The government has decided to permit employees of IT/ITeS units in the special economic zones to work from home or a place outside the SEZs. The Commerce Ministry has received several references from various stakeholders seeking clarification on whether the employees of IT/ITeS units can work from home or from a place outside the SEZ, an official said.
After examining the issue and keeping in the view the requirements of such SEZ units, the ministry in a communication to all development commissioners of SEZs has listed out general conditions for work from home by employees of SEZ units.
As per the conditions, the person should be a regular employee of the SEZ unit and should be authorised by the unit to undertake the work pertaining to that unit. The work to be performed by the employee permitted to work from home should be as per the services approved for the SEZ unit and the work is related to a project of the SEZ unit, the ministry said.
It also said that for the purpose of work from home, SEZ unit should provide laptop/desktop and secured connectivity to establish a connection between the employee and work related to the project of the SEZ unit.
The unit also has to ensure that the export revenue of the resultant products/services should be accounted for by the SEZ unit to which the employee is tagged and at no given point should work from home involve the export services from outside the SEZ unit.
Once the employee ceases to be part of the project of SEZ unit, the employee shall be untagged from the respective SEZ unit and the unit shall surrender the I-Card to specified officer as per SEZ rules, it added. SEZs are export hubs which contribute about 16 per cent to the country's total outbound shipments.
The Commerce Ministry is taking steps to revive investors interest in these zones. It has asked the Finance Ministry to extend sops like rollback or reduction in the minimum alternate tax. Exports from these zones logged a marginal growth of 0.77 per cent to Rs 4.67 lakh crore in 2015-16. It was Rs 4.63 lakh crore in 2014-15.