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New Guidelines For Business Struck By 'Disaster'
These would be for Units setup in Information Technology/Information Technology enabled Service (IT / ITeS) Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Taxand India provides a summary of the new guidelines for setting up a DRC / BCPC.
The following process has been outlined for setting up a DRC / BCPC:
- Approval of the jurisdictional DC would be required in respect of the following:
- Location and specific sites of the DRC/BCPC
- List of calamities / events which are covered under 'disaster'
- If the DRC/BCP is located within another SEZ or EOU, then the DC of such SEZ/EOU may also be consulted.
- Guidelines mandate a DRC / BCPC location to be equipped with adequate infrastructure including telecommunication links, administrative support systems, data back up and retrieval systems as well as seating / workstations for personnel.
- In case any of the pre-approved 'disasters' are triggered, the Unit can immediately put into operation the DRC / BCPC strategy, with intimation to the jurisdictional DC within 48 hours.
- The Unit needs to carry out real time business continuity or disaster recovery operations including shifting of data, operations and employees to the DRC / BCPC on a temporary basis which initially would be for a 90 day period.
- No commercial invoice is required for such movement pursuant to a disaster, since this is envisaged as an internal exercise to be carried out across within the legal entity of the Unit for business continuity.
- On approval of the DRC / BCPC by the jurisdictional DC as well as the DC where the Unit is situated, both need to ensure a seamless transfer of data, operations and personnel as per the terms of the approval, with necessary approvals / permissions for carrying out business at the new location, being made available immediately.
DRC and BCPC is one of the key areas of concern for SEZ Units, considering the data sensitivity and potential loss of commercial information. There was ambiguity in the industry, in what was considered as rigid regulations around movement of data, assets and employees to other locations outside SEZs or vice versa, in the event of disasters. These guidelines will enable companies to start planning and instituting the DRC/BCPC sites with greater clarity in a formalised manner.