NITI Aayog today launched a report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’. The report was released by NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Suman Bery, CEO Amitabh Kant and Special Secretary Dr. K Rajeswara Rao.
The report is a first-of-its-kind study that presents comprehensive perspectives and recommendations on the gig–platform economy in India. The report provides a scientific methodological approach to estimate the current size and job-generation potential of the sector. It highlights the opportunities and challenges of this emerging sector and presents global best practices on initiatives for social security and delineates strategies for skill development and job creation for different categories of workers in the sector.
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.”
CEO Amitabh Kant highlighted the job creation potential of this sector given rising urbanization, widespread access to internet, digital technologies and smartphones in India. He said, “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.”
Special Secretary Dr. K Rajeswara Rao presented the key findings and recommendations of the report. The report estimates that in 2020–21, 77 lakh (7.7 million) workers were engaged in the gig economy. They constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore (23.5 million) workers by 2029–30. Gig workers are expected to form 6.7% of the non-agricultural workforce or 4.1% of the total livelihood in India by 2029–30. At present, about 47% of the gig work is in medium skilled jobs, about 22% in high skilled, and about 31% in low skilled jobs. Trend shows the concentration of workers in medium skills is gradually declining and that of the low skilled and high skilled is increasing.
To harness the potential of the gig-platform sector, the report recommends 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. The report puts forth suggestions for platform-led transformational and outcome-based skilling, enhancing social inclusion through gender sensitization and accessibility awareness programmmes for workers and their families and extending social security measures in partnership mode as envisaged in the Code on Social Security 2020. Other recommendations include undertaking a separate enumeration exercise to estimate the size of the gig and platform workforce and collecting information during official enumerations ( Periodic Labour Force Survey) to identify gig workers.