Scarcely has the dust settled over the attempt of the Central Govt. of RSS BJP to limit the workers’ rights to withdraw from their PF deposits in times of need, the Govt. has made another attack. The Finance Ministry has decided to limit the interest rate on PF deposits to 8.7% against the 9% demanded by central unions and also the 8.8% recommended by the Board under the Central Labour Ministry. Calculations for the year had shown that the Govt. could easily pay an interest rate of 8.95% to workmen on the basis of the returns of the investment of PF funds. But the Govt. has chosen to refuse to pass on the benefits of the workers’ investments to them.
The situation is both in keeping with the desperate need of the Govt. for money in view of the economic slump in the country and also the determination of the Modi Govt. to attack workers’ benefits and rights at all costs. The working class movements have forced this Govt. to either retract on or keep in abeyance several steps including the infamous anti worker amendments to almost all the major labour laws as also the attempts to tax PF withdrawals and also to restrict workers’ rights to withdraw their own deposits apart from the rules already in place.
IFTU demands that the interest rate for this year should be placed at 9%. It is also clear that apart from opposing every single anti worker step of this antinational pro corporate Govt., the working class must prepare for sustained and strong struggle not only to defend but also ensure implementation and extension of workers’ rights.
Today, several central trade unions are observing protest day against the latest attack on EPF of the Modi Govt. We express solidarity with the protests and call on all trade unions to unitedly fight back these assaults.
Aparna (President) B. Pradeep (General Secretary)
Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU)
Dated 29th April 2016