A Parliamentary panel on Thursday asserted that the government should consider designing a dedicated policy for the country's BPO industry to chalk out a future roadmap for the sector that generated over $ 30 billion revenues in 2016-17.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, in its report, also highlighted the need to lay more emphasis on skill and training in the country's BPO sector.
"In view of the fact that the Indian BPO/ITeS industry generated an estimated revenue of $ 30.1 billion during 2016-17, with the share of 23 per cent in Indian IT-ITeS exports valued at $ 26 billion and provided employment to 1.15 million persons, it is high time that the government should consider framing a dedicated policy for outsourcing /BPO sector...," it said.
The report added that this should be done in coordination with state governments to chalk out a future roadmap for the sector covering, inter-alia, minimum wages in the outsourcing/BPO sector.
"There needs to be an evaluation whether all the aspects of outsourcing/ BPO sector are adequately addressed within the ambit of National Policy on Information Technology, 2012 or whether there is a need to have a separate National Outsourcing BPO policy to cater to specific needs of the sector," it said.
Besides, the ministry may also think in line of issuing general guidelines for the sector to states for promotion of BPOs, it added.
Noting that the Indian BPO industry faces competition from countries like Philippines, Malaysia, China, Poland, Mexico and Brazil, the committee said issues like visa restrictions and change in policy by major markets like the US and UK are throwing up newer challenges to the sector.
The report also pointed that the current schemes for the BPO sector don't have any provision for support to existing BPOs desirous of expansion.
The government has launched two schemes -- India BPO Promotion Scheme (IBPS) and North East BPO Promotion Scheme (NEBPS) under the Digital India programme for creation of jobs in BPO/ITeS sector and securing balanced regional development.
"The Committee recommends that the scope and reach of both the schemes are widened so that Indian BPO/ITeS sector remains internationally competitive for a long time to come and continues to generate the much needed employment opportunities for the youth," it said.
The report suggested that outsourcing/BPO policies of countries that are giving tough competition to Indian players are studied and best practices are incorporated in the ongoing schemes in India.
These schemes are also directed at creating employment opportunities in small cities and towns, including rural areas.
"...(the committee) desire that focus should be given to rural, hilly and remote areas for setting up of BPO units and necessary steps should be taken for successful implementation of both the schemes so that they are able to fulfil their intended objectives within the specified time frame," the report said.