Govt Amends Special Economic Zone Rules To Liberalise Work From Home For SEZ Units

by Swarajya Staff - Dec 9, 2022 03:11 PM +05:30 IST
Govt Amends Special Economic Zone Rules To Liberalise Work From Home For SEZ UnitsWFH (Representative Image)

The government has further amended Special Economic Zone (SEZ) rules to liberalise Work From Home (WFH) for SEZ units.

The Department of Commerce (DoC) had earlier in July this year amended the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) rules to insert a new rule 43A to enable Work From Home (WFH) for SEZ units.

Further, DoC had also issued a Standard operating Procedure in August this year to streamline the implementation of amended rule across all SEZs.

After notification of Rule 43A and issue of instruction, DoC received further representations from NASSCOM as well as units seeking further flexibility in WFH facility, the Commerce Minister said in a statement on Friday (9 December).

"The matter was examined in DoC in consultation with stakeholders and accordingly, Rule 43A has been substituted with new rule," the ministry said.

The salient features of the new rule are:

  • WFH regime is significantly liberalised based on consultation with all stakeholders.

  • Erstwhile regime based on permissions has been converted into an intimation-based regime.

  • WFH can be provided to upto 100 per cent of all employees of the SEZ unit.

  • WFH permitted upto 31 December 2023.

  • For units already availing WFH under earlier regime, intimation could be sent by email till 31 January 2023.

  • Units seeking WFH in future can email an intimation on or before the date of commencement of WFH.

The ministry said that the hybrid mode of working has become a norm, especially in the IT/ITES sector in the wake of disruptions caused by the pandemic.

The representatives of the IT/ITES industry had represented to the DoC to enable the units in SEZs to adopt hybrid mode of working and for providing Work From Home (WFH) facility to the employees SEZ units, the ministry said.

The decision has been made after duly noting the genuine needs of the industry and also noting the scope of benefits to economies of Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities that such a facility could entail, it added.

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