Rediff.com  » Business » Govt to provide PF subsidy for 4 million jobs lost during pandemic

Govt to provide PF subsidy for 4 million jobs lost during pandemic

By Somesh Jha
December 04, 2020 13:01 IST
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Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana announced by the Centre to incentivise formal sector job creation, all ‘new employees’, who were never a part of the EPF system in the past, and those who made an exit from employment during the Covid-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, will be eligible for the benefit.

Illustration: Kind courtesy Mohamed_Hassan/Pixabay

Around four million formal sector workers will be eligible for Provident Fund subsidy from the central government as they had left their jobs during March-September.

 

The payroll data released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently showed around 3.9 million workers had exited the firms that were making EPF contributions towards them.

The Centre had announced the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana to incentivise formal sector job creation.

Under this, the government will subsidise the full EPF contribution of workers who are hired between October 2020 and June 2021.

All ‘new employees’, who were never a part of the EPF system in the past, and those who made an exit from employment during the Covid-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, will be eligible for the benefit.

At present, both employers and employees contribute 12 per cent each of a worker’s wage towards schemes under the EPFO.

The government will sponsor both the employer’s and employee’s share for firms with up to 1,000 employees and only the employee’s share in case of firms with over 1,000 employees, for a period of up to two years.

However, the figure of exits which are in public domain may be on the downward side.

This is because the employers are not legally bound to inform the EPFO about the exit of an employee in a timely manner.

The dates of employment exits are updated mostly when EPF claims are filed by employees, usually after months of leaving the job.

For instance, the data for April, the first full month when a strict national lockdown was imposed, is still being updated ever since the data was first made public for this month in June.

Same is the case for May, June, July and August as the data of employee exit saw a sharp revision to when the data was last released in October.

Another issue that points to underestimation is that the EPFO doesn’t update the records for a financial year after it has released data for all the months in public domain.

This means that the March 2020 data, which was released in May, will not be revised further as the EPFO will put out the data for full fiscal year 2019-20 in the next release.

This means the number of exits, which was around two million when the data was released in May, will continue to remain so in public records.

The data released by the EPFO showed a 70 per cent jump in net enrolments for September to 14.9 million.

However, the payroll data continues to remain volatile, according to the EPFO’s own admission in a press statement on Thursday.

Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com

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Somesh Jha in New Delhi
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