The retirement fund body EPFO’s investment in stocks through exchange traded funds (ETFs) would cross the Rs 45,000-crore mark by the end of this fiscal, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said today. “In the exchange traded funds, we have increased (investment) from 10 per cent to 15 per cent. With this, this year alone, it may go in totality to Rs 45,000 crore, and I feel (that) the rate of return last year was 13.3 per cent (from ETFs),” Dattatreya said on the sidelines of an Assocham event here. “The markets are good and let’s see the situation, but it is an encouraging one. That’s why we have increased (investment),” he said. As of April 21 this year, the stock investment stood at Rs 21,559 crore. The EPFO invested Rs 6,577 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 14,982 crore in 2016-17. Dattatreya also said the ministry is working on consolidating 44 labour codes into four in order to simplify them.
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The four codes pertain to labour, industrial relations, social security and welfare and safety and working conditions. Besides, he said the government plans to create 65 million jobs by 2026 in the auto sector alone. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, Girish Shankar said there is a huge gap the auto industry must address to ensure Make in India delivers. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) need to make substantial investment in engineering R&D for designing and developing in India so that India graduates to a truly auto engineering hub. “We request the auto majors to consider this seriously and fast enough. Also, suggest to us as to how to support this through an appropriate policy framework. We are already working towards this direction,” he said.
The ministry has finalised the net automotive mission plan (AMP) 2016-26, he said, adding that AMP 2026 is a combined effort of the central government and the industry. It also seeks to define the trajectory of evolution of the automotive ecosystem in India including the glide path of specific regulations and policies that govern a wide range of parameters affecting the industry. “As an outcome of the AMP 2026, we are planning that the Indian automotive industry will grow 3.5-4 times in value from its current output of around Rs 4,64,000 crore in 2015 to about Rs 16,16,000–18,89,500 crore by 2026, considering an average GDP growth ranging between 5.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent during the period,” he said.