EPF trustees' decision to help get greater returns to workers

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New Delhi, Jul 30 (UNI) Defending the decision of the trustees of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) selecting four fund managers to manage the monies of the fund, the Congress Party today said "what is important is greater injection of flexibility to get greater returns." The Party, however, refuted the suggestion that the decision was taken in the context of the Left Parties no longer being part of the government.

"We will not take any decision without thinking on it. We will not take any decision just because the Left is not part of the government," AICC Spokesman Abishek Manu Singhvi told mediapersons.

He did not concur with the suggestion that the decision of the EPF trustees tantamount to privatisation of the EPF. " You cannot call it privatisation. Four companies are selected to manage the fund.

The basic objective is to get maximum returns to the members of the EPF." Dr Singhvi said the process of entrusting the management of the EPF fund to private fund managers had been initiated at least three years ago.

Asked about the strong Left Opposition to the EPF trustees' decision, he said, "without opposition, this country is not a vibrant democracy. The country has to move forward. We take calculated risk in the interests of the workers and the country." In this context, he said, "the Left Opposition does not have a veto power (as they are not part of the government)." Referring to inflation, Dr Singhvi said the UPA government had declared a war on inflation.

"Congress has always stood for strong economic and monetary measures to combat inflation," he said, while pointing out that yesterday's decision to increase the rates of interests was yet another continuing chain of strong measures.

"We are aware that some sectors and segments may or may not like these strong measures but we are steadfast in ensuring that by a multi-pronged attack on inflation we can bring it down to the maximum extent possible in the global context as soon as possible." In this context, Dr Singhvi said no other government had done more in as much time whether it is banning of exports or increasing import duties or restriction on trade on some items.

UNI SH SB HT1820

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