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Updated: July 21, 2013 20:30 IST

Economic policy the battleground as Biden arrives in India

Narayan Lakshman
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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. His visit to India would flag the U.S.’ interest in seeing further economic liberalisation in certain Indian sectors and explain why U.S. policies on H-1B visas would be beneficial to Indian companies. File photo
AP U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. His visit to India would flag the U.S.’ interest in seeing further economic liberalisation in certain Indian sectors and explain why U.S. policies on H-1B visas would be beneficial to Indian companies. File photo

The first visit by a U.S. Vice President to India in nearly 30 years will be marked by an intensifying disagreements over economic policy, it became apparent this week, as senior administration officials suggested that Joseph Biden would flag the U.S.’ interest in seeing further economic liberalisation in certain Indian sectors and explain why U.S. policies on H-1B visas would be beneficial to Indian companies.

Mr. Biden, who will kick off a four-day visit to India on Monday beginning with a symbolic visit to the Gandhi Smirti Museum in New Delhi, will “raise the concerns” that Washington has regarding “further [increasing] American investment in India” and “about India’s need to provide adequate protection of intellectual property in key sectors [and] the importance of a stable and predictable tax regime.”

Simultaneously, officials said in a background call with media here, Mr. Biden would underscore the Obama administration’s view on immigration reform policies, that the bill in the U.S. Senate that dramatically raises the H-1B visa application fee and introduces other tightening measures on firms employing a bulk of workers under this category actually “will very much benefit Indian workers seeking employment in the U.S.”

An official said that this bill would “nearly triple the number of H-1B visas for skilled workers,” and this means if the bill passes into law then Indian university graduates would be able to work on a temporary basis in the U.S., “gaining new skills that in some cases they will bring back to India.”

However, the White House admitted, some firms that had structured their workforce to “rely heavily on H-1B employees” would, under the terms of this bill, have to “take another look at certain aspects of their business model.”

Overall Mr. Biden’s trip, which will include meetings with Indian counterpart Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, with President Pranabh Mukherjee and Sushma Swaraj of the BJP on July 23, will focus on four areas of cooperation: economic cooperation, energy and climate, defence and regional cooperation in South and East Asia.

Under the umbrella of energy cooperation, the India-U.S. civil nuclear agreement will remain “firmly in [Mr. Biden’s] crosshairs,” during the visit, it was made clear. The U.S. will, notwithstanding the efforts New Delhi has made to facilitate progress with the pre-early works agreement with Westinghouse, explain that it still perceives the “liability problem,” as “an issue.”

Accompanied by his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, who will seek to infuse a new energy into bilateral collaborations in health and education cooperation while she is here, Mr. Biden will emphasise the people-to-people and business connections between India and the U.S., officials noted, and his agenda will include meetings with numerous corporate leaders, a policy speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange on July 24, and a women’s empowerment event IIT Mumbai on July 25.

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It is the coming of a GOD to our great PM Dr Manmohan Singh,a great economist for the nation!

from:  atis
Posted on: Jul 22, 2013 at 07:28 IST

It is required to reorient Indian and American strategies if they are
to make headway and develop further successful relationships.To go at
infotech and develop on it is tantamount to project to a very large
intelligent country that they are idiots in front of Indians.That is
incorrect and carrying out a terrible fraud.India is populous and very
poor in maintenance.To cover up that they continously redevelop as a
subterfuge.India should use its technologists to change its
transportation ,rail,waterway,waste recycling,improving roadway.It
appears very much just now that the Hindus in India want to increase
Hindu population to bilk from Christian America.

from:  Prof.Paul.V.John
Posted on: Jul 22, 2013 at 04:27 IST

Most probably a deadline for operationalisation of nuclear agreement will be fixed. Also Biden may pitch for more ecnomic liberalisation.India can demand a meaning full role in Afgan peace talks.

from:  Abijith
Posted on: Jul 21, 2013 at 23:28 IST

Do not pay too much attention or worry about what he says or does. Keep in mind he was selected by Obama as his running mate as impeachment insurance. No matter how much of a mess Barry made no-one would consider trying to remove him with Joe as his replacement.

from:  James Brown
Posted on: Jul 21, 2013 at 22:39 IST

It is clear he is coming here to push investments on their terms to help the marketist economist show false GDP growth and capture more of the 125+ crore buyers in all spheres insurance , real estate, this that. But he is worried that a secularly foolosh society will steal IP as they do not have the capability to make own IP which is the real base of expanding business, He ned not worry even if we steal IP we cannot maintain PQD and slowly but suerelywe will start importing fromhis other collaborators who do better

from:  harihara
Posted on: Jul 21, 2013 at 21:27 IST

Shorn of all the gloss US waants investmenyt oppurtunity to get the 125 crore buyers into its supplu net It is afraid that asociety which CANNOT produce IP on its own will steal and misuse wht US can give , tht ia all resy of it is god good words and dinner

from:  harihara
Posted on: Jul 21, 2013 at 21:18 IST
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