The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nasscom stands by i-flex

New Delhi, March 29: The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) today reiterated its deep anguish and unhappiness at the treatment meted out to the employees of Indian software company – i-flex Solutions by the Netherlands authorities.

Nasscom, in a letter to the Dutch embassy, said: “This (the action by Dutch authorities) is absolutely unwarranted when it has been confirmed that all the professionals had valid visas.”

The association has urged the Dutch ambassador to take up the issue with the Netherlands authorities for immediate redressal and also convey to them India’s deep sense of distress.

Nasscom president Kiran Karnik said, “If there is a view that the employees of the company in question had incorrect visas, that is arguable and, at worst, a technicality, but such action by the authorities is unacceptable. It is a serious breach of the unwritten but well-understood norms of how companies and professionals are treated, and how international business is done in all reasonable, democratic countries.”

“The sudden detention in London, without any formal charges, of CEO Senthil Kumar is a violation of the dignity and self-respect of the individual. If he were required for any investigation, a simple request to the company would have been a more professional and civilised way of handling the issue,” Karnik said.

The association hopes that the government's efforts to restore the dignity of the Indian professionals will prompt the Dutch government to immediately withdraw the charges and visa issues will be sorted out through discussions, as should be the practice between friendly countries.

“Around the world, it is common practice for IT product companies (like i-flex) to send their employees to sort out customer problems using a business visa and not a work permit. These companies are different from IT service companies whose employees work for extended periods on the customer’s premises, writing programmes or providing software support services,” Karnik said.

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