Implementation of Delhi Aggregator Act without readiness for compliance can ‘off road’ gig workers

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Implementation of Delhi Aggregator Act without readiness for compliance can ‘off road’ gig workers
Implementation of Delhi Aggregator Act without readiness for compliance can ‘off road’ gig workers

New Delhi, February 21, 2024: The Delhi Government introduced the Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator and Delivery Service Provider Scheme 2023, (DMVADSPS), aimed at regulating cab aggregators and delivery service providers in Delhi. While the scheme is well-intended for the long run, it could potentially harm the livelihoods of many due to the short timelines. In line with this, Empower India, a leading public policy think-tank, has requested the Lieutenant Governor for Delhi, to intervene and guide the policy makers for appropriate changes.

K Giri, Secretary General, Empower India, said, “Today, there is no portal for compliance, but a driver can be penalized for violation, since the Act came into effect yesterday. The officials have not notified a new date for implementing the Act. If the officials have not been able to design the portal over the past 18 months, how do they expect the industry to comply with the same without much notice? Collating driver and vehicle details is a time-consuming exercise, and aggregators struggle to acquire these details, primarily due to the prevalent practices of drivers leasing or using family vehicles. The government should consider a 12-month period for filling up the details post the launch of the portal.

The scheme mandates service providers to ensure a phased conversion to electric mobility to reduce air pollution and enhance green mobility. According to the scheme, the target for the introduction of EVs in the new fleet for aggregators has been set at 100% for 2-wheelers, while 3-wheelers have to achieve the target of 10% EVs in the new fleet in 6 months, 50% in 2 years, and 100% in 4 years. In the case of 4-wheelers, they have to achieve the target of 5% EVs in the new fleet in 6 months, 50% in 3 years, and 100% in 5 years. The entire fleet of all aggregators, old and new, has to transition to EVs by April 1, 2030.

He added, “As per the existing notification, aggregators would have to submit the details of the vehicles and drivers by 19th April 2024, and any application submitted after this date would be considered as part of the incremental fleet size, which is governed under the “new fleet size” mandate. If there is no portal available today, how is the government planning to proceed? Allowing one year for filling information will ensure that all drivers are covered.

Given that Delhi accommodates approximately 2.2 lakh gig workers, as reported by NITI Aayog in 2022, and considering the current shortage of four-wheel EVs in the city, the livelihoods of a significant number of individuals will face direct repercussions.

The current lack of readiness within the industry, compounded by the stringent timelines, necessitates an extension of the compliance deadline by one year. This extension will provide crucial breathing room for gig workers to adapt to the new regulations while also ensuring the continued growth and development of the aggregator and gig economy.