A parliamentary panel last week asked the Ministry of Labour and Employment to formulate and implement welfare schemes for gig and app-based workers at the earliest.

India’s unorganised sector employs nearly 90% of the country’s workforce, depriving them of social security benefits such as pension, health insurance and paid sick leave. A report by think tank NITI Aayog in 2022 estimated that 77 lakh Indians were employed as gig workers in 2020-’21. The number is expected to reach 2.35 crore by 2029-’30.

In a report submitted in March, the Standing Committee on Labour, Textiles and Skill Development had noted that gig and platform workers do not come under the purview of the Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act.

The committee had exhorted the government to formulate a scheme exclusively for them as envisaged in the Code on Social Security, 2020. The Code, which has proposed to bring gig workers under the ambit of social security schemes, is yet to be implemented as the rules framed under the Act have not been notified.

The standing committee added that issues that may be delaying the implementation of the Labour Codes need to be addressed urgently. “The committee would like to be apprised of the efforts made and the developments in this regard,” the report had said.

In its latest report presented in Parliament on July 21, the panel said that the labour ministry’s response is “silent on the specific measures contemplated for framing a scheme” for gig workers. “The committee desire to be kept apprised of the measures taken and progress made in this direction,” the report stated.

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