Permanent Work From Home For All SEZ Companies, Units? Big Decision On This Date
Soon, the employees of IT companies who are operating from Special Economic Zones (SEZ) will be able to work from home permanently.
The Issue Is Under Discussion
As we know that the IT industry has sought permanent work from anywhere arrangement for units operating in Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
With this arrangement, nearly 60% of IT services are exported after the government earlier this month eased a set of rules for the IT and IT-enabled Services industry permitting work from anywhere on a permanent basis.
Currently, the issue is under discussion internally with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the decision is most likely to come by the end of this month according to the sources.
Need More Clarity On This Issue
The IT industry lobby group Nasscom said that the clarity on this issue will allow the industry to plan a blended work model in the future, during the latest round of discussion with the Ministry of Commerce which took place on Tuesday.
Earlier, the government eased regulations for the industry under the Other Service Provider (OSP) guidelines of the Department of Telecom (DoT) as a part of a significant reform initiative.
Here it is noteworthy that the registration requirement for OSPs was done away with altogether.
Also, the BPO industry engaged in data-related work was taken out of the ambit of OSP regulations.
Apart from this, the other requirements like a deposit of bank guarantees, frequent reporting obligations, penal provisions, have also been removed.
Need For Relaxation
While talking on the subject, the senior director and head – public policy, Nasscom, Ashish Aggarwal said “With the recent reforms of OSP Telecom guidelines in place, it is important that the IT-ITeS industry is provided with relaxations and clarity on the SEZ rules and related tax procedures to enable the industry to implement long-term blended work model with remote working as a key component,”.
According to him, the IT-ITeS sector contributes over 60% of the services exports from SEZs.
Although, the complete benefit of work from home and the recent OSP reforms cannot be realized In the absence of explicit guidance from the commerce and finance ministries.
Several IT companies, including the likes of Tata Consultancy Services, have already stated that they would transition a significant part of their employees to work from anywhere once the pandemic is contained.
On one side the Rule 43 of SEZ Rules allows companies to enable employees to work from home based on their requirements.
While on other, the IT industry is seeking clarity on whether WFH can be enabled on a long-term basis as per sources.