The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation board has recommended raising the interest rate for six crore subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund for 2018-’19, Minister of State for Labour minister Santosh Gangwar said. The interest rate earlier was 8.55%.

This is the first increase in the interest rate since 2016. In 2016-’17, the body had kept the interest rate at 8.65%, while in 2015-’16 it was 8.8%.

“All members of the CBT at the meeting here agreed to give a higher interest for subscribers for the current fiscal,” PTI quoted Gangwar as saying. “The proposal would now go to the Finance Ministry for approval. We will also convince them to provide this rate of interest.”

The minister further said that providing 8.65% interest rate for this financial year would leave a surplus of Rs 151.67 crore.

The Central Board of Trustees, which is headed by the labour minister, is the top decision making body of the EPFO. The interest rate will be credited into the subscribers’ account after the Finance Ministry’s approval.

Meanwhile, PJ Banasure, an n EPFO trustee, said the proposal to double the minimum monthly pension to Rs 2,000 has been deferred till next meeting of the board in March.