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Nasscom fears more visa curbs on IT pros
May 23, 2003 16:56 IST
In the face of a sluggish world economy, Europe and the United States are likely to increase visa restrictions on foreign infotech professionls, Nasscom said on Friday.
"World economy is slow. Job growth is slow. So you are going to face protectionist measures like more visa restrictions," National Association of Software and Services Companies President Kiran Karnik said in Bangalore.
"Any restriction on the visa process, be it in the name of more care, security, etc is bad for the industry," he said.
He said that although a lot of firms were outsourcing software work, on an average 40 per cent of the work was done on-site, but any bottlenecks on the flow of people would adversely affect the IT industry.
Early this week, a legislation was introduced in the US House of Representatives to stop firms from outsourcing their L-1 visa-holders to client sites.
L-1 visa allows firms, which have subsidiaries abroad, to transfer people from foreign countries to the US as intra-company transferees for at least six months.
Karnik said that Nasscom was working with the Indian and the other governments to seek relaxation in visa rules. Talks are underway, but it is a slow process," he said.
Foundation to promote IT for common man set up
Nasscom has set-up a foundation which will work on developing technology applications for the common man.
"The kind of applications we are thinking are, for example, how can you get a system where an illiterate farmer can access information he needs through a voice query," Karnik said.
Though these type of (text to voice) technologies were prevalent in the US and Europe, he said, "We need it desperately and our R&D efforts should be highly focused on this."
The Nasscom Foundation, a non-commercial body, aims to promote projects that are good for the country and beneficial to the industry.
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