Welfare Board, Development Fund for Gig Workers in Rajasthan

Rajasthan is probably the first state in the country to think about the welfare of gig workers. A gig worker is a person who does temporary jobs, especially in the service sector as a delivery agent and driver.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the recently presented budget said that the government would bring the Gig Workers Welfare Act under which the Gig Workers Welfare Board will be set up along with constituting Gig Workers Welfare and Development Fund with an amount of Rs 200 crore.

He said that presently, Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, Amazon and other such companies have linked young personnel on contract on a ‘per transaction basis. The ambit of the Gig Economy is constantly increasing in the entire world including the state. Currently, there are around 3-4 lakh gig workers in the state, but no big companies make any arrangements for the social security of Gig Workers.

Gehlot said that the aim of the Welfare Act for Gig Workers is to prevent them from exploitation and to provide them support.

These gig workers are from the unorganised sector and they do not have any union or institution for them. The chief minister of Rajasthan, understanding the problems of these gig workers thought of their welfare and announced to bring an Act, setting up a welfare board and fund for them.

Rahul Gandhi during his Bharat Jodo Yatra mentioned “In this 21st century, we have to think for whom we call gig workers, who drive taxis in Uber, Ola, work for Zomato, work as a delivery agent and do other small works. Those who work in government, get a pension and the government protects them, but there is no system of social security for lakhs of people who work in the gig economy, there is no pension system for them and they are not protected and the government has to think for them. My suggestion is that the government should bring out some system for these gig workers so that they are also protected and get facilities like a pension.”

Taking serious note of this, Gehlot thought for the welfare of the gig workers and made this announcement in the budget.

Meanwhile, Gehlot also announced the implementation of the ‘Mukhyamatri Chiranjeevi Shramik Sambal Yojana’ (Chief Minister Chiranjeevi Labourer Support Scheme) of Rs 100 crore. In this scheme, during the hospitalisation of the family members aged 25 to 60 years of the registered labourers and street vendors, they are unable to earn their daily wages. This amount will help in fulfilling the daily needs of such registered labourers and street vendors, who will get the help of Rs 200 per day for 7 days through auto direct benefit transfer (DBT) without any application. Sanju Kumar, a driver with Uber in Jaipur said, “I never thought that there would be any announcement related to people working with online delivery platforms in the state budget. The number of people doing such work is increasing in the city and the future of these people is very insecure. The state government is setting up a welfare fund of Rs 200 crore, which will make the road of our social security easy.”

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