Government : No Formal Sector Job Loss During Covid As Per EPFO Payroll Data


The labour ministry on Wednesday said that the cumulative net payroll additions to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation last year was at par with the preceding year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, suggesting there were no formal sector job losses during the pandemic.

“Despite Covid-19 pandemic, cumulative net payroll addition to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscriber base is 77.08 lakh for the year 2020-2021, which is almost at par with previous year (78.58 lakh),” state labour minister Ramesawar Teli said in response to a question in Rajya Sabha, citing the payroll data by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

“It is observed that there is addition in net payroll as represented by EPFO subscriber base in each month of 2020-21 except for the month of April and May 2020,” he added.

In a separate response, the labour ministry said the Covid-19 pandemic has hit enrollments under the Pradhan Mantri Sharma Yogima Maan-dhan Yojana, a pension scheme for the unorganised workers.

“As Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the incomes of workers in the unorganised sector, it has resulted in a decline in the monthly enrollment under the scheme,” Rameswar Teli, minister of state for labour said on Wednesday in response to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

The government had in 2019 launched the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana (PM-SYM) to provide a monthly pension of Rs 3000 to its subscribers after attaining the age of 60 years. Under the scheme, which is voluntary and contributory in nature, 50% monthly contribution is payable by the beneficiary and equal matching contribution is paid by the central government.

Those in the age group of 18-40 years whose monthly income is Rs 15000 or less and not a member of any formal social security fund including the Employees Provident Fund Organisation, the Employees State Insurance Corporation and the National Pension Scheme can enrol for the scheme.

As of now, over 45 lakhs beneficiaries have enrolled themselves across the country. Of this, just 14,695 enrollments have been made in the current fiscal till now.

Government has spent Rs 49.49 crore, Rs 359.95 crore, Rs 319.71 crore in 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. This year, it has spent Rs 101.46 crore till June 20, 2021 with the annual allocation at Rs 400 crore.

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