The Centre has decided to bear the entire contribution of new employees in the informal sector to the Employees’ Provident Fund for the first three years, Minister of State for Finance Santosh Kumar Gangwar said on Thursday.

“It is a major step and we expect it to create nearly one crore new employment opportunities,” Gangwar told reporters, according to IANS.

The minister also said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had cleared a proposal to enhance the budgetary provisioning of the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana by around Rs 6,500 crore to Rs 10,000 crore. Under the scheme, the government has, since August 2016, been paying 8.33% of the provident fund contribution of employers who joined work on or after April 1, 2016.

“The informal sector workers will get a social safety net and there would be more job creation,” the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs said in a statement. “Till now, the scheme has produced quite encouraging results and we have added about 31 lakh beneficiaries to the formal employment involving an expenditure of more than Rs 500 crore.”