DoT to ask for increase in validity of foreign staff work permits

DoT to ask for increase in validity of foreign staff work permits
With a view to cut cumbersome security clearance for expatriates in telecom companies, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is likely to ask the Home Ministry to raise validity of work permits to 5 years from the current 1 year.

"In a recent meeting it was pointed out that Ministry of Home Affairs is taking [an] abnormal period to grant its security clearance in respect of foreign personnel. It was decided that we may request MHA to increase the security clearance period from 1 year to 5 year," an official source said.

Vodafone Managing Director and Chief Executive Marten Pieters, Uninor's Nominated Chief Executive Officer Morten Karlsen Sorby, Sistema Shyam Teleservices CEO Dmitry Shukov are some of the prominent foreign faces working in India.

DoT officials are of the view that one year security clearance period in respect of foreign personnel is too short for both government to process the case and for companies to engage the services executives at senior level for making business decisions.

Often the security clearance takes 5 to 6 months which results in uncertainty of employees engagement with company's business.

"The clearance period is considered as one year from the date of application and not from the date on which clearance is issued. Delay in clearance eats up significant amount of time. In one of case security clearance was received on March 23, 2014 valid till March 31, 2014," the source said.

While reviewing security provisions, the department has expressed no objection with regard to existing provision related to location tracking, equipment and others.

With respect to security clearances for telecom licences, DoT internal team has said a new clause can be worked out under which the department may cancel permit of companies if its gets any negative report about it from MHA.

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