US industry backs India’s opposition to Immigration Bill

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2018

Lending support: Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce and Industry, with Steve Van Andel, Chairman, US Chamber of Commerce, in New Delhi on Monday. — Sandeep Saxena

US industry representatives have assured India of strong and continued support against the discriminatory measures proposed in the Immigration Reform Bill that could hit Indian IT companies operating in the country.

IT majors such as Infosys, Wipro and TCS may have to end up paying steep penal visa fees for their employees, mandatorily raise the salaries of those on H1B visas and also stop hiring more H1B professionals from 2016, if the Bill becomes law.

US Chamber of Commerce chief Steve Van Andel, in a meeting with Commerce & Industry Minister, Anand Sharma, on Monday, said the negative aspects of the Bill needed to be articulated in a more vocal way.

A Commerce Department official told Business Line that Andel had said that the chamber was “on the same page” with India on the concerns it had on the Bill and would take it up more strongly with the US Government.

Sharma said that a situation where immigration is confused with temporary relocation of skilled professionals should not be allowed to materialise. The Bill will also hurt US firms as their costs would go up too, he added.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, passed recently by the US Senate, places multiple restrictions on companies that have more than 50 per cent foreign employees.

Sharma said Indian IT companies have contributed enormously to the US economy through job creation, local hiring, and enhancing the competitiveness of their clients (that include some of the US’s largest businesses).

Indian companies support more than 280,000 jobs in the US and have contributed more than $15 billion to the US Treasury in the last five years. Investments of more than $5 billion have been made in the last five years alone, by way of acquisitions.

The Minister also invited US investments in the National Manufacturing and Investment Zones coming up across the country and the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor. “These are path breaking initiatives which will pave the way for a new age partnership between our two countries,” he said.


Published on October 28, 2013

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