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H-1B visa concerns: Members of India’s top IT industry lobby to visit US

Nasscom expects ease out the pressure of the Indian IT companies, which earns 65% of its $155 billion revenue from the US.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2017 07:48 IST
H1-B visas,Nasscom,IT firms
As issue of proposed curb on H1B visa hots up, deplomatic channels from India and US have started to move. If an 8-member delegation of US law makers met commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday day evening, Nasscom has announced to send it top level relation to US on February 24 to discussed the same issue. (HT Photo)

Senior members of India’s top IT industry lobby will on February 24 begin a week-long visit to the US, which is planning a clampdown on H-1B visas that are crucial to Indian software majors’ overseas business.

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) delegation would meet members of the Trump administration to ensure free flow of skilled manpower between the two nations.

“We are going to highlight value contribution of the Indian information technology sector to the US economy in terms of Indian industry being the net creator and protector of jobs in US,” Shivendra Singh, vice-president and head of global trade development, Nasscom, said on Tuesday.

Read: It’s difficult to replace Americans with Indian I-T workers

President Donald Trump’s America first policy has rattled the IT industry. Trump is pushing for American jobs for Americans and has vowed a crackdown on companies shipping jobs abroad or bringing in cheaper hires from abroad.

H-1B is a temporary visa program used to bring foreign workers to the United States to fill high-skilled jobs. These visas are largely used by tech firms and India gets the lion’s share of them.

The reports of the visit come as US Congressman Bob Goodlatte led an eight-member team to India. The team is meeting IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday.

Read: H-1B visa: Trump administration’s proposed changes and how they can affect Indians

Goodlatte is the chairman of the House judiciary committee that plays an important role in drawing policies around immigration and intellectual property.

“We have shared our views with them that Indian IT industry is a large contributor to job creation in the US and we bring skills in areas where there is a huge skill deficit,” R Chandrashekhar, president of Nasscom, told agencies.

Nasscom chairman CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra, and Chandrashekhar will be part of the Nasscom delegation.

The two visits are expected to ease pressure on Indian IT companies, which earn 65% of their $155 billion revenue from the US.

In a first, Nasscom recently delayed its initial growth forecast for fiscal 2017-18, citing market uncertainty.

Shivendra Singh said Indian firms supported 411,00 jobs in the US. They made corporate America more competitive as they were working with almost 75 % of the Fortune 500 companies and also helped them create jobs, he said.

The US delegation’s visit , Singh said, reinforced the fact that the Indian economy was important to US’s strategic interests.

“India is the fasted growing economy in the world and there exists huge amount of indo-US bilateral trade. Both the countries are working towards growing bilateral trade from $100 billion to $500billion and both the side need to make efforts in that direction,” Singh said.

First Published: Feb 21, 2017 14:18 IST