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Niti Aayog’s Report on India’s Gig Economy

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June 29, 2022

Why in news?

The Niti Aayog has released the report titled “India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy”.

What is a gig economy?

  • In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace and companies tend to hire independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.
  • The gig economy can benefit workers, businesses, and consumers by making work more adaptable to the needs of the moment and the demand for flexible lifestyles.
  • Gig workers engage in livelihoods outside the traditional employer-employee arrangement.
  • Classification of gig workers
    • Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms such as food aggregator platforms Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, and others.
    • Non-platform workers are generally casual wage and own-account workers in conventional sectors, engaged part-time or full-time.
  • Platform workers are termed as “independent contractors”.

What has the Niti Aayog study revealed?

  • Gig workforce- According to the report of NITI Aayog, the Indian gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30, a near 200% jump from 7.7 million now.
  • Skills- The report stated that gig work is expanding in all sectors, but 47% of the jobs are medium-skilled, about 22% are high-skilled, and about 31% are low-skilled.
  • Female labour force participation- The Niti Aayog noted that female labour force participation in India has remained low, oscillating between 16% to 23% in the last few years.
  • Persons with disabilities- PwD who make up for 2.11 to 10% of India’s population, have a labour force participation rate of 36%.
  • Issues with the gig sector
    • lack of job security
    • irregularity of wages
    • uncertain employment status
    • no access to many of the workplace protections and entitlements

What are the recommendations of Niti Aayog?

  • Platformisation- The think tank has recommended introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’, on the lines of the ‘Startup India initiative’, built on the pillars of accelerating platformisation.
  • It has suggested that self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine may be linked to platforms so that they can sell their produce to wider markets.
  • Credit facility- Access to institutional credit may be enhanced through financial products specifically designed for platform workers and those interested to set-up their own platforms.
  • Venture capital funding, grants and loans from banks and other funding agencies should be provided to platform businesses of all sizes at the pre-revenue and early-revenue stages.
  • Fiscal incentives- Tax-breaks or startup grants may be provided for businesses that provide livelihood opportunities where women constitute a substantial portion (30%) of their workers.
  • Social security- The Aayog’s report also said that social security benefits be extended to workers in a partnership mode, as envisaged in the Code on Social Security, 2020.

 

References

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/niti-aayog-india-gig-economy-7995223/
  2. https://www.thehindu.com/business/indias-gig-workforce-will-grow-to-235-crore-by-2029-30-niti-aayog-study/article65573464.ece
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gig-economy.asp
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