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Net employment generation in the formal sector stood at 12.54 lakh in December according to the latest Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) payroll data. The net new enrolments with EPFO increased 24% year-on-year in December, the data showed.

"The provisional payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) highlights a positive trend for net subscribers base growth with addition of 12.54 lakh subscribers in December, 2020," the labour ministry said in a statement. The data also highlighted a jump of 44% in net subscribers addition over the previous month of November, 2020.

Despite COVID-19 pandemic, the EPFO added around 53.70 lakh subscribers during the first three quarters of the current financial year (April to December in 2020), the data showed.

Growing trend in the EPFO payroll numbers and the accelerated expansion of the subscription base may partly be attributed to recent e-initiatives taken by the EPFO.

EPFO started crediting 8.5% interest for 2019-2020 to around six crore EPF subscribers, Labour and employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in December. EPFO earlier announced to make the payment in two instalments of 8.15% and 0.35% after selling its investments in the ETFs.

The employees’ provident fund interest rate for 2020-21 is likely to be announced in the first week of March.

EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised or semi organised sector in India and has more than 6 crore active members. The payroll data is provisional as updation of employee records is a continuous process and it gets updated in subsequent months.

The EPFO has been releasing the payroll data of new subscribers since April 2018. During 2019-20, the total number of new subscribers zoomed to 78.58 lakh compared to 61.12 lakh in the last fiscal, according to EPFO data.

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