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Indian IT Firms to Meet Donald Trump Officials on H-1B Visa Reform Concerns


First published: February 3, 2017, 10:27 AM IST | Updated: 5 mins ago

Workers are pictured beneath clocks displaying time zones in various parts of the world at an outsourcing centre in Bangalore, February 29, 2012/REUTERS

Indian IT sector leaders will meet both US lawmakers and officials from US president Donald Trump’s administration later this month to lobby against any major changes to visa regulations that could hurt the country’s $150 billion industry.

R Chandrashekhar, head of Indian IT industry body Nasscom, said details of the visit were still being finalised, but chief executives from some of India’s big IT companies would be part of a delegation visiting Washington in the week of February 20.

India’s software services industry is concerned about a bill introduced in the US Congress seeking to double the salary paid to H-1B visa holders which would dramatically increase the costs for the Indian companies employing them.

Indian IT service companies use H-1B visas to fly engineers to the US, their biggest market, to service clients, but some opponents in the United States argue they are misusing the programme to replace US jobs.

Earlier in the week, Nasscom warned that a bill, introduced last month by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, unfairly targets some of its members and will not solve a US labour shortage in the tech sector.

Chandrashekhar told Reuters that the visit would also seek to emphasise the “the economic partnership that is being built between the two countries.”

India’s IT firms, led by Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro, have seen growth slow in 2016, as customers delayed spending ahead of the US presidential election.

IT players told Reuters late last year they planned to speed up local hiring, acquire US firms with bigger local workforces and make a renewed push on automation to counter the regulatory threat.

Source: News18