Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Feb 2018 10:19:49

In 2015, when the decision to invest EPF in stock market  was implemented, it was envisaged that the gains would be higher than what they were then and ultimately the beneficiary would be the contributor. However, since then, the reverse has been happening and each year the rate of interest as declared by the Government has been decreasing. This year, at 8.55%, it is the lowest in the last 13 years. This is going to cause a lot of dissension amongst the PF subscribers. Rightly so, for the common man, the EPFO is his retirement fund, a cushion when he will have no source of a regular income. If the Government, by lowering interest rates every year, takes away all alternatives of better earnings, the middle class is going to be the one who will suffer the most. What will rile the most to the subscribers is that even though the EPFO has booked a profit of over Rs. 1,000 crore by selling some of its equity investments, the interest rates for this fiscal year have been slashed considerably. However, Labour Minister Mr. Santosh Gangwar is hopeful that trade unions will agree to this rate cut.  



IT IS HEARTENING   to note that the international community is taking cognisance of  India’s efforts to overcome and mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change and looming water crisis. In a recent observation, President of United Nations General Assembly Mr. Miroslav Lajack lauded the one project that uses solar energy for irrigation. And this is indeed a welcome sign that the world community is taking cognisance of efforts to harness sources of renewable energy to meet the challenges of environmental degradation through unchecked use of fossil fuels, which are not going to last for eternity. And secondly, there is an urgent need to drastically reduce use of fossil fuels as source of energy as it has already inflicted much damage to global environment. Hence it is every country’s responsibility to look for and develop new technologies to meet their peoples’ energy needs. That India is experimenting with solar energy for energising the irrigation pumps must be considered a pioneering step, worth emulating by other nations of the world.