Union Budget 2023: Empowering India’s Gig Workers through Fintech innovation

nirmala sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds up a folder with the Government of India’s logo as she leaves her office to present the Union Budget 2023 in the parliament, in New Delhi, February 1, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi
The Union Budget 2023 presents an opportunity for fintech companies to serve India’s growing gig economy.

According to a NITI Aayog report, by 2029-30, gig workers are estimated to make up 4.1% of India’s total workforce, a significant rise from the current 1.5%. This growth highlights a growing imperative to address the financial needs of the gig economy. 

One of the key themes in the Union Budget 2023 is the government’s focus on the growth of the fintech sector. The combination of available digital infrastructure and the  growing gig workforce has created an unprecedented opportunity to provide financial services and strengthen livelihoods for  a fast emerging underserved segment. This particularly excites us at KarmaLife as the fintech-gig economy ecosystem that we are trying to build can align the needs of gig workers, their employment platforms, and financial institutions  by establishing sustainable access to financial services such as savings, liquidity, and insurance, which are altogether essential for financial stability. We are also motivated by  the huge market to serve and large, rapidly-growing customer base. But for all of this to happen, we need the Government to help create an enabling regulatory environment for companies like ours to operate in. The current Government’s plans to launch a comprehensive policy for the digital payment sector is surely a step forward. 

The government has also announced that it will be setting up a central repository of the collection of all financial data, which will then enable fintech companies to provide more customized and relevant financial services to the gig/blue collar workers. 

In addition to the fintech sector, the government has also announced measures to support the gig economy, such as the creation of a national employment policy that will provide social security benefits to gig/blue collar workers. This policy is a significant step in the right direction  and will help strengthen the financial resilience of gig workers.

To sum up, the Union Budget 2023 presents a great opportunity for fintech companies to serve the growing gig economy in India. With support measures for both the fintech sector and the gig economy, this ecosystem has the potential to bring financial stability to gig workers and provide fintech companies with the opportunity to serve a large market

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