Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has said the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) may invest more than Rs 6,000 crore in equity market during the current financial year.
The minister, however, said a final decision will be taken by the Central Board of Trustees at the next meeting.
Last year, EPFO had invested about Rs 6,000 crore through SBI Mutual Fund’s two index-linked ETFs (exchange-traded funds) — one to BSE’s Sensex and the other NSE’s Nifty.
“It (investments into ETFs) may increase over last year because it will yield benefits in the long run even if there is no benefit in the short term. Last year, we had invested Rs 6,000 crore. This year, we may invest more than that. There was discussion with bankers and investment managers and officials from BSE and NSE,” Dattatreya said on the sidelines of a programme on Saturday.
The Finance Ministry had last year notified a new investment pattern for EPFO, allowing the body to invest a minimum of 5 per cent and up to 15 per cent of its funds in equity or equity-related schemes.
However, the EPFO management decided to invest 5 per cent of its incremental deposits in ETFs only during the last year, the minister added.
“Our ministry has prepared a report on the investment performance. We will study that report also. Based on that report, we will decide how much to invest in ETF and shares of PSUs. We will take a decision on whether to increase the investments in stock markets, and if so, how much,” he explained.
According to Dattatreya, the pension body has so far invested Rs 5,800 crore in shares of state-owned oil companies’ shares.