Centre to raise EPFO’s equity investments to 15%

February 09, 2017 10:17 pm | Updated February 10, 2017 12:09 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will increase its equity investments to 15% of its incremental corpus next fiscal year from 10% at present, Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Thursday.

“The EPFO had increased investments in exchange traded funds (ETF) from 5% to 10% of its corpus. We are now thinking of increasing it to 15% in the next financial year. We have invested around ₹17,000 crore in ETFs so far,” Mr. Dattatreya said at Assocham’s 96th Annual Function here.

The Minister said on the sidelines that he would convene a meeting with the EPFO’s central board of trustees next month to discuss the proposal to increase equity investments to 15%. Although the EPFO is permitted to invest up to 15% of its incremental corpus in equity and related instruments, it began by investing 5% in ETFs in August 2015 and increased it further to 10% last year.

“The equity investment of 10% (of EPFO’s corpus) is showing good results. We have received returns in the range of 8-9% annually depending on the market situation,” Mr. Dattatreya said.

Two new bills

He also said at the event that the Union government would introduce two labour reform Bills on wages and industrial relations in Parliament in March. “We will take the final decision in the inter-ministerial meeting under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley next week. After that, we will go to the Cabinet and in March both the Bills will be introduced,” the Minister said.

He said that the tripartite discussions with the trade unions and states were “successful” on the proposed labour law reforms.

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