New Delhi: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Thursday kept interest rate on provident fund unchanged at 8.5 percent for 2020-21, the same rate fixed for the last fiscal 2019-20. Also Read - EPFO Adds 13.36 Lakh Net Subscribers in January 2021, New Enrolments Up by 28%

The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), which takes the main decision regarding provident fund, met in Srinagar on Thursday. However, there were wide speculations that because of the economic slowdown throughout 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic, the EPFO may lower the interest rates on provident fund deposits. Also Read - Explained: New Wage Bill and How It Is Likely to Impact Your Salary Takeaway

“The Central Board of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recommends 8.50% rate of interest to its subscribers for year 2020-21, the Ministry of Labour and Employment said in a statement. Also Read - 7th Pay Commission Latest News: Central Govt Employees to Experience Change in Salary, Provident Fund and Gratuity From April 1 | Here’s How

The ministry further added that the FDI equity inflow grew by 40% in the first 9 months of FY 2020-21 (USD 51.47 billion) compared to the year-ago period (USD 36.77 billion).

The EPFO had last year in March lowered the interest rate on provident fund deposits to a seven-year low of 8.5 percent for 2019-20, from 8.65 percent in 2018-19.

The EPFO has more than five crore active subscribers. The EPF (Employees Provident Fund) interest rate provided for 2019-20 was the lowest since 2012-13, when it was 8.5 per cent.

The EPFO had provided 8.65 per cent interest rate to its subscribers in 2016-17 and 8.55 per cent in 2017-18. The rate of interest was slightly higher at 8.8 per cent in 2015-16.

It had given 8.75 per cent rate of interest in 2013-14 as well as 2014-15, higher than 8.5 per cent for 2012-13. The EPFO had provided 8.25 per cent rate of interest on provident fund in 2011-12.