New Delhi: Looking at the rising cases of coronavirus in the country, the Central government on Tuesday decided to extend the relaxation norms for working from home till July 31. Issuing a statement, Union Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated that work from home for the IT companies will be extended till July 31. He also added that 85 per cent work of the IT is being done from home during the lockdown. Also Read - Insomnia, Backaches, Stress & Anxiety: Work From Home Takes Toll on People's Mental & Physical Health

“I have relaxed norms for working from home. It was to end on April 30, I have extended it to July 31,” Ravi Shankar Prasad said. Also Read - Coronavirus: MNCs, IT, BPO Offices in Gurgaon May Have to Work From Home Till July End

The development comes after Prasad held a meeting with state IT ministers through video conferencing. As per earlier updates, the work from home was scheduled to end on April 30. Also Read - No Large Meetings, Parents of Kids Below 5 Should Work From Home: Lockdown 2.0 Guidelines

Reacting to the development, Industry body Nasscom said the decision from the Centre will help IT and BPO firms plan their strategy of bringing back workforce to offices, in a gradual and phased manner.

In March, the DoT had relaxed certain norms for OSPs till April 30 to facilitate work from home (WFH) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This included exemptions in requirement of security deposit and agreement for WFH facility for OSPs (primarily IT and IT-enabled services companies). Earlier, companies were not allowed to connect office Virtual Private Network to home infrastructure, a rule that was subsequently relaxed in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

While interacting with state IT ministers, Prasad urged them to move swiftly and promote electronics manufacturing through pro-investment initiatives, to tap a great opportunity that now beckons India, in view of changing business dynamics due to COVID-19.

The minister also directed that data from Aarogya Setu app should be made available online to the states right up-to district officials, in line with suggestions made by states.

He also said that his ministry is constantly monitoring spread of fake news on social media platforms and that companies have told the government of strong progress they have made in removing such content.