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Indian Government sets up panel to improve transparency in employment data releases

Indian Government sets up panel to improve transparency in employment data releases

On
11 June, an official
press statement released by the Ministry of Labour and Employment

stated that the Indian Government has set up a committee headed by former chief
statistician of India Mr T.C.A Anant to bring transparency in data releases in
the country.

The release said that the Government has recently taken steps to
promote transparency in the processing, analysing, and presentation of
employment-related data; it plans to provide accurate and complete information
to end users and the public in general on the processes that are involved in
the analysis and generation of the job-related data.

In
India, the Labour
Bureau
conducts two major employment based surveys – the Annual
Employment-Unemployment Survey
(Annual EUS) and the Quarterly
Employment Survey
(QES). Thus far, the Labour Bureau has conducted
five Annual Employment-Unemployment Surveys and the reports for each have been
released (the field work of the last Annual
Employment-Unemployment Survey 2016-2017
has been completed and data
entry validation is in progress). 

Since the report in 2016, the Labour Bureau
under the Ministry has not conducted another Annual Employment- Unemployment survey,
but according to the press release, the report for the sixth Annual Employment-Unemployment
Survey will be completed by September 2018. 

The
Annual Employment-Unemployment Survey was later replaced by the Periodic Labour
Force Survey
(PLFS) as suggested by the Task
Force on Employment. The PLFS is conducted by the Ministry of Statistics
and Programme Implementation
(MoSPI) and will not only contain the
annual data on the employment-unemployment situation in the rural sector but
will also have the quarterly data on the employment-unemployment situation in the
urban sector based on larger sample size.

The
release stated that the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES) is an enterprise
based survey and the aim is to measure the relative change in the state of employment
over successive quarters for institutions that employ ten or more workers. The
QES assesses employment change in eight sectors; Manufacturing, Construction,
Trade, Transport, Education, Health, Accommodation & Restaurants and IT/BPO
(Information Technology/ Business Process Outsourcing). The fifth QES report
was released by Labour
Bureau on 29 December 2017
. According to the report, there was an
overall increase in employment of around 185,000 workers during the January-
March quarter of 2017.

The
Ministry outlined the limitations of the QES in the press release, including 6th
Economic Census
(January 2013 – April 2014)’s failure to include the
units that had been added after April 2014. The Ministry also noted that the
QES also only studies the employment activities of enterprises that employ a
minimum of 10 workers. As a result, the QES effectively captures the employment
size of about 24 million workers only as against the total workforce of about 470
million.

Therefore, to make data regarding employment more inclusive and
transparent, the Ministry has formed a committee chaired by Mr T.C.A Anant that
will produce a comprehensive report to study aspects of employment data that
were not previously considered.

The Employees Provident Fund
Organization
(EPFO) has also begun releasing payroll data on monthly
basis.

The
press released also stated that the Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s Employment
Promotion Plan
(Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana- PMRPY),
has enrolled around 4.6 million new employees covering about 58,400
establishments, and an amount of IN ₹855 crore (around US $125 million) has
been spent on the scheme.

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