NITI Aayog on Monday launched a report that presented comprehensive perspectives and recommendations on the gig economy in India titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’, the apex public policy think tank said in a statement.
Gig workers are typically those who work freelance, contractual, temporary, or on-call basis. The report was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery, CEO Amitabh Kant, and Special Secretary K Rajeswara Rao. The report provided a scientific methodological approach to estimate the current size and job-generation potential of the sector.
Besides, it highlighted the opportunities and challenges of this emerging sector and presented global best practices on initiatives for social security. Being a new-age phenomenon, there are a number of aspects of platform work that remain unexplored, and this study attempted to plug these knowledge gaps through a structure of four key pillars – data, job creation, comparison, and lessons from global peers, and recommendations for policy interventions.
Speaking on the occasion, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Suman Bery said, “This report will become a valuable knowledge resource in understanding the potential of the sector and drive further research and analysis on gig and platform work.”
It is estimated that in 2020-21, 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy. They constituted 2.6 per cent of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5 per cent of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore workers by 2029-30. The 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. The trend showed the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing, according to the statement.
CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant highlighted the job creation potential of this sector given the rising urbanization, widespread access to the internet, digital technologies, and smartphones in India. “The recommendations in this report will serve as a crucial resource for ministries, state governments, training providers, platform companies and other stakeholders to work in collaboration for promoting growth and employment opportunities in this sector,” Kant said. Further, to harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommended accelerating access to finance through products specifically designed for such workers, linking self-employed individuals engaged in the business of selling regional and rural cuisine or street foods.