Kerala announces slew of proposals to revive IT sector

The state government will consider avoiding an annual increase in rent for IT companies, and will also release any pending payment to the companies.

The Kerala government on Thursday announced a slew of proposals to revive the IT sector, which has suffered "approximately Rs 4,500 crore" loss in this financial year due to the COVID-19 situation.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the state government will consider reliefs including waiver of rent under certain conditions, avoiding annual increase in rent, and other relaxations to the IT companies.

"The IT sector in Kerala has suffered approximately Rs 4,500 crore loss due to COVID-19 situation during the first three months of this financial year. The state Planning Board has calculated that at least 80,000 jobs indirectly connected to the IT sector and 26,000 jobs directly in this sector will be affected," Vijayan said.

Kerala State Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayam (Image: The Print)

He said the state government will also consider the plight of employees while trying to revive the troubled companies.

"We need to avoid job losses without putting pressure on the companies. In this regard, the state government has decided to provide a relief from rent for three months to companies under certain conditions. The state government will also consider avoiding annual increase in the rent., and will also release any pending payment to the IT companies," he said.

The state government will also discuss with the banks to provide loans to struggling companies.

However, the companies must follow strict health protocol when employees return to the office. They should also consider implementing work from home facilities to the employees, Vijayan said.

Earlier in May, after successfully bringing down the number of COVID-19 cases, Kerala showcased itself as the "safest investment destination" with the state government announcing a slew of measures, including granting licenses within a week, to attract entrepreneurs.

The manner in which Kerala has been fighting COVID-19 has made it desirable and a safe place for investment, Vijayan said, and assured that the state government would grant licenses for setting up new ventures within a week.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Megha Reddy