Coronavirus: STPI waives off four-month rent for companies operating from their centres

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says this move will benefit 200 small and medium IT/ITeS units supporting 3,000 direct jobs in times of coronavirus lockdown.

Companies and businesses which operate from Software Technology Parks of India (STPI) across the country will not have to pay any rent for the period between March and June this year.

Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, and Law & Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted that IT units/startups operating from 60 STPI centres across India have been granted waiver from paying rental for period between 1.03.2020 and 30.06.2020.

According to the minister, this will benefit nearly 200 small and medium IT/ITeS units supporting 3,000 direct jobs. The decision has been taken to alleviate the hardship faced by these units from the business freeze due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The decision taken by the minister has been welcomed by India’s leading IT industry trade body – Nasscom.

STPI was set up in 1991 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), with the objective of encouraging, promoting, and boosting software exports from India. Besides providing the technology infrastructure, units located in these zones also enjoyed certain tax benefits.

STPI has become a shining example of India’s IT industry as this sector contributes more than $130 billion of exports annually. In fact, many of the leading Indian IT companies of today like TCS, Infosys, and Wipro started or expanded their operations from the STPI units.

In fact, during the current coronavirus pandemic, startups are struggling to run their operations especially with their fixed costs like rental and technology infrastructure.

This has led to a situation where entrepreneurs are getting into renegotiation with their landlords to seek a reduction in the rents.

Besides the employee costs, startups also have to bear in mind the charges in maintaining their technology infrastructure.

A survey conducted by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) revealed that startups are looking at immediate relief and support from large technology companies to overcome the current crisis.

According to the survey, startups want relief in the form of discounts in server hosting charges, a moratorium on billing from large publishers, and rebate on monthly rentals by tech service providers among others which will help them overcome the losses due to the ongoing lockdown.

Edited by Javed Gaihlot


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