BMS Pulls Out of PF Strike After Govt Promises Solution

Trade unions protesting against the government decision to cut the Employees’ Provident Fund interest split on Wednesday with the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh pulling out of a nationwide strike and holding a separate protest.

Published: 28th April 2016 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th April 2016 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Trade unions protesting against the government decision to cut the Employees’ Provident Fund interest split on Wednesday with the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh pulling out of a nationwide strike and holding a separate protest.

The BMS held demonstrations in front of 46 provident fund offices across the country even as all other trade unions have decided to go on strike on Friday.

The BMS also met Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and presented a memorandum against the decision to fix a 8.7 per cent interest rate for provident fund subscribers, less than 8.8 per cent decided by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.

“The minister has assured us to take up the matter with the Ministry of Finance. He is of the view that this happened because of some miscalculations which need to be verified,” BMS general secretary Virjesh Upadhyay told Express. He expressed satisfaction over the meeting and said the matter was expected to be sorted out soon. “The EPF is managed by an autonomous and independent body — the Central Board of Trustees of the Employee Provident Fund Organisation and the government has no writ over it. The step taken by the finance ministry to overrule the recommendation of the Central Board of Trustees is not acceptable. We will not let it happen,” he explained.

The Central Board of Trustees had at its meeting held in February 2016 proposed an interim interest rate at 8.8 per cent to be credited to the accounts of Employees’ Provident Fund subscribers for 2015-16. The Ministry of Finance has, however, agreed on an interest rate of 8.7 per cent.

Other unions, however, are determined to go ahead with Friday’s strike. Initially, the BMS was also a signatory to the strike call.

“By pulling out of the strike, the BMS has shown its true colour,” said a CITU leader.

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