Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday, while addressing a press conference, announced the extension of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) till March 31, 2022.
The ABRY scheme aims to extend a helping hand towards employees, especially new employees, and employers regarding the contributions into the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) account.
Any employee drawing 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 (UAN) or EPF Member account number before October 1, 2020 will be eligible for the benefit.
In organisations employing up to 1000 employees, Government will pay both 12 per cent as employees' contribution and employers' contribution, i.e. 24 per cent of wages towards EPF for new employees for two years.
For organisations employing more than 1000 employees, Government will pay only employees' share of EPF contribution, 12 per cent of wages for new employees for two years.
As per the scheme, the Government of India was to provide a subsidy for two years in respect of new employees engaged on or after October 1, 2020 and up to June 30, 2021. However, with the introduction of new rules, the benefits of the scheme can be availed till March 31, 2022.
Currently, the mandatory monthly contribution by the employees stands at 12 per cent of the monthly payment which includes monthly basic pay, dearness allowance and retaining allowance, if any. EPFO will credit the contribution in Aadhaar seeded accounts of the members in an electronic manner.
However, the employees need to ensure linking their Aadhaar number with UAN.
ABRY aims to boost employment in the formal sector and to boost up the creation of new employment opportunities under Atmanirbhar Bharat Package 3.0 amid the growing employment challenges during the COVID pandemic.