Jharkhand is making history by becoming the first state in India to take steps towards including gig workers, such as Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber, and Rapido employees, under the ambit of minimum wages. This initiative is a significant move towards ensuring fair compensation for those in the gig economy. Jharkhand’s groundbreaking move to consider minimum wages for gig workers and review minimum wage standards for other laborers is a significant step toward ensuring fair compensation for workers in various sectors. It also highlights the state’s commitment to both local employment and social justice.
Formation of the Committee
A committee has been formed by the Jharkhand State Minimum Wage Advisory Council, under the state’s labor department, to address this issue. The committee comprises prominent figures from various sectors, including Labour Commissioner Sanjiv Kumar Besra, Minimum Wage Board Director Rajesh Prasad, Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce & Industries President Kishor Mantri, Jharkhand INTUC President Rakeshwar Pandey, and representatives of trade unions like CITU, BMS, and AITUC.
Studying Gig Worker Conditions
The primary objective of this committee is to study the working conditions of gig workers, including those in the delivery and ride-hailing services. Based on their findings, the committee will make recommendations regarding minimum wages for these workers.
Scale of the Gig Economy in Jharkhand
Approximately 12 lakh people are estimated to be engaged in gig work across various districts of Jharkhand, making this initiative critical for improving the livelihoods of a significant portion of the workforce.
Jharkhand has already taken steps to promote local employment. The state government enacted a law reserving 75 percent of positions in private companies with a monthly salary of up to Rs 40,000 for local residents. This law has led to actions against several companies not complying with this regulation.
Reviewing Minimum Wages
In addition to gig workers, the minimum wages of laborers employed on a contract basis in industrial, business, and private or government institutions are also under review.
Categorizing Areas for Minimum Wage Determination
The state is preparing to categorize its cities into three groups:
- ‘A’ Category: This includes major cities like Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, and Bokaro.
- ‘B’ Category: Municipal Corporations, Municipalities, and Municipal Councils.
- ‘C’ Category: Rural and remote rural areas.
Minimum wages will be determined based on these categories, taking into account the cost of living and the nature of work in each area.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Jharkhand Capital: Ranchi;
- Jharkhand Chief minister: Hemant Soren;
- Jharkhand Official flower: Sacred Tree;
- Jharkhand Bird: Koel.