Why government is collecting data on SC, ST employee in Private Firms?

Published: September 25, 2019

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has initiated a survey which requires establishments contributing to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) including those from the private sector to furnish information on the number of SC and ST employees in their payrolls.

About the Survey

  • The survey is being piloted by Niti Aayog.
  • The survey was initially restricted to public sector undertakings (PSUs) and is now extended to cover private firms.
  • As part of the survey, the regional provident fund offices are sending out queries in a specified format to companies seeking employment data of the proportion of SC & ST employees in total employment.
  • Companies are requested to furnish details in a four-column table that seeks the name of the company, total number of employees, number of SC employees, and number of ST employees

Objective of the Survey

  • It is said that the Ministry of Labour and Employment is collecting the data for designing a scheme to provide them with financial incentives for social security benefits.
  • The scheme would provide for the government to foot the bill for employee contribution being made by SC/ST employees towards their provident and pension funds with the EPFO.

Why the government is thinking over such a scheme?

  • There is a prevailing sense that a substantial portion of funds allocated for SC/ST schemes was going unutilised.
  • The government has allocated over Rs 1.3 lakh crore towards more than 300 schemes being implemented by 38 ministries and government departments under the “welfare for SC/ST” employees head.
  • As funds under many of these schemes remain unspent, the government is planning to provide benefits to SC/ST employees by making their provident and pension fund payments.

Challenges for the Survey

There is a possibility of statistical errors in conducting such a survey in the private sector since the employees are not hired on the basis of castes. The private companies may even face the roadblock as employees may not be forthcoming with their caste details.

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