CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will consider reliefs including waiver of rent under certain conditions, avoiding annual increase in rent and other relaxations to the IT companies.

Kerala announces proposal to revive IT industry that has suffered a loss due to COVID19Image for representation
Coronavirus Information Technology Friday, June 12, 2020 - 09:13

The Kerala government on Thursday announced a slew of proposals to revive the IT sector which has suffered "approximately Rs 4,500 crore" loss in this financial year due to the COVID-19 situation.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will consider reliefs including waiver of rent under certain conditions, avoiding annual increase in rent and other relaxations to the IT companies.

"The IT sector in Kerala has suffered approximately Rs 4,500 crore loss due to COVID-19 situation, during the first three months of this financial year. The state planning board has calculated that at least 80,000 jobs indirectly connected to the IT sector and 26,000 jobs directly in this sector will be affected," Pinarayi said.

He said the state government will also consider the plight of employees while trying to revive the troubled companies.

"We need to avoid job losses without putting pressure on the companies. In this regard, the state government has decided to provide a relief from rent for three months to companies under certain conditions. The state government will also consider avoiding annual increase in the rent,” he said.

CM added that the government will also release any pending payment to the IT companies.

The state government will also discuss with the banks to provide loans to struggling companies. “About 88% of the IT companies have MSME registration. As the Centre announced, 20% more of the existing loan limit will be given without any mortgage. The interest rate will be the same. To make sure that the benefit of this reaches employees maximum, discussions will be held with banks,” the CM said.

However, the companies must follow strict health protocol when employees return to the office.

They should also consider implementing work from home facilities to the employees, Pinarayi said. To solve for technical glitches like low speed internet and electricity shortages while working from home (WFH), the Chief Minister said that the government is ready to make ‘work near home units’ for the employees by coordinating with companies. 

The government also mooted the idea of forming ‘work sharing benches’ to give training for those IT employees who need more skill development. Such skilled people will also be made part of various projects of the government. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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