U.S. visa fee increase will not impact Indian IT: Narayana Murthy

Updated - November 17, 2021 03:15 am IST

Published - December 18, 2015 11:31 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Infosys Founder N. R. Narayana Murthy said the move by the U.S. Congress to increase the fee on popular H-1B and L-1 visas will not impact the growth of the Indian IT sector even as the industry body Nasscom has stated that the move could cost the IT industry $400 million annually.

“I don’t think it is an issue… $2,000 or $4,000 that doesn’t matter, because the important thing is that you have to provide excellent value to customers. And I believe the Indian IT industry is providing already,” Mr. Murthy said.

The U.S. Congress has imposed a special fee of up to $4,500 on certain categories of the H-1B and L-1 visas that are popular among Indian IT companies to fund a 9/11 healthcare act and biometric tracking system.

“These are issues that need to be discussed and I have no doubt at all that value of Indian IT services industry is so high to the U.S. corporations that some of these issues will not come in the way of the growth of the Indian IT industry,” said Mr Murthy, who was in New Delhi to meet Telecom Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“First of all, I am a foreigner as far as the U.S. Government is concerned. It is their right to take whatever decision they want in the best interest of the U.S. So as a foreigner, what is it that we can do? What we can do is, to work even harder, to work even better so that they can understand the value of the Indian IT industry,” he said.

Mr. Murthy appreciated the work done by Mr. Prasad and said: “...looking at things that he has done in the last 15-16 months, I personally feel he is the finest IT and Communications Minister that we have.”

To a question whether he was interested in becoming a mentor or consultant for the government’s ambitious Digital India programme, Mr. Murthy said he was retired now, “but I am always there for whatever advice the minister wants from me.”

Nasscom, which represents the over $140 billion Indian IT services market, termed the visa increase “highly discriminatory” it said the bill would have an impact of about $400 million annually on India’s technology sector and could adversely impact its competitiveness.

N. Ravi Kumar reports from Hyderabad

Nasscom Chairman BVR Mohan Reddy said while the U.S. had its own priorities and protectionism is “good rhetoric in an election year,” it would hurt the IT industry.

Terming the move as a negative thing and with potential to impact Indo-U.S. ties, he pointed out that it would affect the U.S. too as it faced a shortage of skills, particularly in the areas of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

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