Central Trade Unions have boycotted the meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Tuesday over alleged attempts at diversion of provident fund money by the government to the Senior Citizen’s Welfare Fund (SCWF).
Central Trade Unions, which represent the employees’ interest in EPFO told FeMoney that they have boycotted the meeting to express their opposition to the move. The proposal to set up the SCWF was announced by the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget.
The CBT meeting is also likely to decide on increasing equity exposure of EPF from the present 5 per cent. EPFO guidelines give a leeway to take the exposure up to 15 per cent. CBT is the highest decision-making forum of the EPFO.
Trade unions are opposing the move by the government to shift the money lying in unclaimed EPF accounts to the SCWF. “We are totally against the move. All central trade unions have boycotted the meeting,” Vrijesh Upadhyay, National Secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh told FeMoney.
Unclaimed EPF accounts are those which have not been claimed for 7 years after they became due for payment.
M Jagadishwara Rao, All India General Secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) said the trade unions are opposing the move since the money belongs to employees. “We support the government’s move to set up a fund for senior citizens. But it is wrong to divert EPF money for the purpose. EPF money is workers’ money. This cannot be taken away from them them,” Rao said.
Rao said the unions were also opposed to the government’s move to increase equity exposure through ETFs. However, the central trade unions are outnumbered in the CBT with just 10 members out of the 42, with the remaining being represenatives of central and state governments and employers.