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3.29 million jobs created in 10 months under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana: EPFO data

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The Economic Times
22nd November, 2021 08:17 IST

A key scheme rolled out during the pandemic to generate jobs is far from reaching the modest target set up by the government.

Data shared by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation with its board members, seen by ET, showed that total jobs created till September 2021 under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) stood at 3.29 million, a year after the scheme was launched.

The government had set a target of creating 5.85 million formal jobs by March 31, 2022 when the scheme will close.

This implies a deficit of 2.56 million formal jobs needs to be filled in the next six months. Of the total number of jobs created, 2.88 million are new employees while 0.41 million are re-employed beneficiaries. Even funds disbursed under the scheme till September 2021 stood at Rs 1,845 crore, a meagre 8% of Rs 22,810 crore targeted to be spent till March 31, 2024.

ABRY is the government's flagship scheme launched in November 2020. It was initially announced from October 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. However, it was extended till March 31, 2022 after the second wave and low uptake under the scheme.

Under the scheme, the government reimburses 24% - 12% each for employees and employers - for two years for all new formal jobs created in enterprises having up to 1,000 employees between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022. The scheme is applicable for employees earning less than Rs 15,000 a month.

Even workers who had lost jobs during the pandemic period between March 1, 2020 and September 30 and later got employed under EPFO registered establishments after October 1, 2020 are eligible for benefits under the scheme subject to the wage ceiling.

However, with enterprises having more than 1,000 workers, the reimbursement is restricted to 12% of the employees' contribution.

Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy showed India had 406.2 million workers till September 2021, which is 2.7 million short of the total workforce in 2019-20.

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