New Delhi, January 24
The green shoots of economic recovery anticipated by RBI chief Shaktikanta Das and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have been slow in taking root in the formal sector, if the statistics on payrolls from three different sources is any indication.
The Ministry of Statistics has been bringing out employment related statistics in the formal sector from September 2017 using information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under the three major schemes—EPF, ESI and NPS.
In one of the sources – the New Pension Scheme (NPS), there were 64,870 additions last November of which only 13,748 came from the Central Government, 41,053 from states and the rest from the private sector.
In October, there were 68,870 additions while those in September were still higher at 72,923.
As against 6.29 lakh new subscribers in fiscal ’21, the numbers were 7.57 lakh for fiscal ’20 and 7.50 lakh in fiscal ’19.
In all, 30.88 lakh new subscribers joined and contributed in the NPS during September, 2017 to November, 2021.
From the second source – the Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme, the Ministry of Statistics reported 10.28 lakh new subscribers last November. This was down compared to 12.49 lakh in October and 13.57 lakh in September 2021.
In fiscal ’21, 1.15 crore new subscribers were added as compared to 1.51 crore in fiscal ‘20 and 1.49 crore in fiscal ’19.
During September, 2017 to November, 2021, a total of 5.93 crore new subscribers joined the ESI scheme.
From the third source – the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme – the Ministry of Statistics reported that 8.27 lakh new EPF subscribers joined in November, 3.80 lakh stopped subscribing and 9.47 lakhs rejoined. Net additions were about 14 lakh.
In October, 8.05 lakh new EPF subscribers joined, 6.63 lakh stopped subscribing and 9.69 lakh rejoined. Net additions were about 11 lakh.
In September 2021, new EPF subscribers were 9.65 lakh, 8.1 lakh stopped subscribing and 11.39 lakh rejoined. Net additions were about 13 lakh.
In fiscal ’21, new EPF subscribers were 85.48 lakh, 97.8 lakh stopped subscribing and 89 lakh rejoined.
In fiscal ’20, new EPF subscribers were 1,10 crore, 1.09 crore stopped subscribing and 78 lakh rejoined.
In fiscal ’19, new EPF subscribers were 1.39 crore, 1.22 crore stopped subscribing and 44.6 lakh rejoined.
During September, 2017 to November, 2021, 4.89 crore new subscribers joined the EPF scheme.
The Ministry cautioned that there are elements of overlap and, therefore, the estimates from various sources are not additive.
The figures give different perspectives on employment in the formal sector and do not measure employment at a holistic level, it added.
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