New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said here on Saturday that the Centre had allotted Rs.1,000 crore as contribution towards the employers’ share in the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme to encourage them to give more jobs to the youth.
The fund would enable the Centre to pay the employers’ contribution against the 12 per cent deduction made out of the employees’ basic salary and dearness allowance, the Minister said at a press conference here. He would soon conduct a meeting with employers of the MSME sector here to encourage them to utilise the benefit being provided by the Centre by employing youth.
To boost employment through more production, the Centre had taken a policy decision on increasing overtime limit up to eight hours and on amendment to the EPF Act regarding the criteria for its coverage from 20 employees to 10, the Minister said.
On the portfolio management of EPFO funds, the Minister said that a return of 1.57 per cent on their investment of Rs. 6,577 crore, about 5 per cent of the total EPF amount, in exchange traded funds in the stock market was positive. As the Chairman of the Central Board of Trustees of EPF, he would take a decision to enhance the percentage of investments in the markets at the board meeting on July 7.
Accusing the previous UPA government of being responsible for a large number of in-operative EPF accounts worth Rs. 42,000 crore, the Minister said the NDA government had taken a decision to credit interest to all such accounts, automatically making them operative.
Announcing that the Labour Bureau under the Ministry would take up a survey soon on the state of working conditions of domestic workers, beedi workers and construction workers, Mr. Dattatreya said the National Sample Survey Organisation would conduct the household survey.
Mr. Dattatreya said sectors such as construction were identified for skill development. The youth would be given a chance to enhance their skills on modern machines and practice on-hands would be given priority in ITIs, the Minister said, adding that Rs.10 crore was sanctioned to ITI Mallepally for developing it into a model to create employment-ready workforce.