After revising down net enrolment numbers in previous three releases, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has now revised up the numbers for September-June by 5.16 lakh or 11 per cent to 52.30 lakh from its earlier estimate released last month. For July, the enrolment numbers were at the highest level since September at 9.51 lakh, taking the cumulative net enrolment for September-July to 61.81 lakh, the data released by EPFO on Thursday showed.
Barring September, the EPFO has revised up the numbers for all eleven months (September-July), with the highest quantum of revision of 25.4 per cent recorded for April to 7.27 lakh from 5.80 lakh in the previous release. The initial release in June had pegged the enrolment estimate for April at 6.85 lakh.
Only for September, there has been a downward revision of (-)3.4 per cent to 4.82 lakh. For rest of the months, the upward revision ranges from 8.1 per cent to 25.4 per cent. For June, the net payroll enrolment number has been revised up by 8.1 per cent to 8.57 lakh from 7.93 lakh, while for May, it has been increased by 8.3 per cent to 6.91 lakh from 6.38 lakh earlier.
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.
In the previous release dated August 20, the EPFO had cut the enrolment numbers for September-May by 5.54 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.
On the basis of EPFO data, the study had estimated that 36.8 lakh new subscribers in the age band 18-25 years had enrolled during April-November 2017 and extrapolating it for the full year, they had estimated that 55.2 lakh new subscribers would be enrolled in 2017-18. In his Budget speech for 2018-19, then Finance Minister
Arun Jaitley had cited the study saying, “An independent study conducted recently has shown that 70 lakh formal jobs will be created this year.”
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