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The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana (ABRY) was launched to incentivize employers to create new jobs while also providing social security benefits and restoring lost jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sectors were severely impacted and suffered as a result of the severe Covid-19 wave. It rendered almost all sectors helpless and few people unemployed. Many businesses were forced to close, and hawkers and vendors were unable to earn a living. The Government of India launched the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to support this cause and boost their morale in these trying times.
The Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a dream come true for many businesses, indigenous families, migrants, vendors, and others. As per this yojana, employees not earning more than Rs. 15000/- per month and who were not working in any establishment registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) prior to October 1, 2020, and also did not have a Universal Account Number UAN or EPF Member account number prior to October 1, 2020, are eligible for the benefit.
Any EPF member with a Universal Account Number (UAN) and a monthly wage of less than Rs. 15000/- who left their job during the Covid pandemic from 01.03.2020 to 30.09.2020 and did not re-join any EPF-covered establishment before 30.09.2020 is also eligible to receive the benefit.
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What is Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana?
The Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana is a relief program announced in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Job losses and unemployment are the most severe immediate consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, while lower economic growth and increased inequality are the long-term consequences. According to a recent survey, the top policy priorities are worker and family protection, short-term job creation, and income transfers to deserving sections of society. The short-term policy requirements were to support MSMEs, create jobs, expand MGNREGA, cash transfers, and provide social security. Whereas the need for a more robust public health system, social security universalization, and policies for the welfare and rights of workers, migrants, and other indigenous families are included in long-term measures.
Nirbhar, Atma Bharat Abhiyan, or Self-reliance India, is a new ray of hope in the form of a relief and exemptions scheme launched by the Indian government. In this time of crisis, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan lays the groundwork for long-term reformation and growth in the Indian economy’s critical sectors, resulting in higher per capita GDP.
Eligibility Criteria for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
The scheme applies to all eligible new employees joining EPFO-registered establishments and also those who left the establishments during the worst of the COVID pandemic. Following is the eligibility requirement for the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana:
- During the validity period of the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana, new employees joining EPFO registered establishments on monthly wages less than Rs. 15,000 will be eligible.
- EPF members earning less than Rs. Fifteen thousand per month who left their jobs during the COVID pandemic from 1 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 and are re-employed on or after 1 October 2020.
- Subsidy support will be credited in advance to eligible new employees’ Aadhaar-seeding EPFO Accounts (UAN).
Central Government’s Contribution
The Central Government will provide a few benefits to the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana. Scheme through its subsidy. For organizations with up to 1,000 employees who earn up to Rs 15,000 per month and are registered with EPFO, the central government will bear the entire 12 percent contribution of the employees and the employer – a total of 24 percent.
For newly eligible employees hired on or after the first October 2020, the Central Government will provide a two-year subsidy; finance minister Nirmala Siutharama also stated that the subsidy would be credited upfront to the Aadhaar-seeded EPFO accounts.
How to Avail Benefits under Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana?
The procedure for obtaining benefits can be summarized into a step-by-step process as follows:-
- The employer in an eligible establishment shall register the establishment under this Scheme by disclosing the employee reference base via a link on the Employer’s login page on the EPFO Unified Portal. Prior to registration, the employer need to make sure that updated ownership returns have been filed with the EPFO.
- Before hiring an employee under this Scheme, the employer must obtain a declaration confirming their previous membership in the EPF Scheme and the EPS Scheme. New employee registration must take place between October 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
- This Scheme’s incentive must be claimed using the Electronic-Challan cum Return (ECR). The same must be filed within 60 days of the end of a specific wage month.
- Once the ECR has been uploaded within the specified timeframe, the challan shall show the quantum of employees’ and employers’ contributions in respect of new employees, as well as any amount payable by the employer. The employer must then remit the required payment and complete the ECR filing process.
- To claim a subsidy for any wage month, the employer must upload a certificate/declaration in the format specified in the ABRY scheme Guidelines.
Important Announcements Regarding the ABRY
According to sources, the package could offer a stimulus totaling about 1.48 lakh crore to help our nation’s economy ahead of Diwali. The economic stimulus package will most likely target MSMEs, rural and urban income groups, as well as the hospitality and aviation industries.
On October 19, the finance minister stated that the government has begun a mid-year review of the economy and is willing to offer another stimulus package in response to pressure from various quarters and industry groups. Among the significant announcements made under the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana are:
- EXIM Bank will be given Rs. 3,000 crores to promote project exports through Lines of Credit under the IDEAS Scheme.
- A total of Rs. 65,000 crores has been set aside for subsidized fertilizers, which will benefit approximately 140 million farmers.
- In the current fiscal year, an additional investment of Rs. 10,000 crores will be made in the PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Yojana to boost rural employment.
- Income tax benefits for developers and home buyers have been made available.
- Rs. 1.46 lakh crore included an increase in Atmanirbhar Manufacturing Production-linked incentive for ten champion sectors.
- Support and assistance for construction and infrastructure-performance security on contracts will be reduced from 5% to 3%. Tenders no longer require an earnest money deposit, which has been replaced by the Bid Security Declaration. Relaxations are granted until December 31, 2021.
Other Important Announcements
- It provided credit support to nearly 26 stressed sectors identified by the Kamath Committee. The original ECLGS had a one-year moratorium and a four-year repayment period; the new Scheme will have a one-year moratorium and a five-year repayment period.
- If a sufficient number of new employees are hired between 1 October 2020 and 30 June 2021, they will be covered for two years.
- The current Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme has been extended until March 31, 2021.
- Establishments that register with EPFO after the Scheme’s inception will be eligible for subsidy benefits for all new employees. The scheme will be in effect until June 30, 2021.
- Every EPFO-registered organization that hires new employees or hires people who lost their jobs between the 1st of March and the 30th of September will be eligible for the benefits.
- Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana is in effect until March 31, 2019. It had covered all sectors and was expected to last three years. As a result, even if someone joined the Scheme on March 31, 2019, they would be covered by the existing Scheme for the next three years.
Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0
- To create jobs, the Finance Minister announced the Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana. The most recent employment scheme will go into effect on October 1, 2020.
- In Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 Rs. 1, 32,800 crores have been returned to 39.7 lakh taxpayers as income tax refunds.
- SBI Utsav cards were distributed as part of the festival’s advance scheme, which was announced on October 12. In total, 11 states sanctioned Rs. 3,621 crores as an interest-free loan for capital expenditure.
- According to the Emergency Credit Liquidity Guarantee Scheme, a total of Rs. 2.05 lakh crores was sanctioned to nearly 61 lakh borrowers, with nearly Rs. 1.52 lakh crores disbursed.
- A total of Rs. 7,227 crores was disbursed in favor of NBFCs/HFCs under the Special Liquidity Scheme.
- Through the Kisan Credit Cards, nearly 2.5 crore farmers have received credit boosts, with Rs. 1.4 lakh crores distributed to farmers.
- Farmers have received Rs. 25,000 crores in Additional Emergency Working Capital Funding from NABARD.
- The work on creating a portal for migrant workers has begun.
- The ‘One Nation-One Ration Card’ has made excellent progress in 28 states, benefiting 68.8 crore people.
- In two phases, approximately 157.44 lakh eligible farmers received Kisan Credit Cards, with a total credit limit of Rs. 1,43,262 crore sanctioned.
- Under the PM SVANidhi scheme for street vendors, approximately 26.2 lakh loan applications were received.
- The government will announce a few stimulus-related measures.
- Bank credit is up 5.1 percent, and markets are at an all-time high.
- The Reserve Bank of India has predicted that the Indian economy will return to positive growth in the third quarter.
- The GDP forecast for India in 2021 has been raised to 8.6 percent from 8.1 percent previously: Moody’s
- There has been a significant improvement in recovery, while the number of Covid-19 cases has decreased dramatically.
Benefits of Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana
- In the recovery phase, the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will create more jobs. In the current environment, it will ensure good employment opportunities for employees and reasonable growth for employers.
- The report estimates that 4.1 million young people in India will lose their jobs. Among the seven key sectors, construction and agriculture have seen significant job losses. During the Pandemic, the youth were put through a lot of stress. There was an urgent need to include relief packages for India’s burgeoning employment problem: the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will increase employment rates and ensure job opportunities.
- The Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana will subsidize employers and establishments looking to hire new employees. Employee and employer contributions to retirement funds would be covered for two years as part of the assistance.
- The government’s contribution to the employment scheme will be used to fund the benefits. Employers, employees, and eligible establishments will all benefit from the Scheme. The scheme is known as lower costs; higher take-home salary.
The scheme began on October 1, 2020, and will be open for the registration of eligible employers and new employees until June 30, 2021.
No, the scheme merely provides an incentive that EPFO-registered establishments or newly registered establishments can take advantage of.
Under the scheme, there is no requirement to register or any penalty for failing to do so.
The ABRY scheme provides upfront credit depending on the employment strength of an establishment, for both the employees’ and the employer’s share of the contribution payable, or only the employees’ share.
The number of employees for whom the employer has remitted contributions for the wage month of September 2020 is the reference base. The scheme’s reference base of employees is simply. The reason for taking September into account is that it is the wage month that immediately precedes the start of the scheme.In the event that new establishments are registered with the EPFO during the scheme’s validity period, the reference base will be treated as zero.
The Central Government will provide a 24-month wage subsidy to eligible new employees on the following scale:
Only the employees’ share of contribution as per statutory rate, subject to a maximum of 12 percent of wages, will be paid in wage month September 2020 for establishments employing more than 1000 employees (that are contributing EPF members with UAN).
For establishments employing less than or equal to 1000 employees (that is, contributing EPF members with UAN) in wage month September 2020, both the employer’s and employees’ share of contribution will be calculated at the statutory rate, up to a maximum of 24 percent of wages.
A new employee is defined as any employee who earns less than Rs. 15,000 per month and falls into one of the following categories:
Who was not working in any establishment and did not have a UAN prior to October 1st, 2020, and obtains employment in an establishment on or after October 1st, 2020, up to June 30th, 2021, and has been assigned an AADHAR validated UAN
Any EPF member who has already been assigned a UAN and lost gainful employment from any establishment between the 1st of March 2020 and the 30th of September 2020, with the date of such exit recorded in UAN. A member who joins any establishment on or after October 1, 2020, and continues until June 30, 2021.
Establishments working as contractors who supply manpower to one or more principal employers may not claim the principal employer’s share of the scheme’s subsidy if it is claimed or received by the principal employer. Any amount of the employer’s share claimed will be refunded to the Central Government.