'Serious Actions' On H-1B Visa Would Worry India: Chief Economic Adviser

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'Serious Actions' On H-1B Visa Would Worry India: Chief Economic Adviser

Arvind Subramanian said any serious action on H-1B visa will be a cause of worry for India.


Washington: 

Highlights

  1. Arvind Subramanian was speaking at a top think-tank in Washington
  2. Mr Subramanian said India is closely watching US visa reforms
  3. '50 to 60 per cent of India's export services go to the US,' he said
Chief Economic Adviser or CEA Arvind Subramanian has said that any "serious actions" taken by the Trump Administration on the H-1B visa programme will be a cause of "worry" as a majority of Indian exports in the services sector go to the United States. Mr Subramanian was speaking at the Peterson Institute, a top American economic think-tank in Washington, last week.

Last week, a senior US official had blamed Indian IT firms like Infosys and TCS of applying for a large number of H-1B visas. India's IT industry body NASSCOM subsequently dismissed the accusation. In a statement, NASSCOM said "only six of the top 20 H-1B recipients were Indian companies."

"If there are serious actions taken it's something that's going to kind of worry us a lot because, remember that our exports of services are about 40 to 45 per cent of the total exports," Mr Subramanian told an audience at Peterson Institute, while responding to a question on the H1-B visa.

The Chief Economic Adviser said nearly 50 to 60 per cent of India's export services go to the US and hence H-1B visa curbs will be a cause of worry for India.

He said India is keeping a close watch on the US visa reforms and that the country will be "okay" as long as the visa reforms are manageable. "Anything that is going to interfere with export growth creates anxiety (in India)," said Mr Subramanian.

During his US visit, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also raised the H1-B visa issue with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and highlighted the contribution of Indian companies and professionals to the US economy.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop its "abuse" and ensure that the visas are given to the "most-skilled or highest paid" petitioners, a decision that would impact India's $ 150 billion IT industry. This was one of Mr Trump's election promises.

(With inputs from PTI)
 


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