100% Work From Home For All Employees Working In Special Economic Zone? Govt Wants WFH To Be The New Norm
Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said the government will consider the industry’s demand to allow 100 per cent work from home (WFH) for employees of units in special economic zones (SEZs).
Complete WFH is expected to create employment opportunities in small cities and increase the export of services, he said.
The government had allowed WFH in SEZ units during the pandemic which was a welcome move.
It also helped in pushing services exports which was $254 billion last year.
This year again the figure is expected to increase.
The statement comes months after the ministry allowed 50 per cent of the total employees in units SEZs, including contractual workers, to work from home.
Currently WFH is permitted for a maximum period of one year in a SEZ unit.
Goyal was chairing the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Board of Trade that advises the government on policy measures related to the foreign trade policy (FTP).
The purpose is to achieve the objectives of boosting India’s trade.
Export the primary focus
The meeting took place weeks before the announcement of the new FTP and at a time when some moderation is being witnessed in India’s export growth.
It focused on export target setting, the upcoming FTP along with strategy and measures to be taken to take forward domestic manufacturing and exports.
The minister said the export competitiveness of states and Union Territories has to grow if it is to meet India’s ambitious international trade target of $2 trillion by 2030.
Exporters raised sector-specific concerns.
Suggestions towards export growth
Engineering Export Promotion Council of India (EEPC) Chairman Mahesh Desai urged the government to pull back export duty on selected steel items.
This will help MSMEs that have a significant contribution in India’s engineering exports.
Specific production-linked incentive schemes for the MSME sector, guidelines for rupee trade with Russia and alternative payment mechanism for Myanmar were some of the key suggestions by EEPC India.
Desai also requested the government to reconsider the rates under RoDTEP and give full rebate on the taxes that still remain in the export production chain.
The Apparel Export Promotion Council said export performance has to increase by way of stabilising raw material prices–raw cotton– and ensuring sustainable availability, PLI scheme for apparel, among others.