Annual Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) on employment and unemployment is conducted by National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation since 2017. As per the PLFS 2018-19, the estimated unemployment rate for persons of age 15 years and above on usual status (principal status + subsidiary status) basis in the country is 5.8%. The report is available on the website of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (https://www.mospi.nic.in).
The global spread of Corona Virus (COVID-19) followed by lockdowns has affected economies across the globe including India. COVID-19 has resulted in large number of migrant workers going back to their native places. Government has advocated for Atamnirbhar Bharat. Atamnirbhar Bharat is based on Economy, Infrastructure, System, Vibrant Demography and Demand to create jobs for the youth.
Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), Government of India has contributed both 12% employer’s share and 12% employee’s share under Employees Provident Fund (EPF), totaling 24% of the wage for the wage month from March to August, 2020 for establishments having upto 100 employees with 90% of such employees earning less than Rs. 15000/-. Under the PMGKY scheme Rs 2567.66 crore was credited in EPF accounts of 38.82 lakhs eligible employees.
The unemployment benefit under the Atal Beemit Vyakti Kalyan Yojana being implemented by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has been enhanced to 50% from 25% of the average wage, payable upto 90 days, along with relaxation of eligibility conditions to claim the benefit.
Statutory PF contribution of both employer and employee had been reduced to 10% each from existing 12% each for all establishments covered by EPFO, for three months.
DBT payments under all Centrally Sponsored Schemes/Central Sector Schemes was also transferred directly to the bank account of the beneficiaries.
Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojna (ABRY) Scheme has been launched with effect from 1st October 2020 to incentivize creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during COVID-19 pandemic. This scheme reduces the financial burden of the employers of various sectors/industries including MSME and encourages them to hire more workers. Under ABRY, the Government of India is providing both the employees’ share (12% of wages) and employer’s share (12% of wages) of contribution payable or only the employees’ share, depending on employment strength of the EPFO registered establishments.
To boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages, in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, Government of India has launched Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan on 20th June 2020. The Abhiyaan focuses on durable rural infrastructure and providing modern facilities like internet in the villages. Skill Mapping of the rural migrant labour being done to help them work closer home.
Government has also announced the measures to strengthen Infrastructure Logistics, Capacity Building, Governance and Administrative Reforms for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Processing Sectors.
Government of India has launched PM- SVANidhi Scheme to facilitate collateral free working capital loan upto Rs.10,000/- of one-year tenure, to approximately, 50 lakh street vendors, to resume their businesses.
In addition, RBI and Government of India have introduced measures to infuse liquidity in the economy to sustain the market economy and raise the level of employment.