IAMAI flags 'concerns' over Karnataka's draft bill on platform-based gig workers

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New Delhi, Jul 11 (PTI) Industry body IAMAI has urged the Karanataka government to put on "hold" legislative process around its draft bill on platform-based gig workers to give sufficient time for thorough consultations, as it flagged several "concerns" that can potentially "negatively impact" ease of business in the state.

Among the various pain points, IAMAI has highlighted the possibility of dual levy coming into play on social security, and rued lack of clarity on how the proposed welfare fee contribution from aggregators to support social security of gig workers will be utilised.

Other concerns in the draft bill pertain to "overly harsh" clauses for offences, "unrealistic expectations and obligations from aggregators" and "significant legal complexities" on account of planned inclusion of gig workers' dispute redressal under the Industrial Disputes Act.

IAMAI also expressed worries over what it claimed is "ambiguity in calculation of welfare fee contribution", and lamented that onerous data sharing requirements would pose significant challenges to the business operations of aggregators.

IAMAI contended that the gig economy is an evolving sector, and any new regulations will have far-reaching ramifications for workers, platforms and the larger ecosystem.

The industry body emphasised it is "imperative" that all stakeholders have an opportunity to provide inputs and voice their concerns before such a law is enacted.

The submissions of IAMAI comes in the backdrop of Karnataka government's move to place in the public domain a draft legislation that seeks to regulate the social security and welfare of platform-based gig workers. The draft bill moots creation of a board, grievance cell, welfare fund, among others provisions.

"While we appreciate the government's efforts to provide social security and welfare measures for gig workers, we believe that the draft bill, in its current form, raises several concerns, and could hinder business operations and negatively impact the ease of doing business in the state," it said.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) said it is pushing for a "more balanced and collaborative approach" that aligns with existing central government laws and involves all stakeholders in a transparent and equitable manner.

"Therefore, we urge the state government to put the legislative process on hold and give a sufficient period of consultation of at least 30 to 60 days," it said.

In its submission, IAMAI has strongly urged that the state government reconsider the proposed regulation of contractual agreements, saying any direct government intervention in such arrangements is "both unnecessary and potentially harmful". PTI MBI HVA

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