Diesel taxi ban death knell for call centre industry: Nasscom

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New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) IT trade body Nasscom on Wednesday said the ban on diesel taxis in Delhi-NCR has brought the Business Process Management (BPM) industry to a standstill, and urged the government for an interim relief.

“With 38 percent women employees in our industry, their safety has always been a big concern to us. We are mandated to provide transportation for home drop to employees working after 8 p.m. Taxis play a major role in ensuring this. In the absence of any reliable public transport, complying with this statutory guideline is impossible,” said Nasscom vice chairman Raman Roy in a statement.

According to Nasscom, the BPM industry employs nearly one million people directly and indirectly in Delhi-NCR, majority of them working in night shifts on important projects for global clients.

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“We need immediate relief as this involves the delivery of critical operations to clients outside India. We hope that the judiciary appreciates our predicament and resolves it by delaying the implementation,” said Nasscom BPM council chairman Keshav Murugesh.

The trade body said the ban on diesel taxis has resulted in several vehicles, in which BPM employees travel to work, being pulled over, harassed, fined, and delayed in the last two days, hugely impacting productivity of the industry and breaking business continuity.

Nasscom appealed to the government and the Supreme Court to defer the timeline for the movement from diesel vehicles to CNG vehicles or phased implementation, exemption to BPM employees travelling to work and specify the permit needed by IT/BPM industry cabs.

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It urged the government to fast-track the availability of CNG infrastructure to adhere to the Supreme Court order.

“If the appropriate infrastructure like enough CNG stations and good supply of factory-fitted CNG vehicles is made available, we can switch expeditiously,” said Genpact senior vice president Vidya Srinivasan in the statement.

“Many companies are viewing this (diesel taxi ban) as a death knell for the BPM industry given practical challenges like long waiting at CNG Stations, limited vehicles, no technology to convert diesel to CNG, insurance and warranty of retrofitted vehicles etc. Companies wish to comply but where are the cabs,” the statement added.



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