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Provident Fund rate cut unites Trinamool, CPM and Congress

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 22 December 2016, 11:30 IST

The Centre's move to lower the interest rate on Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) deposits to 8.65% for 2016-17 from 8.8% has bought the Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Congress on the same page.

All the parties accused the Narendra Modi government of helping the big organisations while punishing the middle, lower middle and lower income groups.

State parliamentary affairs minister Partha Chatterjee, said: "This is anti-people move and its not governance. This is hooliganism and common people are affected. This government has already heckled the common man by demonetising the old notes and now they have increased the misery of the working class by reducing the EPF interest rate."

According to Chatterjee, this is just the beginning. The government will surely reduce the interest on fixed deposits as well. "The way the central government is going, it seems the working class, the farmers and the employees of the unorganised sector will not be able to live in this country anymore," said Chatterjee.

According to CPI(M) Central Committee member Shamik Lahiri, the central government could allow Rs 11,50,000 crore to protect the interest of 1,000 rich citizens, but could not afford to spend Rs 383 crore for the benefit of almost four crore employees.

Lahiri said, "This is utter discrepancy and the way the Centre is functioning - the burden on common people will increase."

Rajya Sabha member and former state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya said the EPFO decision would impact a large number of retired persons and it would hurt the common man the most.

First published: 22 December 2016, 11:30 IST