MHA has been requested to bring ICT products under essential items: Ravi Shankar Prasad

In video conference held with industry leaders, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the issue of bringing ICT products under essential services has been raised

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Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, assured industry leaders through a video conference meeting that requests regarding broadening the definition of essential goods to ICT products, retail or online sale of ICT essential goods, authorized sales, and Services of ICT essential goods has already been taken up with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).


The IT industry had stated to DQ Channels earlier this month that since over 80 percent of IT professionals are working from home, the government must bring mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other ICT products under essentials so that their work doesn’t endure hindrance due to lack of equipment. Several industry associations such as ICEA, MAIT, and FAIITA had voiced their opinion and had requested the government to consider their plea.

Apart from the ICT products issue, the Union Minister also asked the Electronics Industry to explore new opportunities that are arising out of the adversity to ensure the country becomes the global hub of electronics manufacturing. He also encouraged industries to attract global investment and strengthen the sector.

The meeting was attended by premier associations of the country such as MAIT, ICEA, ELCINA, IESA, CEAMA, IPCA, ELCOMA, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, AiMED, TEMA), PhD Chambers, and ITI. Apart from associations, industry leaders from the mobile, electronics and telecom sectors such as Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Foxconn, Lava, Wistron, Oppo, Flex, Sterlite, Micromax, Panasonic, etc. also attended the meeting.


Prior to the meeting with industry leaders, Ravi Shankar Prasad also extended the relaxation in terms and conditions for virtual private network (VPN) until 31 July 2020 to facilitate work-from-home for Other Service Providers (OSPs) and the IT industry on the whole after consultation with state IT ministers. This move has received appreciation from the industry.

“The Government’s decision to further extend WFH rules for the IT/ITES sector comes as a relief to the workforce and is well-lauded by Avaya as the nation moves ahead to fight the pandemic. Avaya is enabling tens of thousands of remote agents to work remotely ensuring business continuity and economic stabilization in the face of challenges brought down by the pandemic especially to the Indian BPO industry/Other Service Providers (OSP),” said Vishal Agrawal, MD, Avaya India and SAARC.

(With inputs from PIB)