IBS is Considering Implementing Quality Standards for Gig, Shared Economy Players: Top Govt. Officials

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The Indian Bureau of Standards (IBS) is considering adopting quality standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the gig, shared economy players, confirmed senior officials from the Consumer Affairs Ministry. 

The consumer affairs ministry said that the need for standardization surfaces due to the increasing number of complaints. The ministry also announced that it has already set up an expert penal to create a framework for the ‘right to repair’ in India.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution said, “It is planned to ultimately cover all the sectors like food aggregators, cab aggregators, online health services etc, in future, but currently following standard published by ISO/TC 324 is under consideration for adoption as the Indian Standard.” It also stated that with time, the standards cover a vast range of activities and sectors, including Food Aggregators, Cab Aggregators, Online Health Services and others.

A Gig Economy is a labour market that depends predominately on temporary and part-time positions filled by independent contractors and freelancers. A Shared Economy covers segments such as shared mobility (Uber/Rapido), Co-working (Awfis, WeWork), Co-living (Stanzaliving, OYO), and Furniture rental (Furlenco).

The ISO/TC 324 Certification caters for the needs and requirements of a sharing economy. It addresses issues like the quality of products and the time frame within which they are delivered. It offers privacy protection, safeguards against data breaches and unauthorized data sharing, system malware, problems associated with frauds and scams and difficulties related to making complaints and getting redressal.

What are the Benefits?

  • It covers various service sectors and improves their performance, including food aggregators, cab aggregators, online health services and others.
  • Shared mobility, Co-working, Co-living, and Furniture rental form the part of Shared Economy.
  • The rising number of complaints surfaces the need for standardization.

“Under Business Services Sectional Committee, SSD 09, a subcommittee on Sharing Economy, namely subcommittee on sharing economy, SSD 09:2 has been constituted with the following scope: Standardisation in the field of sharing economy, and Coordination with the work of ISO/TC 324 – ‘Sharing Economy’ as Participating (P) member including voting on ISO documents,” said the Ministry of Consumer Affairs Food and Public Distribution, when asked if India is giving input to ISO on coming out with global standards.

A Survey conducted by LocalCirles on the need for better after-sales services observed that 43% of Indian households had three or more devices at home that were less than five years old and needed services or repair. On asking, they said that some of the reasons for not getting these products repaired were the failure of the brand to deliver services and the high cost of getting repair or service among others.

Sachin Taparia, founder of LocalCircles said, “This is a positive move. Standards are of great relevance, especially at this time. We have escalated three recommendations from India from an international standpoint as well. These include a cap on surge pricing, a disincentive for drivers to cancel rides and hygiene and sanitisation of shared spaces which include shared taxis.”

He further added, “We hope these standards will apply not only in India but many foreign nations will adopt them as well.”

Original Source Link: https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/quality-standards-for-gig-shared-economy-players-soon-top-govt-officials-122071501087_1.html

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