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Bonanza for employees
PF interest rate hiked to 9.5%

New Delhi, September 15
Ahead of the festival season, EPFO trustees today raised the interest rate on provident fund deposits to 9.5 per cent from 8.5 per cent, benefiting nearly 4.71 crore employees of both public and private sectors.

"We have decided to give the 9.5 per cent rate of interest to subscribers during the current financial year on their contributions. For over four crore subscribers, this is a big gift from EPFO trustees," Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge told reporters after meeting of the trustees.

The decision would put an additional burden of Rs 1,600 crore on the EPFO, the minister said, adding that it would be met from the surplus of over Rs 1,731 crore in the interest suspense account.

The decision, according to bankers, could see diversion of savings towards Provident Funds as the difference between the fixed deposit rates and the PF rates would encourage savings towards the latter.

Currently, the State Bank of India and ICICI Bank give the maximum interest rate of 7.75 per cent on long-term fixed deposits for up to 10 years. PTI

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