Battling for a consensus on various important issues in the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the Union government has proposed cutting the number of its trustees by almost half, to ensure “effective” functioning.
The Centre has proposed reducing the body’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT) — chaired by the Union labour minister — to 23 from the present 43. The members include employers, employees and state government representatives.
CBT takes key decisions on issues such as fixing the interest rate on EPFO deposits and where and how to invest these. The government has not been able to persuade the trustees to invest a portion of EPFO money in the equity markets for quite while.
The move is part of various changes proposed by the Union government in the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act. A draft Bill has been put up for public consultation.
“It is felt the present strength of CBT is quite excessive, leading to operational difficulties and delay in decision-making (and should) be reduced to a more manageable number,” goes a suggestion from the labour ministry to EPFO separately.