The relaxation was provided by the department of telecom after demands made by IT and tech companies that sought permanent relaxation on working location after initially starting the trend during the corona lockdown period.
“In a major reform initiative, the department of telecom has liberalised the regime for other service provider (OSPs). This will encourage the Work-from-Home or Work-from-Anywhere trend in India and provide a great relief to the IT/ITeS/ BPO industry,” the ministry said in a statement which was also lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“Committed to furthering ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and making India a tech hub! Government has significantly simplified OSP guidelines of the telecom department. Compliance burdens of BPO industry will be greatly reduced due to this,” Modi said in a tweet, adding that the measure will be beneficial for the IT industry.
“India’s IT sector is our pride. The prowess of this sector is recognised globally. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure a conducive environment for growth and innovation in India. Today’s decisions will especially encourage young talent in the sector!”
Under the OSP guidelines of the DoT, the registration requirement for OSPs has been done away with altogether and the BPO industry engaged in data related work have been taken out of the ambit of OSP regulations. Also, requirements such as deposit of bank guarantees, for static IPs, frequent reporting obligations, publication of network diagram, penal provisions etc have also been removed. Similarly, several other requirements, which prevents companies from adopting ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Work from Anywhere’ policies have also been removed, telecom and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The move was welcomed by the IT industry. “This is truly long term, progressive thinking by the government which will make our technology industry that much more competitive. Working from anywhere has become the new reality and thank you for seeing this,” Rishad Premji, chairman of Wipro said.
Karthikeyan Natarajan, president & COO of Cyient, said the liberalized guidelines will help companies better plan their workforce and customer delivery schedules, as well as enable them to create jobs in tier-2 and 3 cities. “This move is critical given that the pandemic might be a reality for the next two years or so,” Natarajan said.
IT industry body Nasscom called it a “landmark decision” and said that the new guidelines will “tremendously reduce the compliance burden” of the BPM (business process management) industry. “Access to remote working will give our industry an epic boost and significantly expand access to talent, increase job creation, catapult Indian IT and BPM to the next level of growth and innovation, thereby making India a global tech hub.”
Post the corona lockdown, IT and BPO companies had shifted a large part of their work home, and those still continuing this in large measure include Tech Mahindra, TCS, and Wipro.
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