Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that the Government will pay the provident fund (PF) share of both employers as well as employees for another year, that is, till 2022, for workers who were rendered jobless, but were again recalled to resume small-scale jobs in the formal sector. This relief will be given to those units that are registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
To support migrant workers, it has been decided that the districts where over 25,000 migrant workers from the informal sector returned to their hometowns, will be covered under 16 government-employment schemes.
Last year, the budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employee Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) was raised from Rs 60,000 crore to around Rs 1 lakh crore to help tide over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The subscribers to EPFO are increasing in number, with over 12 lakh net payrolls being added in June this year, when the recovery from the second wave of the pandemic began. This was much more than the additions made in May.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana employment incentive scheme that was rolled out last year, is also offering subsidies in terms of PF contribution to encourage hiring of employees in units registered with the EPFO. Under the programme, the Government contributes PF share of workers who earn up to Rs 15,000. It pays 24 per cent share (for employers and employees) in units that have up to 1,000 workers. For units with over 1,000 workers, 12 per cent share (of the employees) is contributed towards PF by the Government.