According to the commerce ministry, businesses in special economic zones that want to allow employees to work from home must create a plan and get the appropriate development commissioners’ approval.
The government granted WFH permission to operate in a special economic zone (SEZ) unit for a maximum of one year in July. Up to 50% of all employees may use the facility.
According to the ministry’s standards, the units must also notify their development commissioners of the adoption of the programme at least 14 days before it is put into effect by submitting an application.
In accordance with the 2006 Special Economic Zones Rules, the Department of Commerce has published a new rule 43A for WFH.
These regulations were developed when the industry requested that a national uniform WFH policy be applied to all SEZs.
For a certain category of employees of a unit in a SEZ, the new rule grants WFH.
Employees of IT/ITeS SEZ units, people who are temporarily disabled, those who are travelling, and people who work remotely are among them.
The statement read, “WFH schemes will be developed and adopted by the entities intending to or implementing WFH.”
It also said that if the unit does not receive any correspondence within that time frame, the application for approval of the WFH scheme will be presumed to have been approved.
The units must also make sure that the electronic assets that are removed are accurately recorded in the relevant records.
A unit may also submit a new version of the plan at any time.
Abhishek Jain, Partner Indirect Tax, KPMG in India, commented on the action, stating that the government had released the long-awaited SOP (standard operating procedure) regarding WFH provisions for SEZ businesses.
These standards would assist firms avoid the tiresome discussions of having to undertake multiple processes for various SEZ jurisdictions, he said, as well as ensure that a uniform process is followed across all SEZs in the nation.
After the adoption of a sunset clause and the application of a minimal alternative tax, SEZs—which had become the nation’s key export hubs—began to lose some of their lustre.
Regarding provisions pertaining to customs, these zones are regarded as foreign entities.
The commerce ministry is drafting new legislation to replace the current SEZ statute and allow states to collaborate on the “Development of Enterprise and Service Hubs.”