THE GIG ECONOMY

THE GIG ECONOMY

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July 2, 2022 - 5:46 am

NITI Aayog Releases Report On Gig Economy


NITI Aayog Releases Report


Government think tank NITI Aayog in its latest has recently released a report — ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy: Perspectives and Recommendations on Future of Work’ described as the first of its kind. The report has mentioned that there is a growing demand for gig work as the employment elasticity to GDP growth, for gig workers was above one throughout the period 2011-12 to 2019-20 and was always above. Also, certain recommendations were given in this report to facilitate this growing economy, including providing social security schemes. Already, corporate houses like Zomato, Ola, Urban Company & others working with temporary employees have come out with benefits for them. The spotlight is right back on the gig economy.


Gig Workers

Those who are engaged in livelihoods outside the traditional employer-employee arrangement is called Gig Workers. It can be broadly classified into platform & non-platform-based workers. Platform workers’ work is based on online software apps or digital platforms such as food aggregator platforms Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, & others. Non-platform gig workers are considered own-account & casual workers in conventional sectors who are engaged as Part time or time. Delivery boys, app-based taxi drivers, service providers such as cleaners and technicians, and freelance workers are all part of the gig economy.


What the report provided?

The report provided a scientific methodological approach to estimate the current size & job-generation potential of the sector. Besides, it highlighted the opportunities & challenges of this emerging sector and presented global best practices on initiatives for social security. Being a new-age phenomenon, there are several aspects of platform work that remain unexplored, and this study attempted to plug these knowledge gaps through a structure of four key pillars - job creation, data, comparison, & lessons from global peers, and recommendations for policy interventions.


Estimation according to report

The report estimates that The Indian gig workforce is expected to increase to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30, a near 200 % jump from 7.7 million now. It further noted that gig workers were expected to form 6.7 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30 from 1.5 % now. The report stated that gig work is expanding in all sectors, but 47 % of the jobs are medium-skilled, about 22 % are high-skilled, & about 31 % are low-skilled. Approx. 2.7million gig workers had been included in retail sale & trade & almost 1.3 million in the transport sector in terms of industrial classification About 0.6 million were in manufacturing & another 0.6 million in the finance & insurance activities. The report also mentioned that the retail sector saw an increase of 1.5 million workers during 2011-12 to 2019-20, the transport sector 0.8 million & manufacturing — 0.4 million. In the education sector, By 2019-20 the expansion was from 66 thousand to more than one lakh.


A special emphasis has been recommended to be kept on access to formal credit for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) & women. “Structural barriers like paucity of access to education & skiing have stagnated participation of the two demographic groups in the country's labour force,”. Potential “Skill Certificates” or “Skill Passports” for workers can also be created by platform firms. A “Skill Badge” in the platform worker’s online profile can be considered, thus, enabling better career progression. Fiscal incentives such as tax breaks or start-up grants may be provided for businesses that provide livelihood opportunities where women constitute a substantial portion (say, 30%) of their workers. On the lines of Indonesia’s initiatives, the report recommended offering accident & other insurance to delivery and driver personnel. Also, looking at measures taken in the UK the report highly recommends adopting policies that offer old age/retirement plans & benefits to gig and platform workers.


Currently, the size of the actual gig economy in India is difficult to estimate now as there are severe data gaps. The limited data was supposed to be by the NITI Aayogi. e. available on employment & other related to the gig workers' size estimation by building on assumptions derived from macro & micro studies in the country. However, the report clarifies that the estimation is only indicative & may not represent the true size of the gig workforce. Even though the gap in data is the “gig economy has proven its potential & resilience even in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic by continuing to unlock jobs in the millions & keeping communities connected”.

Questions and Answers Questions and Answers

Question : What is the government think tank NITI Aayog?
Answers : NITI Aayog is the government think tank of India that recently released a report on the growing gig economy.
Question : What are some of the benefits of being a gig worker?
Answers : Gig workers typically enjoy greater flexibility and autonomy than traditional employees. They can often set their own hours and work from home or other locations of their choosing. Gig work can also be a good option for those who prefer
Question : to work on a project-by-project basis rather than commit to a full-time job.
Answers : What is the expected size of the Indian gig workforce by 2029-30?
Question : The report estimates that the Indian gig workforce is expected to increase to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30.
Answers : The expected percentage of gig workers in the non-agricultural workforce in India by 2029-30 is 6.7%.
Question : What is the primary challenge facing platform workers in India?
Answers : The primary challenge facing platform workers in India is a lack of access to formal credit and education, which has stagnated their participation in the country's labour force.
Question : What are some of the benefits that gig economy workers in India could receive if the government implements certain policies?
Answers : If the government implements policies similar to those in the UK, gig economy workers in India could receive benefits such as old age/retirement plans, accident and other insurance, and tax breaks.
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