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Rediff.com  » Business » I would still lose sleep on US Immigration Bill: Nasscom chief

I would still lose sleep on US Immigration Bill: Nasscom chief

January 02, 2014 12:51 IST

I would still lose sleep on US Immigration Bill: Nasscom chief

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The US Immigration Bill, which proposes higher visa fees and enhanced audit by US agencies, is still giving ‘sleepless nights’ and the Indian IT industry needs to keep a watch, Nasscom chief Som Mittal said.

The Bill -- Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act 2013 -- was passed by the Senate and is yet to be passed by the US House of Representatives.

"We are well-positioned on the Immigration Bill . . . I think it has some very good provisions like increasing visas . . . But this is something I will not sleep with. We still need to work and keep a watch on it," outgoing Nasscom President Som Mittal told PTI.

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Image: A woman stands in the rain at Times Square in New York, November 26, 2013.
Photographs: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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He added that Indian government and businesses have been engaging with their US counterparts at all possible forums to convey their concerns.

"Our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) took up this issue with Barack Obama.

"This issue has also been taken up with the US Secretary of State and Vice President Joe Biden and has been discussed at various Congressional levels.

“The businesses in the US are separating us . . . But I would still lose sleep," Mittal said.

Last year, Nasscom hired influential lobbyist, public relation and law firms to plead the case of Indian firms with Congressmen.

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Image: US President Barack Obama meets with health insurance chief executives at the White House in Washington November 15, 2013.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Indian software-export giants like Tata Consultancy, Infosys and Wipro rely on visas to send employees overseas to service clients in the US, its biggest market.

US contributes 65 per cent of the revenue of these firms.

The proposed legislation also requires firms to dilute their visa dependent workforce over the next few years, a move that will force Indian companies to hire local talent, thus affecting their revenues.

If passed in its current form, the Bill could hurt the margins of the Indian IT sector.


Image: Som Mittal.
Photographs: Rediff Archives

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