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Media Information
IT Companies come under ESMA (Essential Service Maintenance Act)

Published & Updated as on - 2010-04-24

Much to the relief of the IT and ITeS industry in the state, more specifically in Hyderabad, the Government of Andhra Pradesh issued a Government Order (GO) on Tuesday declaring IT software industry, including IT Software, IT Services and IT Enabled Services in the Information & Communication Technology sector as Essential Service under the Andhra Pradesh Essential Services Maintenance Act, 1971 (Act no.20 of 1971).Earlier, the industry was covered under the Shops and Establishments Act.

This comes as a response to the representation made by the National Association of Software & Service Companies (Nasscom), the industry’s representative body, on February 15 this year in the wake of the agitations for a separate Telangana state which started in December 2009 that crippled business and threatened the image of Brand Hyderabad.

To recall, some offices of IT companies were attacked in Hyderabad, and during the frequent bandhs, attendance in IT offices was affected impacting productivity and customer confidence. The HSBC office in Visakhapatnam was attacked when it was found open during a bandh call given by supporters of united Andhra.

It was much needed since we do a lot of mission critical work here in Hyderabad and much of it is done 24X7 catering to global customers. We are happy that the government has responded favourably. While the issue is in process, we didn’t expect the order to come so fast, said Som Mittal, president, Nasscom.

Narasimha Rao, president IT’s AP, the body representing the industry in the state, said that this order by the government will ensure that the industry gets uninterrupted services as the ecosystem in the city is a big enabler. It is reassuring for the stakeholders and our customers that the government is behind us, which is very important for Brand Hyderabad as well, he added. On the other hand, what this means for employees is that they cannot resort to strikes. Also, they cannot cite bandhs or a curfew as an excuse not to report to work.

Moreover, companies which depend heavily on outside transport providers had to bear the brunt as the transport services were hit during a bandh or a curfew. With the industry being declared an Essential Service, all this will pass, he said.

In case of a curfew, passes will be issued to employees and service providers to discharge their duties, Mittal said. Also, the industry will have to be exempted during bandhs. The IT and ITeS industry in the state contributed Rs 32,000 in exports last year. It also employs about 2.5 lakh people directly and another eight lakh depend on this business in three months.

Source: TOI 21/4/10

Hyderabad News. IT Companies Bullish on Hyderabad. To Create Three Lakh Jobs.

Andhra Pradesh has staged a comeback of sorts by emerging as the most favoured state for information technology (IT) giants.

Notwithstanding T-agitations, IT majors have announced huge expansion plans that will create three lakh new jobs for the youth of the state. For the first time since the separatist movement started, two major multinationals have shown interest about opening their India operations centres in Hyderabad. JP Morgan and the United Health Group will set up their units at Raheja’s SEZ at Madhapur.

Existing companies like Tata Consultancy, Wipro, Accenture, Infosys, Virtusa and Honeywell too have informed the government that they are going ahead with their expansion plans in spite of disturbances. “Mindspace’s first phase is full with units and they are going ahead with their second SEZ in Mamidipalli. TCS has also started construction for the Gachibowli centre expansion,” said Mr K. Venkata Reddy, the IT and sports minister.

Infosys, Wipro and Accenture have received permission from the government for their expansion projects with the first two presenting plans to recruit 3,700 people this season.

TCS has promised the government that it will recruit 7,000 people during its expansion. This is in addition to the recruitment proposed for the Tishman Speyer International Development Centre. The company will employ 2,500 people for this centre. New facilities of Virtusa are under various stages of completion and are expected to start operations in two months.

“The recession has had no impact on the creation and filling up of office space by the infrastructure developers. In fact, in the recent past, developers like Raheja and Divyasree have made deals of more than 32 lakh square feet of office space with renowned IT companies,” said Ms Ratnaprabha, the principal secretary, information and technology department.

Source: DC 23/4/10

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