A Parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of Labour and Employment to use and reconcile the data and studies conducted by credible agencies with that of retirement fund body EPFO for depicting real picture of job loss in the country especially in the situation like COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic had an impact on employment in the country as the economic activities slowed down due to lockdown restrictions imposed by central as well as states to contain the spread of deadly virus from March in 2020.
“…data and studies conducted by other reputed and credible agencies be taken into consideration by the Ministry and reconciled with the data collected/maintained by EPFO so as to depict an authentic and real picture of the rate of unemployment/loss of jobs in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic for initiating requisite corrective measures as and when warranted,” stated Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour in its 25th report tabled in Parliament last week.
It observed that despite Covid-19 pandemic, net EPFO payroll addition for 2020-21 was 77.08 lakh which is almost at par with 2019-20 net payroll addition of 78.58 lakh.
It also noted that there is addition in net payroll in each month of financial year 2020-21, except for the months of April and May 2020 as most of the economic activities during these two months of 2020 were at halt due to complete lockdown measures put in place.
“However, the Committee’s attention has been drawn to a study conducted by the Azim Premji University according to which nearly half of the formal salaried workers moved into informal work either as self-employed (30 per cent), casual wage (10 per cent), informal salaried jobs (9 per cent) between late 2019 and late 2020.”
It also stated that the EPFO needs to play a more innovative and proactive role, especially with a huge corpus fund at its disposal in mitigating the emergent needs of not only the members registered with it but workers in the Unorganised sectors too across the Country during unprecedented crisis like Covid-19.
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