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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 28 June, 2022

  • 7 Min Read

INDIA'S GIG ECONOMY: NITI AAYOG REPORT

INDIA'S GIG ECONOMY: NITI AAYOG REPORT

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

Gig economy

  • In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are on-trend 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, where one can focus on personal and professional life without sticking to strict 9 to 5 job conditions.
  • Gig workers mainly 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 systems such as food aggregator platforms Zomato, Swiggy, and others. Platform workers are also known as “independent contractors”.
  • Non-platform workers are generally casual wage earner workers and own-account workers in conventional sectors engaged in part-time or full-time jobs.

Advantages of Gig Economy

  • Cost-Effectiveness- Off-side hiring of workers significantly reduces the need of maintaining an expensive workplace. It also eliminates expenses such as retirement plans, employee benefits packages, paid sick leave etc.
  • Independence- Independent contractors or freelancers are not required to work in an office rather employees can easily work from the place of their choice at home, in Uber Car while travelling etc.
  • Flexibility- The employee is free from strict office hours.
  • Removes middle man – for hiring people and company can hire freelancers directly.
  • Increasing aspects for income: Due to flexibility individual can apply for jobs that provide an adjustable work schedule and allows individual to earn extra income.

Disadvantages of Gig Economy

  • Poor Work CommitmentFreelancers may not commit completely to an organization which can create loyalty issues, decrease motivation and reduce the likelihood to work further.
  • Lack of Benefits – The employee benefits are not extended to them and they lose on major benefits like provident, pension etc.
  • Lack of prospects for promotion and unequal gender involvement is seen in the gig economy.

What has the NITI Aayog study revealed?

  • Gig workforce: According to the report of NITI Aayog, in 2020–21, 77 lakh (7.7 million) Indian workers were engaged in the gig economy, and the gig workforce is expected to increase to 23.5 million workers by 2029-30 which is a 200% jump from 7.7 million now.
  • Skills: The report shows that gig work is expanding in all the sectors, but 47% of the jobs are mainly medium-skilled, about 22% are high-skilled, and about 31% are low-skilled jobs.
  • Female labour force participation: NITI Aayog found that the female labour force participation in India has remained low which is between 16% to 23% in the last few years. After finishing school and getting married, women are more likely to take on platform positions.
  • Persons with disabilities- PwD who make up 2.11 to 10% of India’s population, have a labour force participation rate of 36%.

Issues with the gig sector

The main issue with the gig sector is as follows:

  • Lack of job security.
  • Irregularity of wages.
  • Uncertain employment status.
  • No access to many of the workplace protections and entitlements.

Recommendations of NITI Aayog

  • Platformisation: The Niti Aayog has recommended, introducing a ‘Platform India initiative’, on the lines of the ‘Start-up India initiative’, built on the pillars of accelerating platformisation.
  • It has been suggested that self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine may be linked to platforms business so that they can sell their produce to wider markets and earn huge profits.
  • Credit facility: Access to institutional credit may be enhanced through financial products specifically designed for platform workers and those interested in setting up their own platform or small business.
  • 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.
  • Social security- social security benefits must be extended to workers in a partnership mode, as envisaged in the Code on Social Security act 2020.
  • Platform-led transformational and outcome-based skilling, enhancing social inclusion through gender sensitization and accessibility awareness programmes for workers and their families.

Source: PIB


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