New Delhi: Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar on Tuesday announced that over 6 crore Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) members will get 8.65% interest in their deposits from 2018-19.

The development comes just days after the Labour Minister, who recently stoked a row when he said that ‘North Indians are incapable of getting jobs‘, last month said that his ministry will soon notify 8.65% rate of interest on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) for 2018-19, as the Finance Ministry doesn’t disagree with it.

On Tuesday, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in the national capital, he said, “Ahead of the festival season, over 6 crore EPFO subscribers would get 8.65% interest for 2018-19.”

Earlier this year, Gangwar-headed Central Board of Trustees (CBT), which is the EPFO’s apex decision-making body, decided to raise the interest rate on EPF to 8.65% for the year 2018-19, the first rise in the last three years.

After the Finance Ministry’s approval, the Labour Ministry can notify the rate of interest for 2018-19. The notification is required by the EPFO to credit the interest amount into the subscribers’ accounts. Once it is out, the EPFO can give directions to its over 136 field offices to credit the amount.

Currently, the EPFO is paying 8.55% for 2018-19 under EPF withdrawal claims. The 8.55% interest rate on EPF deposits was fixed for 2017-18. Earlier, it reduced the interest rate for 2016-17 to 8.65% as compared to 8.8% for 2015-16.

The EPFO is an organization tasked to assist the CBT, which is a statutory body, in administering a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme, a Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India.