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Friday, August 12, 2022

#Politics: EPFO rate cut, and an exchange over ‘Lok Kalyan’

The EPFO, which has over five crore subscribers, had announced on March 12 that the interest on the deposits would be cut from 8.5 per cent in 2020-21 to 8.1 per cent for 2021-22.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 5, 2022 10:07:50 pm
The rate of interest is the lowest since 1977-78 when it stood at 8 per cent. (File)

THE Centre recently approved an 8.1 per cent interest rate for Employee Provident fund deposits of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) for financial year 2021-22, making it the lowest since 1977-78, when it was 8 per cent.

The Opposition reacted sharply.

In a tweet in Hindi on June 4, Rahul Gandhi said: “Keeping the address of the house as ‘Lok Kalyan Marg’ does not bring welfare to the people. The Prime Minister has implemented the model of ‘Increase inflation, decrease earnings’ to ruin the present and future of 6 and a half crore employees”.

Gandhi’s reference was to the road that houses Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bungalow in New Delhi, whose name was changed from Race Course Road to Lok Kalyan Marg in 2016. Lok Kalyan translates to people’s welfare.

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“Seeing his misdeeds, Sahib himself could not digest the name ‘Lok Kalyan Marg’, that is why now he is building a ‘Modi Mahal’ worth thousands of crores for himself,” party spokesperson Pawan Khera said, replying to Rahul’s tweet.

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Hitting out at Rahul’s statement, Brajesh Pathak, the Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, said in Hindi that Lok Kalyan is “an incomprehensible puzzle” for you (Rahul Gandhi), adding that the people can see through the bhram (misinformation) and that they “put their faith on the BJP and vote for it continuously”.

The CPM’s Sitaram Yechury said on June 3 that the Union Government’s move was “not a mere interest rate cut to the lowest level in 40 years” but “an attack on the average Indian’s savings”. He added: “LIC has been pushed into uncertainty after being privatised. This cut, with runaway inflation, joblessness & only concern for big corporates hurts 99% of India.”

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West Bengal Finance Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya’s June 4 tweet on the issue said, “@narendramodi ji IS LOOTING PEOPLE AND ALSO BITING INTO THEIR HARD EARNED SAVINGS! From inept policies to poor governance, we have seen it all in these 8 years. This is extremely cruel!”

“So-called Modinomics is another name for harassing people. Govt cut on EPF deposits’ interest rates have brought them to the lowest in 4 decades and will directly affect 5 crore EPFO subscribers. This is another stab on people suffering from high inflation & unemployment,” D Raja, General Secretary of the CPI, said in a tweet on June 4.

The EPFO, which has over five crore subscribers, had announced on March 12 that the interest on the deposits would be cut from 8.5 per cent in 2020-21 to 8.1 per cent for 2021-22.

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At the time, Congress general secretary Sandeep Singh Surjewala said in a tweet: “The income of 84% of the people of the country has decreased. Is it right to attack the savings of crores of employees on the basis of electoral victory? #EPFO has reduced the interest rates on PF deposits to the lowest level in ten years. Is this the “return gift” of BJP’s victory?”

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First published on: 05-06-2022 at 03:47:50 pm

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