IT industry seeking relaxation in coronavirus lockdown


Panaji: Members of the local IT industry are seeking relaxation in the coronavirus lockdown orders imposed by the state government. 

On Tuesday, the industry represented by the Goa Technology Association (GTA) said that, it needs critical staff to attend office every day and operate out of the company workplace.

According to the industry some crucial software projects related to healthcare and travel industry need to be kept running continuously and unit owners must be allowed permission for bare minimum of staff to ‘work-from-office.’

  Mangirish Salelkar, president, GTA, said that, each organization will use the relaxation optimally and reduce work-from-office to the bare minimum so as to avoid challenges to the lockdown and curfew imposed by the state.

  He added that, local IT units need at least the skeletal staff who is responsible for keeping the system running to attend office every day. “We are requesting for the company system admin to be allowed to travel to office daily. We are not asking for any software developer or programmer to attend office,” said Salelkar.

  He said that, unlike other industries, the IT sector has the unique advantage of employees being able to work from home. “Several IT units in the state are operating as employees are working from home. However difficulty faced by units is that, not all employees have a computer at home and poor internet connectivity in some places,” added Salelkar.

  The state presently is under ‘janata curfew’ with no movement of people, traffic  on the roads and all offices, commercial, industrial establishments shut.  To prevent spread of the coronavirus disease, the government on Tuesday imposed 100 per cent lock down and curfew under the Epidemic Act.

  “Instead of shutting down completely IT units are trying to minimize disruption by working from home. We request the state government not to declare any more ‘paid holidays’ since IT employees are willing to work from home,” said Salelkar.

  Goan IT industry comprises of 100-odd units. About 70 per cent of the local industry comprises startups. Further 15 per cent of the units have turnover between Rs one and Rs five crore.