In what can be termed as a major relief, technology MSMEs and startups operating out of the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) will be provided with a rental waiver from 1 March 2020 up to 30 June 2020, which amounts to a 4 month period.
The government says that this move will also prove to be beneficial for approximately 3000 IT and ITes employees who are associated with these MSMEs. DataQuest, in an interview with Omkar Rai, Director General of Software Technology Parks of India (STPI), had initiated a discussion on the same and had also highlighted the various initiatives taken by STPI to reassure the IT/ITeS companies and to help them continue business as usual.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Government of India arrived at this decision keeping in view the hardship faced by small IT units due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent lockdowns that have now been extended until 3 May.
STPI, which has about 60 centres across the country, is an autonomous society under MeitY. The move to waive off four months of rental is expected to benefit nearly 200 IT and ITeS MSMEs operating out of the centres. The total cost of the rental waiver provided to these units, according to a PIB release, is estimated to be around Rs 5 Crore.
After Lockdown 2.0 was announced by the Prime Minister on 14 April, a new set of guidelines have been issued for IT and ITes companies. IT and IT-enabled services will be allowed to function during the lockdown with up to 50 percent strength, said a circular from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). This relaxation might give the slowing economy the much-needed push.
“IT as well as non-IT both need to be opened up in a controlled manner so as to minimize the economic damage that is being seen right now – for the potential damage on the economic front even in short term can be more concerning,” said Prashanth GJ, CEO, TechnoBind. Nevertheless, even if companies function, the Standard Operating procedures (SOPs) of social distancing at workplaces, offices and factories need to be strictly followed.