Proposed changes to H-1B visa in Trump’s America keeps IT industry on their toes
The development is not likely to affect the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry as companies here are involved in off-shore jobs - not on-shore, the experts said. India has about 12 lakh employees working with BPOs.business Updated: Feb 01, 2017 09:03 IST
Introduction of legislation in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday mandating that the minimum salary of H1B visa holders be doubled to $1,30,000, has sent jitters to Indian information technology sector with the fear of large-scale job losses.
However, the development is not likely to affect the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry as companies here are involved in off-shore jobs - not on-shore, the experts said. India has about 12 lakh employees working with BPOs.
A large number of Indian professionals hired by Indian companies and deputed in the US locations are likely to lose jobs if the Lofgren Bill is passed.
IT sector watchdog NASSCOM said that it was keeping a close watch on the development and the bill will need to go through several legislative discussions at the US Congress and Senate before this can become a law.
India makes most of the H-1B visa quota in US and has about one lakh Indian professionals working there on this visa.
However Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies) has cautioned that the Lofgren Bill contains provisions that may prove challenging for the Indian IT sector and will also leave loopholes that will nullify the objective of saving American jobs.
Nasscom said it would attempt to apprise the US administration and legislators to highlight the value contribution of India’s IT sector as a “net creator” of jobs in the US where it has helped American businesses by providing high-skilled IT solutions in order to innovate, open new markets, and expand operations – creating thousands of jobs for Americans.
R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM said “Since the rationale for the Administration and the Legislative wing is to protect job opportunities for Americans, our strong suggestion is that they should carefully calibrate the conditions keeping in mind the skill shortage in the US. Once that is done, they should not leave any loopholes in the rules being framed that leave some channels open for circumventing the limits.”
“Raising wage levels for dependent companies alone will defeat the basic objective as non-dependent companies can continue to bring in skilled workers at lower wage levels, thereby nullifying the objective of protecting job opportunities for American nationals” Nasscom president said.
IT industry leaders like Manas Fuloria, the co-founder and CEO of Nagarro Software said that the bill might have limited impact the companies with a major chuck of employees with H1B visas. “The companies like ours with less than 10% employees with H-1B visas, won’t be impacted” said Fuloria
Raman Roy, founder of Quatrro ,said the BPO industry would not get impacted because of the development on H1B visa. “We are not to be affected as we do off-shore jobs, not on-shore, and our people go there for transition” Roy said.
On what if Trump administration moves against the BPO industry asking the US companies to not to set up BPOs outside their soil, Roy said that US did not have the required skill-sets, nor the required number of talent pool.