Around 10.41 lakh new members joined the ESIC-run social security scheme in April, official data showed on Friday, giving a perspective on formal sector employment in the country. The gross enrolments with ESIC during 2020-21 dropped nearly 24 per cent to 1.15 crore amid the pandemic, compared to 1.51 crore in 2019-20, according to the latest data.
The latest data are part of a report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO). The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 last year to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Later, restrictions were eased for various economic activities in phases.
The NSO report showed that gross enrolment of new subscribers with the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) stood at 1.49 crore in 2018-19. From September 2017 to March 2018, around 83.35 lakh new subscribers had joined the ESIC scheme.
The report said gross new enrolments with ESIC from September 2017 to April 2021 period were 5.09 crore. The report is based on the payroll data of new subscribers of various social security schemes run by ESIC, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). It has been releasing the data of these bodies since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.
According to the report, net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO stood at 12.76 lakh in April 2021. It showed that from September 2017 to April 2021, around 4.26 crore (gross) new subscribers joined the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme.
The report, titled ‘Payroll Reporting in India: An Employment Perspective – April 2021’, said that since the number of subscribers is from various sources, there are elements of overlap and the estimates are not additive. NSO also said the report gives different perspectives on the levels of employment in the formal sector and does not measure employment at a holistic level.
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