Fearing loss of pay and jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak, an association representing the private security industry has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in saving the livelihood of its members.
With a workforce of over 85 lakh and an annual growth rate of 22%, the private security industry is one of the largest employment-providing sectors in the country and one of the largest contributors to corporate and social security taxes (GST, PF, ESI, income tax, etc.), it said.
“Like everyone else in the world and in India, coronavirus is posing its lethal risk to every private security person,” Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) chairman K Vikram Singh wrote in a letter to the prime minister.
Also, its adverse impact on the economy is affecting the industry with a much greater intensity and ferocity, the letter said.
“The closure of malls, showrooms, theatres, hotels, etc. has led to a situation, wherein the clients are asking to remove all security guards from their locations, leaving only one guard at these sites, and they have also made it clear that they will only pay for the drastically reduced strength. Now, what happens to the others? Where do the other guards go? Who pays them their salaries for this period?” asked the CAPSI.
It said that going on a back-to-back arrangement and temporarily laying off their worker—a practice that is not only unethical and illegal but also brings forth a catastrophic and disastrous effect on these unfortunately placed private security guards and their families—may be the likely emerging scenario.
“We, therefore, seek your intervention to save lakhs of chowkidars and 23,000 security entrepreneurs from the disastrous situation. The ESI, PF and GST departments may be asked to defer their tax collection date by giving adequate time so that guards can be paid wages to take care of their families,” the association said in the letter to the prime minister.
Even as the global pandemic of coronavirus continues to claim lives across the globe, India, so far, has 271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and five deaths. In the wake of this crisis, prime minister Modi has appealed to the people to stay indoors and work from home, wherever possible.