In a move aimed at creating employment opportunities, the Niti Aayog will soon come out with a policy for enhancing female participation in the labour force, giving a boost to the gig economy and suggesting ways to develop a care economy.
A senior government official told ET that the Aayog had taken a multidimensional approach to boost employment generation in the country. The Aayog is closely working with the International Labour Organization (ILO) to develop the fine prints for a care economy, and with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the VV Giri National Labour Institute to increase the participation of women in the labour force and boost the opportunities for gig and platform workers.
“India needs to speed up job creation. While millions of youth are added to the workforce every year, several millions have lost their jobs during the pandemic,” the official said, adding that there was, therefore, a need to focus on specific sections to employ India’s young workforce.
According to the official, the policy roadmap could be unveiled in two-three months following which the labour ministry would be expected to implement the suggestions wherever possible.
As per the ILO, the care economy is growing as the demand for childcare and care for the elderly is increasing in all regions. “It will thus create a great number of jobs in the coming years,” ILO had said in its recent report.
The Aayog last week held a meeting with ILO officials to finalise the broad contours of a care economy in India, as well as understand its potential and decide on what should be done to develop it into a full-fledged industry.
As far as platform workers are concerned, the Aayog foresees a significant demand in India in coming years after the pandemic has established their utility in a big way.
The labour ministry’s Social Security Code, 2020 has proposed social security for them, recognising them as formal employees.
A joint report by the Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation had stated that the gig economy could create up to 90 million jobs in India’s non-farm economy alone.
This translates to more than $250 billion in volume of work and may contribute an incremental 1.25% to India’s GDP.
While it predicts nearly 24 million jobs could migrate to technology-based gig platforms in the near-medium term, another 1 million new jobs are expected to be created over the next two-three years by aligning the needs of employers and workers.
India currently has an estimated 15 million freelance or gig workers, as per industry body Assocham.
Further, the Aayog is also of the view that despite all the effort and policy support, the female labour force participation was only 22.8% in FY20, a slow rise over 18.6% in FY19 and 17.5% in FY18, as per the Periodic Labour Force Survey by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. (Source: Economic Times)