Around 9.30 lakh new members joined ESIC-run social security scheme in August, against 7.55 lakh in the previous month, official data showed on Friday, giving a perspective on formal sector employment in the country. The latest data is part of a report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Friday.
Gross new enrolments with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) were registered at 8.21 lakh in June, 4.84 lakh in May and 2.61 lakh in April, showing an increase in enrolments after easing of lockdown. The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Restrictions were eased from June.
In March, as many as 8.21 lakh new members had joined the scheme run by ESIC, against 11.83 lakh subscribers in February, according to the payroll data released in May. The NSO report showed gross enrolments of new subscribers with ESIC were 1.51 crore in 2019-20, against 1.49 crore in the previous fiscal.
During the period September 2017 to March 2018, around 83.35 lakh new subscribers had joined the ESIC scheme. The report said gross new enrolments with ESIC during September 2017 - August 2020 period were 4.17 crore.
The NSO report is based on the payroll data of new subscribers of various social security schemes run by ESIC, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). It has been releasing such data of these bodies since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.
According to the report, net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO stood at 10.05 lakh in August, up from 7.48 lakh in July. Latest data showed that net new enrolments in April were in the negative zone at (-) 1,04,608 against the (-) 61,807 in September.
This means that the number of members who exited the EPFO subscription was more than those who joined or rejoined the scheme. Earlier in July, provisional data showed that net new enrolments for April stood at 1 lakh, which was revised down to 20,164 in August and further lowered to (-) 61,807 in September.
The number of net new enrolment in May was also revised to (-) 35,336, from 40,551 estimated in the data released last month. The net new enrolments with EPFO had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March from 10.21 lakh in February, as per the payroll data released in May.
Net new enrolments with EPFO hovered around 7 lakh every month on an average. During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 78.58 lakh compared to 61.12 lakh in the preceding fiscal, according to the latest payroll data in the report.
The data showed that during September 2017-August 2020 period, around 3.58 crore (gross) new subscribers joined the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme. The report titled 'Payroll Reporting in India: An Employment Perspective - August 2020', said since the number of subscribers is from various sources, there are elements of overlap and the estimates are not additive.
NSO said the report gives different perspectives on the levels of employment in the formal sector and does not measure employment at a holistic level.