Coal Miners PF interest rate should be increased

 

By Shri Alavandar Venu Madhav, Deputy Chief Secretary, Singareni Retired Employees Welfare Association. Hyderabad

The 180th board meeting of the Coal Mines Provident Society Trust Board, which concerns 4 lakh workers in the coal industry, was held in New Delhi on 22 February 2024. The meeting agreed on a proposal to give an interest rate of 7.6 per cent to CMPF members for the financial year 2023-24, which will be sent to the Finance Ministry for approval. The Board decided to Continue the interest rate of 7.6 per cent which had been fixed for the financial year 2022-23 for coal workers.

This comes as a major blow to lakhs of workers in the coal industry, as the EPFO, a government body has recommended an interest rate of 8.25 per cent for its 6 crore members for the financial year 2023 in its 35th meeting. The government and the coal owners are looking down on the coal workers.

To strengthen the Coal Mines Provident Fund In the last few years, the Coal Mines Provident Fund board of trustees invested Rs 726.67 crore in the form of short-term debentures in Dewan Housing Finance Company even though labour unions have opposed it. They opposed because investing money in the stock market is a risky business. However, at that time the Board of Coal Mines Provident Trustees ignored the advice of the trade unions and invested in shares of Dewan Housing Finance Company.

A few days later, the Central Bureau of Investigation registered an FIR against the Company, alleging that Diwan Housing Finance was involved in fraud. The company has been delisted from the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange. Dewan Housing Finance Company’s fraud will affect future fund of coal mine workers.

Coal is the main source of electricity production for the country. However, the coal mine owners and the government are neglecting the interests of the workers working in the coal industry. Trustees of Coal Mines Provident Fund Board for their own benefit invested Rs. 726.67 crores in Diwan Housing Finance Company and lost this due to the fraud of the finance company. The workers have suffered a great loss because it was their money earned through blood and sweat which has been wasted.

The coal workers demand that Rs.727.67 crore should be recovered by the CMPF. Due to the continuous weakening of the Coal Mines Provident Fund, the interest rate for the workers will decrease and the pension will not be increased for the pensioners. Therefore, the coal workers are demanding that the central government immediately strengthen the Coal Mines Provident Fund and increase the interest rate and pension on the fund.

 

 

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