The move comes in the backdrop of the package of reforms announced by the Government for generation of one crore jobs in the textile and apparel industry over next 3 years.
The package includes a slew of measures which are labour friendly and would promote employment generation, economies of scale and boost exports. The steps will lead to a cumulative increase of US$ 30 bn. in exports and investment of Rs. 74,000 crores over next 3 years, read a government statement.
The majority of new jobs are likely to go to women since the garment industry employs nearly 70% women workforce. Thus, the package would help in social transformation through women empowerment.
Salient features of the package announced are:
A. Employee Provident Fund Scheme Reforms
· Govt. of India shall bear the entire 12% of the employers’ contribution of the Employers Provident Fund Scheme for new employees of garment industry for first 3 years who are earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month.
· At present, 8.33% of employer’s contribution is already being provided by Government under Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY). Ministry of Textiles shall provide additional 3.67% of the employer’s contribution amounting to Rs. 1,170 crores over next 3 years.
· EPF shall be made optional for employees earning less than Rs. 15,000 per month
· This shall leave more money in the hands of the workers and also promote employment in the formal sector.