Millennium Post

SC diesel cab ban: BPM sector faces $1 billion loss in 3 weeks

 The business process management (BPM) sector is set to hit a $1 billion potential loss if the ban on diesel taxis in the Delhi-NCR region continues for two-three weeks more, industry body Nasscom has said. "There will be a potential $1 billion loss to the business process management (BPM) sector if the ban on diesel cabs continues for two-threeweeks," Nasscom Senior Vice-President Sangeeta Gupta said here.

Nasscom, which is seeking a delay in the implementation of the ban, also plans to approach the Supreme Court in the next couple of days regarding the matter. Nasscom representatives have already met Delhi Police and various central ministries, including the Ministry of Information Technology, and discussed the issues facing the industry in the wake of the ban on diesel cabs in the Delhi-NCR, resulting in non-availability of reliable transport options.

"We have met the Ministry of Information Technology, and requested them to champion this across other ministries. Separately, we have also written to the Heavy Industries Ministry, Transport and Environment Ministries, Delhi Police and the Delhi Government," she added.

In an end to the road for diesel taxis in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the Supreme Court last week refused to extend the April 30 deadline fixed for their conversion into less-polluting CNG mode. The ban on diesel taxis in the Delh-NCR region has brought the BPM (formerly BPO) industry almost to a standstill.

The BPM industry in NCR provides direct and indirect employment to over 1 million people. "With 38 per cent 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 pm. In absence of any reliable public transport, complying with this statutory guideline is impossible," Nasscom Vice-Chairman and Quatrro Global Services MD Raman Roy said.

There have been five hours of downtime in the last two days because of the ban and about 35 cabs were impounded and 20 cabs already challaned, he said, adding that parking is becoming an issue as employees are coming in their own vehicles. An emergency meeting was also called by Nasscom on Wednesday. 

It was attended by all players of the BPM industry and the issue of implementation of the ban was discussed. "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 WNS Group CEO and Nasscom BPM Council Chairman Keshav Murugesh. 
The industry is largely youth dominated and contributes over $25 billion, with NCR being a major hub, to operations by big companies.

 On an average 60-65 per cent employees reside within Delhi and need to reach their offices in Gurgaon and Noida where the industry is located. Nasscom said further that many cases of harassment have been reported with vehicles being stopped, challaned and delayed for a significant period of time in the last two days.
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