The National Democratic Alliance government on Friday decided to put in more than the existing 5% share of the provident fund corpus into the stock market, reported Livemint. Though the quantum has not been disclosed yet, reports suggested that the labour ministry will finalise the share within a week.

Despite strong opposition from employees' unions, the Centre justified the decision by pointing out that the present investment of nearly Rs 7,000 crore has fetched “7.45% return as on date”. Hence, the government needs to push it further to reap better dividends.

The labour ministry apprised the central board of trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization of the development. “Every central board of trustees member is entitled to his or her views. But for the sake of better returns in the long run, we have to go further [into equity investments],” labour secretary Shankar Aggarwal said. Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who heads the committee, said another meeting to discuss the plan will be held between July 18 and 22.

“We respect whatever they [the unions] are saying… we take their views as feedback... and we are presenting our points. It’s good for the country, for the subscribers and shall give better returns,” said Dattatreya.