Nasscom criticises U.S. Border Security Bill

A file photo of Som Mittal, President, Nasscom. File Photo: R. Ragu  

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom) on Friday criticised the U.S. Border Security Bill, which has been passed by the Senate, saying that it had logical flaws and is discriminatory in nature. The software body also lambasted New York Senator Charles Schumer for his comments that Indian IT companies were ‘chop shops' and said it was clearly ‘election rhetoric'.

“From India's perspective, I think it has been done ahead of November Congressional elections. It is based on flawed logic and is discriminatory in nature. It (this Bill) shows the fact that the Indian IT industry is posing significant competition to the US companies,” Nasscom President Som Mittal told journalists here.

The Bill seeks to increase application fee for H-1B and L visas by at least $2,000 for the next five years. The move is aimed at raising funds for the $600 million spending plan to boost security at the porous U.S.-Mexico border. The fee hike would help in mopping up about $550 million of the total amount.

Further, the increase would be applicable only for companies with more than 50 employees and for whom the majority of their workforce are visa-holding foreign workers.

Stating that Nasscom was in talks with the U.S. authorities to make separate visa categories for the services sector, Mr. Mittal said the Indian IT industry, while recognised as a success story, was a fraction of the U.S. technology business and it was shocking that the Senator chose to blame this sector for all generic issues of the U.S. — increasing unemployment, lower wages and students not taking up technology education.''

Almost all leading Indian software firms, including TCS, Infosys and Wipro, have expressed their concern over the Bill. The $50-billion Indian IT export industry earns over 50 per cent of its revenue from the U.S. market. Mr. Mittal, however, said the U.S. was India's largest IT market and would remain so. The U.S. trade bodies were very supportive. In terms of revenues, there would be no huge impact.

“Incidentally, unlike all other countries including India, U.S. does not have a specific employment visa and H-1 visa has been used in the last two decade to fill this gap. We have been requesting the U.S. government to introduce a `Services Visa' which would enable movement of people for short term employment that is not linked to immigration. Employment visas have been used by large number of U.S. citizens to come to India to further their business interest,” he added.

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Printable version | Apr 18, 2021 11:48:24 AM |

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