The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Rs 22,810-crore Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana, an employment scheme that aims to encourage businesses to do fresh hiring amid the coronavirus crisis.

Under this scheme, the government will for two years provide employees’ and employer’s contribution to the retirement fund for new hiring by businesses and entities, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said at a press conference. The government said this would benefit around 58.5 lakh employees.

“Cabinet has approved an expenditure of Rs 1,584 crore for the current financial year and Rs 22,810 crore for the entire scheme period i.e. 2020-’23,” a press release said. “Government of India will pay both 12% employees’ contribution and 12% employers’ contribution i.e. 24% of wages towards EPF in respect of new employees in establishments employing upto 1,000 employees for two years.”

On November 12, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had unveiled the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana to create more jobs. She had said it would expand the net of the organised sector and provide relief to low-salaried individuals who are registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation.


Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, meanwhile, announced that the Cabinet has also approved provision of an undersea optical fibre cable to 11 Lakshadweep Islands to provide high-speed broadband internet connectivity.

“Planning for laying the submarine optical fibre cable to Lakshadweep Islands has been under consideration for some time,” the government said. “High bandwidth communication facility to the Lakshadweep Islands is also in consonance with realising the national objective of strengthening e-governance services and achieving the vision of Digital India.”