NITI Aayog has launched a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’.
Who are gig workers?
- Gig workers can be broadly classified into platform and non-platform workers. Platform workers are those whose work is based on online software apps or digital platforms while non-platform gig workers are generally casual wage workers, working part-time or full- time.
- Gig workers prefer a flexible work schedule, typically with low to middle level of education. Income through gig work is not their primary source of income and they are often holding another regular job.
Key findings of the report –
- India’s gig workforce is expected to expand to 23.5 million by 2029-30 from 7.7 million in 2020-21. Therefore, the report recommended extending social security measures for such workers and their families in partnership mode as envisaged in Code on Social Security.
- The report further said gig workers are expected to form 6.7 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1 per cent of the total livelihood in India by 2029-30.
- According to the NITI report, it is estimated that in 2020-21, 7.7 million workers were engaged in the gig economy and they constituted 2.6 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5 per cent of the total workforce in India.
- As per the report, in terms of industrial classification, about 2.66 million gig workers were involved in retail trade and sales, and about 1.3 million were in the transportation sector.
- About 620,000 were in manufacturing and another 630,000 in the finance and insurance activities, it added.
- At present, about 47 per cent of the gig work is in medium skilled jobs, 22 per cent in high skilled, and about 31 per cent in low skilled jobs.
- To harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommended accelerating access to finance through products specifically designed for platform workers, linking self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine, street food, etc, with platforms to enable them to sell their produce to wider markets in towns and cities.
- Other recommendations include undertaking a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig-platform workforce and collecting information during official enumerations.
- It suggested bridging skill gaps by carrying out periodic assessments and partnering with platform businesses for onboarding skilled women and persons with disabilities.
- The report pitched for incentivising inclusive businesses women led-platforms or platforms that encourage recruitment of women employees and those with disabilities.