Feb 23, 2005

Foreign consultants spark off controversy again

The Left protested when BCG and McKinsey consultants were slated to be reviewing the Planning Commission's work ....and now its deja vu time...

The Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has chosen Mercer Human Resource Consulting to advise the EPFO on investment opportunities. Trade unions have slammed the move, no doubt scared by 'foreign consultants' and the foreign hand !

The consultancy firm will suggest methods to "fine tune" the existing investment pattern in consultation with the finance ministry. It will also suggest methods to minimise idle funds and examine legal issues involved in investments of provident funds in equities.

Besides, Mercer will also design and develop an institutional and legal framework to facilitate investment of social security funds like provident funds in multilateral guaranteed international investment instruments.

Mercer will also suggest methods for identifying investment risks, besides recommending international best practices of management and governance for portfolio investment. “We have appointed the consultants to suggest improvement in the pattern of investments," Labour Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao told reporters here today.