Work From Home Extended Till July 31: Union IT Minister
The government has decided to extend the relaxed connectivity norms for ‘work from home’, applicable to IT/ information technology sector and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, till July 31 from the current April 30, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier on Tuesday, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters, “I have relaxed norms for working from home … it was to end on April 30, I have extended it to July 31”.
This was a key demand by IT industry lobby group Nasscom, which had argued that it needed policy stability instead of a month-by-month extension.
In a tweet, Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “In response to IT Industry’s request to facilitate WFH for OSPs, @DoT_India had relaxed terms & conditions for VPN till 30.4.20. After discussions with IT Ministers, this relaxation in terms and conditions is extended till 31.7.20.”
Prasad also assured that steps would be taken to strengthen the Bharatnet BBNL to provide better internet facilities. “Not just the IT sector, all States should give importance to develop startups and research. The focus will be on providing effective E-governance and E passes,” Prasad added.
Prasad also said that a national strategy committee would be set up to frame guidelines and solutions to fight the pandemic crisis.
The IT ministers’ meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Sikkim along with deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Karnataka.
State IT Ministers from twelve states, including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Kerala, and Maharashtra, were also present apart from the IT secretaries of all states.
Last month, the government announced three incentive schemes — Production Linked Incentive 2.0, Electronics Manufacturing Clusters, and Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Electronic Components and Semiconductors (SPECS) with a total budget of over Rs 48,000 crore to attract large manufacturers to establish their supply chains in the country.
About 90 percent of IT employees and 70-80 percent of BPO and small and medium businesses in the sector are estimated to be working from home and only those performing critical functions are going to offices.
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