Retirement fund body EPFO on Thursday dismissed media reports about a fall in the number of firms and subscribers contributing towards its social security schemes in October.
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), is an statutory organisation under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
"An article was published in a section of (media) on November 18, 2020 under the caption 'EPFO subscribers, firms down in Oct'. In this regard, EPFO has categorically clarified that the information contained in the article is incorrect and unsubstantiated," a labour ministry statement said.
The article published claims a decline of 30,800 contributing establishments with the EPFO in October from September 2020, and a simultaneous decline of 1.8 million contributing members in October as compared with the previous month, it said.
The EPFO has emphasised that the dataset published regarding contributory members and establishments does not match with the official data of the organisation for any of the wage months mentioned.
The data published is not based on EPFO's data and is incorrect, the statement said.
The EPFO's official data regarding contributory members and establishment is published on the 20th of every month in the form of payroll data.
The payroll data for any wage month is taken one month after the due date for filing ECR or the electronic provident fund return.
Consequently, the data for September 2020 (due date October 15, 2020) shall be taken only on November 15, 2020 and that for October 2020 (due date November 15, 2020) on December 15, 2020, it said.
The last payroll data published on October 20, 2020 has shown that except for the month of April and May 2020, there has been a continuous growth trend in net payroll additions till August 2020.
The EPFO's payroll data for month of September will be published on November 20, 2020.
In EPFO, the data regarding contributing members and contributory establishments is derived from the Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) filed by the establishments for any particular wage month.
The due date of filing of ECR is the 15th of the subsequent month but employers may pay belatedly with liability of interest for the period of delay.
"Due to this flexibility, to be able to file ECR even after due date, EPFO's contributory member and establishment data for any wage month remains dynamic. In this regard, concluding a count of contributory members and establishments for October, 2020 as on November 16, 2020 is premature and totally erroneous.
"Projection of incomplete data from unknown source without considering the dynamics nature of the data is highly objectionable," EPFO added in the statement.