Indian government seeks information from business and IT industry to take up visa issues with US

indica News Bureau-


The government of India has sought detailed business data from the IT companies so to take up their concerns over the US visa issue. The meeting chaired by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week addressed issues related with visa faced by industries, especially the IT companies, so that it can discuss their concerns with the new American administration.

It was suggested that the industry body like National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) should collate the data and assess the likely impact of the proposed changes in the visa regime by the US, reported the Wellston Journal with inputs from Bloomberg.

“The government needs solid data to take up the industry concerns with America,” sources said.

An industry source also stated that they have been advised to share the data “as in how much business will be impacted due to the new American visa policy”.

Sitharaman held detailed discussions with top government officials and industry representatives on the proposed tightening of the US visa regime and its impact on the domestic IT sector.

Secretaries from the ministries of external affairs, finance, telecommunication, electronics and IT, commerce as well as Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), along with representatives of industry chambers and NASSCOM, were present. The US accounts for approximately 62 per cent of the exports of the Indian IT service while EU contributing around 28 per cent. The Indian IT industry sector employs more than 3.7 billion people.

The Lofgren Bill, introduced in the US legislation, proposed doubling of minimum wages of H-1B visa holders, from USD 60,000 to USD 130,000 which has been changed for the first time since 1989.

NASSCOM’s former President R Chandrashekhar said, “It was agreed that a joint effort by industry and government is needed to deal with the rising global tide of protectionism”, referring to the changes and overhauling of visa policies and  that could lead to more problems for IT firms.  “Industry was asked to provide data on its contribution to the US economy, the size of the India opportunity for US companies and the economic impact to both countries of any legislation restrictive measures,” he added.