NASSCOM urges court to exempt BPO cabs from diesel ban

  • Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 06, 2016 22:32 IST
Cab drivers protested at DND Yamuna bridge. (Sunil Ghosh/Hindustan Times)

The software and services industry body on Friday went to Supreme Court seeking a modification of the recent order that banned diesel cabs from plying in Delhi and NCR, saying it crippled their business.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) said staff movement became almost impossible as sufficient cabs were not available. Nasscom’s counsel requested the court to allow cabs that ferry BPO employees to be exempted.

BPOs are a $25-million dollar industry in India, of which the NCR contributes $5billion. The sector employs 250,000 people in the NCR ferried mostly by diesel cabs.

Senior advocate Shyam Diwan mentioned Nasscom’s application before a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur and urged him to hear the body out on May 9 when the court will take up Delhi government and Centre’s plea on the order. The bench allowed his request.

Also read: Diesel cab ban has hurt BPO sector, says Centre

On May 3, the AAP government asked for more time to phase out diesel cabs as the ban had led to a law and order problem in the Capital. Solicitor general Ranjit Kumar had on Thursday asked SC to modify its order in the wake of Nasscom’s concern.

He said the ban had hit the flourishing BPO sector, which was concerned about the security of its employees. Kumar contended if the ban continued, BPOs might move out of the country, affecting the country’s economy. Both Delhi government and Centre have to give a detailed roadmap on phasing out of the diesel cabs to the SC on Monday.

In its application, Nasscom said the industry saw poor staff attendance since the ban was imposed and reduced quality of BPO service for their overseas customers. This, NAsscom said, is a severe threat to local business because the work might go to competitor locations such as Philippines.

In his brief submission on Thursday the solicitor told the SC the court order had given rise to security concerns as women employees need to be dropped at night.

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