Formal employment generation improved in May, despite the nationwide lockdown, with net subscriber addition at retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) at 3.18 lakh subscribers, much better than 1.33 lakh added in April.
Net additions under the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIS) totalled 4.6 lakh compared to 2.41 lakh in April, while those under the National Pension Scheme (NPS) stood at 43,888 in May, a dip from 64,647 subscribers added under the scheme in April, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said in its monthly report on Thursday.
These data, however, are subject to change, as the lower numbers can be attributed to also extended timelines for filing returns during the lockdown period.
“In view of the national lockdown consequent to the Covid-19 pandemic, several establishments were closed and which may have had implications on the reporting. The reported figures are thus likely to undergo significant revision in the next few months,” the ministry said.
New enrolments under the EPFO had almost halved to 5.72 lakh in March, from 10.21 lakh the previous month. The net new monthly enrolments with the EPFO have averaged around 7 lakh in fiscal 2019-20, while under the ESIC those were around 12 lakh. The NPS average was 62,000.
During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers under the EPFO rose to 78.58 lakh, compared with 61.12 lakh in 2018-19. Net additions from September 2017 to April 2020 totalled 1.55 crore under the EPFO and 3.86 crore under the ESIC. In that period, the NPS added a net of 20.26 lakh subscribers.
The ministry has been releasing the payroll data of new subscribers under the EPFO, ESIC and NPS since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.