The 229th meeting of Central Board of Trustees (CBT), apex decision-making body of EPFO, was held today in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Shri Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Labour & Employment, Vice-chair Shri Rameswar Teli, Minister of State for Labour & Employment, co-vice chair Shri Sunil Barthwal, Secretary (Labour & Employment) and member secretary Shri Mukhmeet S. Bhatia, Central PF Commissioner, EPFO.
The following key decisions were taken by Central Board, EPF: -
The board today has allowed investing up to 5 percent of the annual deposits in alternative securities such as infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs). "The board has given its go-ahead. We shall only focus on government-backed alternatives which are category one funds like public sector InvITs," said Sunil Barthwal, secretary, labour and employment. With it the EPFO's investment basket shall have a better scope of diversification; nonetheless experts view it to be a fairly risky bet. Earlier this year, there has been given a go-ahead for investment into AIFs or alternative investment funds. SEBI-administered InvITs are AIFs with working similar to a mutual fund.
The suggestion of the Chairman to constitute four sub-committees, comprising members of the Board from employees, employers' side as well as from representatives of the Government side was welcomed and approved by the Board. Two committees on Establishment related matters and futuristic implementation of Social Security Code will be headed by the Minister of State Labour and Employment. The remaining two committees on Digital capacity building and Pension related issues will be headed by Union Labour and Employment Secretary.
The draft 68th annual report on the functioning of the EPFO for the year 2020-21 was approved, with the recommendation to place it before the Parliament, through Central Government.
Approval was accorded for development of centralized IT-enabled systems by C-DAC. Post this, the field functionalities will move on a central database in a phased manner enabling smoother operations and enhanced service delivery. The centralized system will facilitate de‐duplication & merger of all PF accounts of any member. It will remove the requirement of transfer of account on change of job.
The Board decided to empower the Finance Investment & Audit Committee (FIAC) to decide upon the investment options, on case-to-case basis, for investment in all such asset classes which are included in the Pattern of Investment as notified by Government of India.