India Business
Left writes to PM disapproving move on pension funds
May 20, 2007 - 2:16:26 PM

New Delhi, May 20 - Taking strong objection to the move to allow private and foreign firms to manage pension funds, the Left parties Sunday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to put the decision on hold.

In a letter to Manmohan Singh, the Communist Party of India-Marxist --led Left parties urged the government to place the pension funds with the Employees Provident Fund Oganisation till a final decision is taken on the pension scheme.

Pointing out that the Left parties, which extend crucial support to the Congress-led government, had expressed their differences over the move, the letter said: 'It is surprising that the PFRDA - has proceeded to operationalise the pension scheme.

'In the name of an interim step, some of the objectionable features of the bill are going to be put in place. We wish to register our strong disapproval of this move,' it said.

The interim PFRDA had put out an invitation for expressions of interest for sponsoring a pension fund under the new pension scheme.

In the letter, the leaders said the PFRDA bill had been pending before parliament as the ruling United Progressive Alliance - and the Left parties could not sort out the differences over it despite several rounds of discussions.

'We fail to understand how the finance minister has cleared this step, when he is fully aware of our strong and continuing objections. The central and the state government employees' organisations have also expressed their opposition,' the communist leaders said.

'We request you to put on hold the process of appointing pension fund managers initiated by the PFRDA. Instead, the funds may be placed with the employees provident fund organisation till a final decision is taken on the new pension scheme,' the letter said.

The letter was signed by general secretaries of CPI-M, Communist Party of India - and Forward Bloc, Prakash Karat, A.B. Bardhan and Debabrata Biswas respectively, and Abani Roy, secretary of Revolutionary Socialist Party -.

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