IT, BPO companies’ ‘Work From Anywhere’ rules eased

Work From Anywhere
IT, BPO companies' 'Work From Anywhere' rules eased

NEW DELHI: In a liberalization initiative aimed at providing versatility and ease to IT and BPO businesses to operate from home, the government on Thursday abolished registration and enforcement requirements for companies to carry out work outside conventional office complexes, enabling them to permanently work from any location.

Relaxation was given by the telecom companies Department at the request of IT and tech companies pursuing permanent work position relaxation after beginning the pattern during the corona lockdown period.

“The Telecoms Department has liberalised the regime for other service providers (OSPs) in a big reform initiative, which would promote the Work-from – Home or Work-from-Anywhere movement in India and provide great relief to the IT / ITeS / BPO industry,” said the Ministry in a statement which was also hailed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Committed to further ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and to make India a technology hub! Government has significantly simplified OSP guidelines from the Telecoms Department. Compliance burdens from the BPO industry will be significantly reduced as a result,” Modi said in a tweet adding that the measure will be beneficial to the IT industry.

“India’s IT sector is our pride. The know-how of this sector is recognised globally. We are committed to doing our utmost to ensure a favourable environment for growth and innovation in India. Today ‘s decisions will, in particular, encourage young talent in the sector.”

Under the OSP guidelines of the DoT, the registration necessity for OSPs has been completely removed and the Bpo sector engaged in data related work has been removed from the scope of the OSP Regulations. Requirements such as bank guarantee deposits, static IPs, frequent reporting obligations, network diagram publications, criminal provisions, etc. have also been erased. Similarly, several other requirements that prevent companies from adopting ‘Work from home’ and ‘Work from anywhere’ policies have also been removed, said Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The IT industry welcomed the move. “This is a truly long-term, progressive government thinking that will make our tech sector so much more successful. Working from anywhere has become a new reality and thank you for seeing it,” said Rishad Premji, chairman of Wipro.

Karthikeyan Natarajan, President & COO of Cyient, said the liberalised guidelines will help companies plan better their workforce and delivery times, as well as enable them to create jobs in Tier 2 and 3 cities. “This move is critical given that the pandemic may be a reality for the next 2 years or so,” Natarajan said.

The IT industry body Nasscom called it “a landmark decision” and said that the new guidelines would “tremendously reduce the burden of compliance” on the BPM (business process management) industry. “Access to working remotely will give our industry an epic increase and significantly expand access to talent, enhance job creation, catapult Indian IT and BPM to the next rate of development and creativity, making India a global technology hub.”

Post corona lockdown, IT and BPO companies have moved a large part of their work home, and Tech Mahindra, TCS, and Wipro continue to do so to a large extent.