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Obama visit: IT industry optimistic

Sandeep Joshi
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Barack Obama
Barack Obama

The IT industry, which earns 60 per cent of its revenues from the U.S., is optimistic that President Barack Obama's visit will help in sorting out issues related to outsourcing and visa fee hike that has left India Inc worried.

While the Centre is likely to raise these issues during high-level talks between the two sides, industry leaders are also gearing up to help Mr. Obama understand better how the outsourcing business is beneficial for the U.S.

“Indian IT firms are helping the U.S. companies become more competitive…this is an important aspect in the current global economic scenario. Indian IT solutions are driving growth in the U.S., while Indian companies are also opening offices in the U.S., thus help creating jobs,” National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) President Som Mittal told The Hindu.

Earlier this year, when the U.S. government had hiked visa fees, which was followed by Ohio state's ban on outsourcing of government IT projects, the Indian government and Nasscom had denounced it as ‘protectionist' moves. But it seems that these moves have so far failed to make any serious impact on the IT sector. “The growth of $60-billion IT industry has been good in the first half of the current fiscal. We are expecting even better growth then what we had projected at the beginning of this fiscal,” Mr. Mittal said, hoping that Mr. Obama's visit would be been seen as “success story” for the Indian industry.

When contacted, Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot said when the world was strongly coming out of recession, free flow of goods and services would only boost economy. Any move to restrict this would have a negative outcome, he asserted.

Referring to the issues faced by the Indian IT industry in the U.S., Mr. Pilot said: “Our government has already taken up this matter with the U.S. administration at appropriate levels. Our stand is very clear…we are against any kind of protectionism.”

“The Indian government has been trying to convince its U.S. counterpart that outsourcing was in fact good for their growth and industry. Indian companies are not only generating value for the U.S. economy, Indians working there are also contributing towards their economy. Moreover, through outsourcing, Indian IT companies have contributed in turning around the U.S. companies through their solutions,” he said.

“Another important point is that Indian companies are now opening more and more offices in the U.S. and also employing U.S. nationals in good numbers, which is a very positive trend. I think Mr. Obama will understand this better during his visit when he interacts with Indian leaders, top government officials and India Inc,” Mr. Pilot added.

Centre to take up outsourcing issues during high-level talks


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