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Policy Advocacy

Guidelines on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in workplace settings

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The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued Guidelines on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in workplace settings (link here). The guidelines, apart from detailing the preventive measures, provides clarity to companies on measures to taken when an employee shows symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19. As per the guidelines, when one or two employees are found positive, the disinfection procedure will be limited to place/areas visited by the employee in the last 48 hours. There is no requirement to close the entire office building or halt work in other areas of the office. If there is a larger outbreak, the entire building is to be closed for 48 hours, after disinfection. In case one or more employees show symptoms, they are to be isolated within the workplace an...

NASSCOM’s Policy Recommendations: Harnessing the potential of Work from Home

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NASSCOM has recently submitted its recommendations to the Government of India on enabling Work from Home (WFH) and harnessing its potential. NASSCOM had in the past (i.e. before the advent of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic) made several recommendations to the government on facilitating WFH for the industry especially for employees working in special economic zones (SEZ) and on reviewing the need for the telecom Other Service Providers (OSP) terms and conditions including those with respect to employees of BPM companies to WFH. The primary reason for this was to enable industry to incorporate flexible working models. Due to the SARS-COV-2 pandemic, WFH became necessary and critical for enforcing social distancing norms and protecting public health and led to certain temporary regulatory relaxation...

EPFO issues detailed FAQs on Reduction in Statutory rate of EPF contribution from 12% to 10%

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Dear Members, This is in furtherance to our earlier update (also available here) on the reduction in statutory contribution rate of EPF as notified by the labour ministry. Post update, many members reached out to NASSCOM, seeking clarity whether the reduction in EPF rate of 10% will be mandatory or employer will have the option to make the higher contribution at the prevailing rate of 12%. Subsequently, NASSCOM reached out to EPFO and also made a representation seeking clarity on the same. We are pleased to share that EPFO has now issued detailed FAQ document on reduction in statutory rate of EPF contribution. As per the FAQs (Reference Q.12), it is now clarified that employer or employee or both will have the option to make the higher contribution if they wish to. The detailed FAQs can be...

Labour Ministry notifies reduced PF contribution rate for next three months

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The Hon’ble FM on May 13, 2020, had announced reduction in the PF contribution rate from 12% to 10%, as a measure to reduce the cash flow challenges faced by employers and employees due to the current Covid-19 crisis. The official notification of the reduce rate has now been notified by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. As per notification, the reduction in statutory contribution rate will be applicable for the moth of May, June and July 2020 and will be applicable to all establishments other than the following Central and State Public Sector Enterprises Other establishments owned or under control of the Central or State Government Establishments eligible for relief under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna as per guidelines issued by EPFO dated April 9, 2020 Copy of the notification is...

Covid-19: Representation to DGFT on extending the SCOMET Authorisation Period

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On 19th May 2020, NASSCOM submitted a representation to Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), with a request to extend the validity period of all export authorisation of items specified under Special Chemicals, Organism, Materials, Equipment and Technologies (SCOMET) expiring between March and June 2020 by four months (issued under Para 2.16 (a) (ii) of the Handbook of Procedures (HBP) of Foreign Trade Policy (2015-2021 Given the unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, industry may find it difficult to meet the requirements of applying for revalidation of SCOMET authorisations expiring between March 2020 and June 2020 in the absence of such an extension. For instance, an Indian subsidiary of a foreign company may find it difficult to procure necessary documents/undert...

Request for Inputs on GST issues faced by IT-BPM Industry

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As you may be aware, NASSCOM submits a consolidated memorandum to GST Council highlighting key issues faced by member companies in respect of GST across India. The last GST memorandum was submitted in January 2020. The same is attached for your reference. We are in the process of identifying other issues that needs Government intervention. We will, accordingly update the memorandum and engage with the government officials. In this context, we would request you to share your inputs/ suggestions under the following three broad categories: Change in GST rate Amendment to GST Act Issue of notifications/clarifications; or Any other issue. We would request you to send your inputs before May 29, 2020 to tejasvi@nasscom.in and jayakumar@nasscom.in in the following format: S.No. Issue and relevant ...

Orders and advisories related to payment of wages for the lock down period

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Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order and the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), has issued orders and advisories related on payment of wages for the lock down period, which has been challenged in Court. Details of Govt Orders / Advisory On 20th March 2020, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment issued an advisory, advising public/private establishments, not to terminate employees and to consider employees were on duty if the establishment is not operational due to Covid-19 crisis. The advisory can be found here. On 29th March 2020, Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order regarding the implementation of lockdown. Clause iii of the order pertains to employers and is reproduced below. The order can be found here. All the employers, be it in industry or in the shops and com...

NASSCOM Public Policy – Monthly Newsletter

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The monthly newsletters of the Public Policy team of NASSCOM are archived here (links below). These newsletters provide a snapshot of the important policy advocacy efforts made by NASSCOM during the month. Broadly, they provide details on the key issues raised with the governments, the consultations held with the industry and the policy engagements planned for the subsequent month. January 2020 : Available here February 2020 : Available here March 2020 : Available here April 2020 : Available here May 2020 : Available here

Representation to Ministry of Finance: Issues requiring clarifications, guidance on the new Equalisation Levy

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Equalisation Levy (“EL”) was introduced in India vide Finance Act 2016, subsequent to Final Report of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) dealing with tax challenges of the Digital Economy. The scope of EL introduced in 2016 was limited. It applied only on certain ‘specified services’, i.e. online advertisement and any provision, facility or service for digital or online advertising. The focus of this EL was on B2B transactions and the levy applied only if aggregate amount received/ receivable by Non-Resident (“NR”) service provider exceeds INR 100,000 in a financial year. Resident or NR having Permanent Establishment (“PE”) in India were required to withhold EL @ 6%. The latest amendments to the EL provisions represent a significant increase in the scope of lev...

EPFO Eases ECR Fling Process

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Dear all, Given the impact of the Covid-19 on employers, the Employees’ Provident Fund organization (EPFO) has introduced changes in the Electronic-Challan cum Return (ECR) filing process. As per the Press Release dated 30.04.2020 issued by EPFO , the process of creation & filing of monthly ECR can now be done without the need for making simultaneous contributions and employer may choose to make the contributions later as per his convenience post filing of the ECR. Further, filing of such ECR shall be treated as employers intent to comply and will not attract any penal consequences. Copy of the press release is attached.