New Delhi : Congress leader Karti Chidambaram on Wednesday urged the government to issue guidelines and regulate delivery companies such as Swiggy and Zomato to protect delivery agents from unrealistic targets and ensure their safety.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha, Chidambaram spoke about the gig economy, explaining that a gig worker is someone who has a non-traditional relationship with the employer because of technology.
In India, there are 15 million workers in the gig economy and it is bound to grow to 25 million and even 100 million in the long term, the MP from Sivaganga said.
”There are companies which are valued in billions that operate in this gig economy like Swiggy, Dunzo, Zomato, Uber and Ola. They are all valued in billions of dollars,” Chidambaram said.
Their valuation is based on a principle called turnaround time, the shorter the turnaround time of them providing the service, the greater the valuation is, he pointed out.
”So we have delivery companies that promise food and groceries or any products within 10 minutes or 30 minutes but this delivery is done not by employees of the companies,” Chidambaram said.
They drive a two-wheeler which is a personal vehicle but are doing a commercial delivery and carry a huge weight in the pillion seat or carrier, he said, adding there is no protection for these workers.
”There is no classification whether these vehicles are for commercial delivery. Insurance companies refuse to give compensation if there is an accident. There have been accidents and there have been fatalities. ”In Zomato a person died while making a delivery, so these delivery companies need to be regulated,” he said.
Chidambaram asserted that they can’t have these ”unrealistic and unreasonable” delivery times which is putting the lives of these workers in great peril.
”I urge upon the government to come up with guidelines and also protect all the workers in the gig economy,” he said.