in a few places in Bangalore. “Once land is given, we will start construction,” he said.