The Union Cabinet has approved Rs 22,810 crore outlay for the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) that aims at encouraging businesses to do fresh hiring amid the pandemic. “The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has given its approval for Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana to boost employment in formal sector and incentivize creation of new employment opportunities during the COVID recovery phase under Atmanirbhar Bharat Package 3.0,” an official statement said.
The Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs 1,584 crore for the current financial year and Rs 22,810 crore for the entire Scheme period – 2020-2023, it added. Under the scheme, the government will provide subsidy for two years in respect of new employees engaged on or after October 1, 2020, and up to June 30, 2021, Labour Minister Santosh Gangawar said in a briefing on the Cabinet decision.
The government will pay both 12 per cent employees’ contribution and 12 per cent employers’ contribution i.e. 24 per cent of basic wages towards EPF (employees provident fund) in respect of new employees in establishments employing up to 1,000 employees for two years. However, the government will pay only employees’ share of EPF contribution i.e. 12 per cent of wages in respect of new employees in establishments employing more than 1,000 employees for two years.
An employee drawing a monthly wage of less than Rs 15,000, who was not working in any establishment registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) before October 1, 2020, and did not have a Universal Account Number or EPF Member account number prior to October 1, 2020, will be eligible for the benefit. Any EPFO member possessing Universal Account Number (UAN) drawing a monthly wage of less than Rs 15,000, who exited employment during COVID pandemic from March 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020, and did not join employment in any EPFO covered establishment up to September 30, 2020, will also be eligible to avail the benefit.
The EPFO will credit the contribution in Aadhaar seeded account of members in an electronic manner. The EPFO will develop software for the scheme and also develop a procedure which is transparent and accountable.
It will work out the modality to ensure that there is no overlapping of benefits provided under the ABRY with any other scheme implemented by the EPFO. About the number of beneficiaries under the scheme, the minister said it is estimated that lakhs of workers will be benefitted through the plan.