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Women in workforce dipping, govt plans to extend EPF subsidy

Between 2004 and 2011, the year of the last Census, nearly 20 million women fell off the labour map, and there are no signs that this slide has stopped.

Written by Amitav Ranjan | New Delhi |
August 14, 2018 1:55:30 am
Launched in August 2016, the subsidy to employers is currently available for three years against all skilled and unskilled workers across all sectors with monthly salary up to Rs 15,000 who joined since April 2016.

Following a sharp decline in employment of women in the workforce, the Labour Ministry plans to extend the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) for women to five years, instead of the current three, to encourage employers to hire more women.

Small and medium enterprises as well as micro businesses would be incentivised to hire more women as the government would pay the employer’s contribution of 12 per cent towards the employees’ pension and provident fund for five years for fresh talent who join the workforce.

Launched in August 2016, the subsidy to employers is currently available for three years against all skilled and unskilled workers across all sectors with monthly salary up to Rs 15,000 who joined since April 2016. As of July 25, 61.12 lakh employees have been enrolled under the PMRPY.

Sources said that the launch of the special edition of the scheme for women is being targeted for September 17 – Vishwakarma Day, celebrated for the Hindu god of architecture. The proposal is being readied for Finance Ministry’s approval, they said.

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Initial estimates are that the extension of coverage by two more years for women would cost an additional Rs 2,500 crore. The existing three-year scheme for both men and women recruits is estimated to cost Rs 18,000 crore with the Centre budgeting only for Rs 10,600 crore.

India’s low female workforce participation rate is amongst the worst in South Asia. Employment of women has declined to 24 percent — according to the 2018 Economic Survey — from 36 percent in 2005-2006.

Between 2004 and 2011, the year of the last Census, nearly 20 million women fell off the labour map, and there are no signs that this slide has stopped.

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First published on: 14-08-2018 at 01:55:30 am

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