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Politicians fanning BPO fire: Mulford
April 21, 2004 17:19 IST
The United States on Wednesday said that the issue of jobs being outsourced to other countries was being played up by politicians.
"The United States has about $57 billion in its services account which means that the country is still an exporter of services to the rest of the world and the number of jobs being outsourced is very small in the economy which creates and destroys millions of jobs every year," US Ambassador David Mulford said at a FICCI meeting in Mumbai.
Describing outsourcing as a hard political issue, he said it was not a problem between India and US but a global phenomenon tied with globalisation. "The issue is being demagogued by politicians," he added.
Seeking to allay fears that there was a government policy against outsourcing, Mulford said there was no legislation in the US that threatened outsourcing in a concrete way.
Maintaining that the strategic partnership between the two countries should become a comprehensive relationship, he said that the US wanted to work with Indian partners to channel resources to medium and micro enterprises and to infrastructure and agriculture projects.
Despite growth in exports in 2003, India was losing ground in the global market place and no longer figured among the top 30 exporting countries after being replaced by United Arab Emirates which has about $58 billion in exports.
Mulford said unless India made infrastructure development, including power, roads, water management, telecommunications, harbours and airports a priority, the objective of sustaining 8 to 10 per cent growth would prove to be unrealistic.
The country urgently needed the rapid expansion of its markets for long-term debts, commodity futures and derivatives and a project financing culture which is encouraged to engineer complex project-specific finance.
India should remove equity limits on foreign investment to reduce poverty and to accelerate India's emergence as a world power, Mulford said, adding that there was a need for the creation of a national pension system and streamlined regulation of an insurance industry.
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