NASSCOM, India's apex industry association of IT Software and Service companies, has again expressed its deep anguish and unhappiness at the treatment being meted out by the Netherlands authorities to the employees of one of India's leading Indian IT company-iFlex. This is absolutely unwarranted, when it has been confirmed that all the professionals had valid visas.
NASSCOM in a letter to the Dutch embassy has urged the Ambassador to take this up with Netherlands authorities for an
immediate redressal and also convey to them India's deep sense of distress.
Kiran Karnik, President, NASSCOM said, "If there is a view that the employees of the company in question had incorrect visas, this is arguable and, at worst, a technicality, but such action by the authorities is unacceptable. It is a serious breach of the unwritten but well understood norms of how corporate and professionals are treated, and how international business is done in all reasonable, democratic countries.
The sudden detention in London, without any formal charges, of the CEO of iFlex's Netherlands subsidiary is a violation of the dignity and self-respect of the individual. If he were required for any investigation, a simple request to the company would have been a more professional and civilized way of handling the issue."
The association is hopeful that with the undaunting support of Government of India to restore the respect of Indian professionals, the Dutch government would immediately withdraw the charges and any issues relating to the type of visa, etc. would be sorted out in a discussion, as should be the practice between friendly countries. Early resolution is important so that business ties between the two countries can be put back on track and flourish.
"Around the world, it is common practice for IT product companies (like iFlex) to send their employees to sort out customer problems using a business visa and not a work permit. These companies are different from IT service companies whose employees work for extended periods in customer premises, writing programs or providing software support services.
However, if the authorities felt that the iFlex staff were on an incorrect visas, this could have been taken up in a more professional and less peremptory manner," added Karnik. In order to prevent any such future occurrences, NASSCOM is planning to increase interaction of its members with overseas Missions in India to help Indian companies understand the issues better. NASSCOM will also consider initiating interaction with immigration authorities in governments abroad in order to educate them on various business models of Indian companies and understand the various work permits and visa issues that need to be complied with.
Cyber News Service