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PF rate cut

New Delhi, Nov. 5: Labour minister Sahib Singh Verma has ruled out a reduction in provident fund interest rate, reports our special correspondent.

“We have enough reserve to be able to afford a 9.5 per cent interest rate on provident fund,” Verma said at a news conference.

The finance ministry has been rooting for a slash in the provident fund interest rate to nine per cent from 9.5. The controversy has been raging for quite some time.

The Central Board of Provident Fund Trustees rejected the recommendation — so did Sharad Yadav and Satyanarain Jatiya.

Though finance minister Jaswant Singh may still want to push through his ministry’s recommendation, political logic is against such a move. It is known that any reduction in Provident Fund interest rate will be tough on the electorate already reeling under price rise and recession.

Verma announced that a two-day national seminar on the unorganised sector would be held on November 7 and 8.

Like his predecessors, Verma has been laying a lot of emphasis on social security benefits for unorganised sector workers. The labour ministry has said that these workers are the most neglected and have no access to any kind of social security benefits.

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