Karnataka govt tells IT firms not to lay off, instead cut salary 

It said, IT/BT companies in the state will resume operations with 50 per cent from their office space after April 20.

Published: 17th April 2020 04:54 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2020 04:54 PM   |  A+A-

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BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Friday asked Information Technology, bio-technology and allied companies not go for closure or layoffs citing lack of work orders due to COVID-19 lockdown and instead consider measures like cut in salaries among other things.

It said, IT/BT companies in the state will resume operations with 50 per cent from their office space after April 20.

Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also in-charge of IT & BT department, held video consultation with the captains of the industry in light of the disruption caused due to the lockdown, and discussed on the way forward - both for effective implementation of the lockdown as well as the future course to deal with the unique circumstances.

"Immediately we are going to permit 50 per cent, but it doesn't mean that they will be able to mobilise 50 per cent immediately it will take few weeks for them to do so.

ALSO READ: PM urges employers not to resort to layoffs amid coronavirus lockdown

Gradually percentage will increase and it will start getting back to normalcy," Ashwath Narayan told reporters.

Stating that there were discussions regarding layoffs, he said, companies should not go for layoffs, instead of that gradation or deduction in the salary should be taken up, so that it doesn't affect the functioning of companies also that are facing less orders.

"On handling such financial crisis they (industry) wanted government consideration with mutual cooperation and understanding the concerns," he added.

Pointing out that concerns were also expressed regarding measures or protocol that needs to be followed if any positive cases are reported in any of the offices spaces, Ashwath Narayan said, certain guidelines will be issued in consultation with the Health department.

"Once the relaxation is given this may become the usual phenomena, as cases will be reported here and there. So in that scenario how we need to work and handle the situation is important, so we will be working on protocols how to handle the situation.

So far we have planned for residential areas and not for work spaces," he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the IT and BT industry leaders are extremely happy with regard to the support system or backup given by the government of Karnataka, particularly IT/BT department.

Even during this crisis period in the entire world, Karnataka and Bengaluru was able to get good reputation and become reliable partner,as IT/BT service providers in both the city and the state were able to provide excellent quality services to their clients without any interruption, he said.

If you compare with any state or country, we have done extremely well, and hoped that this would get more business, he added.

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan, who is also the Chairman of Vision Group IT, were among others present at the video conferencing.

Noting that concerns expressed by the industry regarding passes for employees to commute to office, Ashwath Narayan said, the government would make necessary arrangements in this regard, considering measures that need to be taken after April 20.

Regarding providing transport facility, they can seek for services from public transport Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) on a contract basis, he said, adding that "We will be ready to facilitate BMTC.

" The Minister said the industry leaders wanted internet services to continue with same quality and without any interruption.



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