IT, BPO professionals take to pooling cars to reach office

Suspension of cab services hits professionals

Cab operators find service tax plus VAT ‘unviable’

HYDERABAD: Come what may, the show must go on. True to this mantra, scores of BPO and IT professionals of twin cities did their best to brave lack of private transport to reach offices, even as some firms chose to declare holiday on Friday.

Of course, there was a lot of discomfort, due to the day-long bandh as a few RTC buses and a majority autorickshaws stayed off the roads. Car-pooling, personal vehicles, MMTS and other modes of transport were drawn to full capacity to tide over the crisis.

Holiday for some

Several IT professionals took a day off on Friday in the hope that the issue between the cab operators and the government gets sorted out on the other side of the weekend. Several companies including Deloitte chose to observe a holiday on Friday in the wake of the cab strike.

“Our HR people offered us a day-off and I took it,” said B. R. Prasad working in Infotech. “We were told by the management to be prepared for such exigencies a week ago. We were prepared to use personal vehicles and pick up colleagues along the way. Some of my co-workers, who worked till midnight, even had the option of an overnight stay in the nearby office guesthouse,” says Tara Sharma, an ADP call centre employee.

Two taxes

Meanwhile, the cab operators association continued to maintain its stand. “We are already paying service tax of 12.5 per cent and on what basis can the authorities levy two taxes on one service? asked GHBOA president M.K. Sultania.

The GHBOA members also felt that levying VAT with retrospective effect from 2003 was a harsh decision.

“There are several Supreme Court rulings that clearly mention that there is no need for VAT once the service tax is paid. Paying two taxes is not viable to us,” Mr. Sultania reiterated.