ESIC adds 12.24 lakh new members in March 2021

New Delhi: Around 12.24 lakh new members joined the ESIC-run social security scheme in March, as against 11.77 lakh in the previous month, official data on Tuesday showed, giving a perspective on formal sector employment in the country.

The gross enrolments with ESIC during 2020-21 dipped nearly 24 per cent to 1.15 crore amid the pandemic, compared to 1.51 crore in 2019-20, according to the latest data.

The latest data are part of a report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO).

Gross new enrolments with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) were 8.87 lakh in June 2020, 4.89 lakh in May and 2.63 lakh in April, showing the increase in enrolments after easing of the lockdown, as per the data.

In July 2020, gross enrolments dipped to 7.63 lakh, but improved to 9.5 lakh in August, 11.58 lakh in September and 12.13 lakh in October 2020. It again dipped to 9.58 lakh in November 2020.

The gross enrolments with ESIC improved to 12.33 lakh in December 2020. The gross enrolments again dipped to 11.84 in January and further to 11.77 in February this year.

The government had imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25 last year to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Later, restrictions were eased for various economic activities in phases.

The NSO report showed that gross enrolment of new subscribers with ESIC was 1.49 crore in 2018-19. From September 2017 to March 2018, around 83.35 lakh new subscribers had joined the ESIC scheme.

The report said gross new enrolments with ESIC from September 2017 to March 2021 period were nearly five crore.

The report is based on the payroll data of new subscribers of various social security schemes run by ESIC, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

It has been releasing the 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 11.21 lakh in March, down from 11.28 lakh in February 2021.

It showed that from September 2017 to March 2021, around 4.2 crore (gross) new subscribers joined the Employees' Provident Fund scheme.

The report, titled 'Payroll Reporting in India: An Employment Perspective - March 2021', said that since the number of subscribers is from various sources, there are elements of overlap and the estimates are not additive. NSO also said the report gives different perspectives on the levels of employment in the formal sector and does not measure employment at a holistic level.

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