A parliamentary panel has asked the ministry of labour and employment to restore and use credible agencies’ data and studies with that of the retirement fund body EPFO for depicting the real situation of job loss in the country, especially in the Covid-19 pandemic.
Due to the Covid induced lockdown restrictions imposed by the state and central governments to contain the spread of the deadly virus from March 2020, the economic activities in the country had slowed down drastically. This led to a severe impact on the employment of the majority of citizens in the country.
“…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,” as per the parliamentary standing committee on labour in its 25th report tabled in parliament last week.
The net EPFO payroll addition despite the Covid-19 pandemic, for 2020-21 was 77.08 lakh which is almost at par with the 2019-20 net payroll addition of 78.58 lakh.
There is addition in net payroll in each month of the financial year 2020-21, except for the months of April and May 2020. Most of the economic activities in April and May last year, were put on a halt due to complete lockdown measures put in place.
According to a study conducted by the Azim Premji University, nearly half of the formal salaried workers moved into informal work either as self-employed (30%), casual wage (10%), informal salaried jobs (9%) 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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