New Delhi: Dismissing suggestions that the UPA Government is "anti-worker", Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said the decision to reduce the interest rate on provident fund was a "demand of time" and it could increase it
provided there were surplus funds.
He also informed the Lok Sabha that state governments should become "stronger" to see that the labour laws were implemented.
Replying to a debate, Kharge said the EPF Organisation was not investing in the shares fearing that "if a scam takes place, crores of workers will suffer".
"Decision to reduce the EPF interest rate was a demand of time. If we get surplus money, we can increase the interest rate," Kharge said. He said that timely interest is given to beneficiaries.
Initiating the debate on the discontent among the working class due to faulty government policies, CPI leader Gurudas Das gupta said the recent decision of the government to reduce the interest rate on provident fund from 9.5 per cent to 8.25
per cent for 2011-12 was "cynical disregard" of the interest of the labourers.