Close to 20 lakh employees of leading IT-BPO companies which were operating at Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) units, have been given a go-ahead to work from home through a notification by STPI on Thursday. This has been one of the key demands of the IT-BPO industry given the Coronavirus pandemic, and industry association Nasscom has been in talks with the government for over a week to allow employees of units which are operating from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to work from home.

STPI DG Omkar Rai told ET that companies will just have to inform the STPI before asking their employees to shift the necessary infrastructure out of office such as laptops to operate from home. “Three years back, we incorporated a provision in the foreign trade policy to allow work from home. And since the provision was already there, we issued a blanket approval yesterday to implement the policy, given the current circumstances,” Rai said.

The waiver is likely to benefit employees of BPO companies more. However, the statistics in terms of how many employees have availed of the facility is awaited.

The Department of Telecom, on the other hand is yet to take a call of allowing employees which are operating from SEZs to operate from home.

ET had reported last week that Nasscom had asked government to relax norms to allow work-from-home for technology and backoffice employees as a measure to deal with the spread of Covid-19 virus in India atleast for a month.

Nasscom had written a letter to the department of telecom secretary Anshu Prakash, saying that the telecom regulatory authority of India (Trai) had recommended to remove restrictions around Work from Home last year after a consultation process. The letter requested the government’s “urgent intervention” to waive-off the conditions as an “emergency” measure for a month post which the government may take a call on it depending on the public health situation at that time.

Nasscom had another meeting with DoT today on the issue.

“Thank you Secretary @DoT_India for taking the time to talk to us and understand the concerns. Majorly appreciate the same. And we look forward to your support for a speedy resolution. Thank you!,” Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom tweeted on Friday.

NV (Tiger) Tyagarajan, CEO of Genpact had said on Twitter earlier this week, “This is hugely important, have to move with speed with @nasscom support with

@DoT_India, we @Genpact have to find a way to serve our clients we have executed in China, Philippines, Rumania, US etc …. we need India to follow very fast.”

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