SBI urges government to release payroll data monthly

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Mumbai, April 25 (IANS) Calling on the government to release payroll data on a monthly basis, state-run State Bank of India said on Wednesday said that this would allow for truer estimates of employment in the country for the benefit of policymakers.

In support of the call, SBI Chief Economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh, in his Ecowrap report titled “Beginning of Payroll Reporting in India”, cited the Ghosh & Ghosh study published in January this year which had estimated that around 70 lakh jobs might be generated in fiscal 2018, and had “advocated the need for monthly payroll reporting in India like in other economies.”

“Research has revealed that the payroll data have the most profound impact of all high frequency economic reports and major policy implications,” the Ecowrap report said.

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“It is good that Government has finally accepted the recommendations and released the monthly payroll data from September 2017 to February 2018 as per the records of EPFO, NPS and ESIC.”

“When Ghosh & Ghosh had published the study, it was erroneously criticized by a number of experts that 70 lakh employment generated in this country is wrong. As per the data released by Government, we now find that the Ghosh & Ghosh estimate is significantly close to the actual number of payroll in India,” the Chief Economist said.

Noting that employment counts in India continue to be survey-based that are limited in size, scope, Ecowrap said that “using these to gauge overall numbers could result in completely distorted conclusions”.

“This now needs to be corrected so that debate shifts to analysis based on real time

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data,” the report said.

“We recommend that the Government release this data on a monthly basis, as for long, absence of payroll data in India has been the missing link in policy making, and there have been too many conjectures and hypothetical assumptions based on surveys in public domain regarding the size of employment in India,” it added.

–IANS

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