In the latest release, the fifth in the series, the EPFO has reduced the net payroll enrolment numbers for each of the nine months since September, that is, September-May. Barring two months of September and November, the downward revision for rest of the months has been in double digits. For May, the net payroll enrolment number has been revised down by 14.1 per cent to 6.38 lakh from 7.43 lakh, while for March, it has been cut sharply by 26.9 per cent to 2.69 lakh from 3.68 lakh earlier. The May release had estimated the enrolment numbers for March at 6.13 lakh in the first instance, implying an overall downward revision of about 56 per cent.
The Indian Express had reported on July 6 about the sharp downward revision in the EPFO net enrolment numbers, which were the basis for an ‘independent’ study released earlier this year that the government had cited as an indicator of buoyancy in formal job creation in the economy. In the July release, the government had reduced the enrolment numbers for September-March by 4.95 lakh or 12.5 per cent to 34.4 lakh.
As per the Monday release, the revision in enrolment numbers for September-May in percentage terms ranges from 5.6 per cent to 26.9 per cent. In the previous release dated July 20, the government had cut the enrolment numbers for September-April by 3.95 lakh. The EPFO enrolment numbers along with data of Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme, National Pension System (NPS), General Provident Fund (GPF) were the basis for a study titled, Towards a Payroll Reporting in India by Soumya Kanti Ghosh and Pulok Ghosh in January this year, which had estimated that around 70 lakh jobs might be created in 2017-18.
Source: Indian Express