WASHINGTON: In a bad news for India’s IT-BPO sector, U.S. President Barack Obama said he would slash tax breaks to American firms that move jobs abroad.

“To encourage... businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States,” he said in his first State of the Union address on Wednesday. Mr. Obama said: “Now the House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps [to slash tax breaks]. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same... People are out of work. They’re hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.”

Mr. Obama said: “Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed.” Pushing for the bill, he said job creation would be the country’s number-one focus in 2010. The bill will provide for taking $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks repay and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need.

“Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America’s businesses. But the government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers,” Mr. Obama said.

Citing India and China as countries that were going ahead with economic revamp, Mr. Obama said the U.S. could not accept a “second place” and should get serious about fixing its problems since the worst of the financial crisis was over. “Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China’s not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany’s not waiting. India’s not waiting.” — PTI

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