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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

EPFO will Invest through ETFs

 
EPFO set to invest more through ETFs


Labour minister says decision on increasing investments from 5% to 15% of deposits to be taken this week.
 
Retirement fund body EPFO will this week decide on in creasing investments in stock markets through ETFs, as they have started giving returns, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said.
 

"A report will be presented before the Central Board of Trustees on (ETF) investments of the EPFO on July 7. Now the report is positive. We will decide quantum of percentage increase. According to the percentage (increase), the amount of investment will also increase," Dattatreya said.

 

An ETF trades like an individual stock in the market and is generally a basket of various securities such as shares, bonds, commodities and indices. The EPFO started investing in ETFs last August. It had started by investing 5% of its investible deposits in ETFs last fiscal. Now, there is a move to increase the pro portion of such investments in this fiscal.

 

The minister said: "The EPFO trustees will take a decision regarding increase in proportion of its investment in ETFs after consultations with stakeholders."

 

He added, "After deliberating on the report, as Chairman, I will discuss it with other members of the CBT about increase in percentage of ETF investments. Last year, it was 5%. It can go up to 15% as per the Finance Ministry's investment pattern." According to the minister, as on 31 March 2016, the amount invested was `6,577 crore, which gave a return of `6,601 crore. As on 30 April 2016, the amount invested was `6,674 crore and this gave a return of `6,786 crore. The proposal will go to the law department and then to the Cabinet for approval.

 

The minister also spoke about introducing a new provision for having safety auditors for ensuring occupational safety and health in the Factories Act.

 

A senior Labour Ministry official said that the tripartite consultations for introducing the concept of safety auditors were completed as there were two rounds of discussion on that.

 

Meanwhile, an advisory body of EPFO has rejected a proposal to engage private banks--ICICI, Axis and HDFC--for collecting PF contribution from employers.

 

"The proposal to engage private banks--ICICI, Axis and HDFC Bank --was rejected by the Finance, Audit and Investment Committee (FAIC)," EPFO trustee and Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh Maharashtra General Secretary P.J. Banasure said. At present, SBI collects PF dues on behalf of EPFO. Work on authorising other nationalised banks to collect PF dues is on.

 

The FAIC has recommended that these three banks should not be allowed to collect PF contribution on behalf of the retirement fund body. Its recommendations will be placed before the Central Board of Trustees on 7 July. As per practise, FAIC's recommendations are accepted by the CBT.

 

The proposal stated that such a step would cut down the float available with the payment aggregators by two to three days and lead to an earning of `15 crore for the EPFO every year.

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