The security industry has long been one of the largest employers in India, providing gainful employment to over a million people in the country, which is expected to grow further in the coming year. With the growing number of businesses contributing to the Indian economy, the need for security against theft events, fire accidents and other such requirements has subsequently increased substantially. The establishment of people and security systems in public places such as ATMs, subway and railway stations, shopping malls, private stores, residential complexes and other commercial offices has always been necessary . With the current dynamic situation with Covid 19, this need has multiplied.
During the pandemic lockdown periods, the private security industry, listed as an essential service sector, played an important role in ensuring smooth operation and security. In all states, private security officers have supported and commended city governing bodies for ensuring safety, peace and calm during these trying times.
Being a traditionally unorganized sector in the country, PSI is moving towards a more organized sector by providing systematic skills development to workers. A need and subsequent demand for professional and qualified guards led workers to undergo training to receive certification to perform the work at hand. However, we look forward to the government offering more information on guidelines for conducting such training in a standardized way across the industry. We hope the budget will be able to clearly state and clarify the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act (PSARA) and declare a uniform minimum standard of training to be met in all security companies. Overtime pay and benefits included in salary packages for these trained workers should also be specified in the budget.
Since most of the workforce is made up of migrant workers, it is of the utmost importance that we express our gratitude and support to them. To pay the salaries of all the workers in the different sectors of the industry, we ask the banks to provide us with the essential required capital to pay the said salaries. It would also be very advantageous if an extension could be granted on the capital credit lines while giving priority to the PSI.
A decrease in the high 18% GST rate on public service announcements will significantly reduce the pressure on the industry, as we have seen several members of the industry perish because of it. Also, a 4-5 month collection period for GST would be helpful as the initial payment of tax on an invoicing basis causes many problems in our industry. Without the required working capital, complying with GST submission standards becomes extremely stressful and disrupts the timely payment of wages for our essential workers.
The private security industry collectively has these expectations from the Union budget 2022-2023. We hope for a successful outcome to better serve the millions of workers associated with our industry. Apart from this, job creation for all those who have lost their livelihoods could take a step forward with the necessary changes for our industry to be the major employer of scale in India.
Warning: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise indicated, the author writes in a personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be taken to represent the official ideas, attitudes or policies of any agency or institution.