The government is looking at raising retirement fund body EPFO’s investment in exchange traded funds (ETFs) to 15 per cent from existing 10 per cent, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said on Thursday. “We will discuss enhancement of raising proportion of investment in ETF from 10 per cent to 15 per cent in our next Central Board of Trustees (CBT) meeting to be held next month. After that we will hold discussions with stakeholders and our ministry will take a final decision,” Dattatreya told reporters at a press conference here.
In the Budget speech, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had announced that EPFO will increase its investment in ETF to 15 per cent, he said, adding “so we have taken some steps”.
The Minister further said the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has already invested Rs 3,000 crore in the first tranche of the Central Public Sector Enterprise ETF and returns on EPFO investment into equities are coming around 8.7-8.8 per cent annually.
In September 2016, the Labour Ministry had doubled EPFO’s investment limit in ETFs to 10 per cent.
At present, the EPFO corpus stands at Rs 8.70 lakh crore.
Earlier, speaking at the event organised by industry body Assocham, Dattatreya said as part of labour reforms, the government would introduce two important bills relating to wages and industrial relations in Parliament in March for simplification and rationalisation of the labour Laws.
“Next week at the inter-ministerial meeting under the chairmanship of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, we will take the final decision and after that we will go to the Cabinet,” he said, adding that in March (the second leg of Budget session), “both the bills would be introduced and I am hopeful it would be passed”.
According to the statement, he also said all 43 labour laws would be codified into four broad categories.
Dattatreya said with the codification of labour laws, the industry would see an end to the red tape and inspector raj while the welfare of workers would also be ensured.