Labour ministry expands coverage of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana


The labour ministry seems to have expanded the coverage of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana to now cover 71.8 lakh beneficiaries as against the earlier target of 58.5 lakh beneficiaries after a relatively slow start.

“The scheme is intended to benefit a total of 71.80 lakh beneficiaries,” labour minister Bhupender Yadav said in response to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday. “As on July 12, 2021, benefit of Rs 993.26 crore has been provided to 22.57 lakh employees through 84,390 establishments under the scheme,” he added.

Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) was launched last year as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package 3.0 to incentivize employers for creation of new employment along with social security benefits and restoration of loss of employment during COVID-19 pandemic.

The scheme, which is being implemented through Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), seeks to reduce the financial burden of the employers and encourages them to hire more workers.

Under the scheme, an employee drawing a monthly wage of less than Rs 15000 who was not working in any establishment registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) before October 1, 2020 is eligible for the benefit.

Evn the employees who lost their job during Covid-19 pandemic and didn’t join in any EPF covered establishment upto September 30, 2020 are also eligible for the benefit.

As per the scheme, government is crediting for a period of two years, both the employee’s share (12% of wages) and employer’s share (12% of wages) of contribution payable or only the employee’s share, depending on employment strength of the EPFO registered establishments.

The scheme, which commenced from October 1, 2020, has now been extended to March 31, 2022 as against the earlier cut off of March 31, 2021 Government will pay the subsidy for two years from the date of registration.

In a separate response, minister Yadav said the building and construction workers (BOCW) welfare board has disbursed Rs 5618 crore through direct benefit transfer to 1.83 crore beneficiaries in the first wave. “Further during the second surge of Covid-19, Rs 1795 crore have been disbursed to 1.23 crores BOCW workers,” he added.

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