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What Indian industry expects from Obama

January 21, 2009 15:24 IST
The Indian industry expects President Barack Obama to remain committed to the Indo-US nuclear deal and is hoping the new American administration will not create roadblocks for outsourcing, which is more helpful to the US firms than businesses in India.

As the business leaders hailed Obama's swearing in as US President, they gave vent to their concerns over the possibility of the new American administration making the landmark Indo-US nuclear deal contingent on New Delhi signing the test-ban treaty.

While the industry here, like rest of the world, hopes the Obama team to revive the moribund US economy, apprehensions were also raised over the possible moves against outsourcing of businesses of which India has been among the main beneficiaries.

"We expect Obama's continued support to the Indo-US nuclear deal. We are hopeful that Obama would take steps to ensure continuity of the 123-agreement and give shape to commercialisation of the agreement," Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra said.

He also wanted the new President to re-examine the technology denial regime towards India and create a framework under which the dual-use technology can be shared with New Delhi at par with other G8 countries, he said.

Ficci wants the Obama administration to view outsourcing as a business decision of commercial enterprises especially in a situation where costs play an important role.

"A US Chamber of Commerce study shows that 74 per cent of the benefits of outsourcing actually go to American companies," Mitra said. CII Chief Mentor Tarun Das said his concern was the possibility of the US asking India to sign the nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

"Though the nuclear deal is done, there are people in the Obama administration who have strong feeling that India should sign the NPT and CTBT to which we have had objections. These are potential areas of differences," he said.

Though Nasscom said there are no immediate concerns on outsourcing, the apex body of the 75-billion-dollar Indian IT industry would be sending a team to Washington in February to lobby with the Senate members on the benefits of outsourcing for the US economy.

"We are planning to meet some members in the Senate in February, not necessarily to lobby but to make them understand how outsourcing can help them (US)," Nasscom chairman Ganesh Natrajan said.

Obama had raised a pitch against outsourcing during his election campaign. With the US being the second largest market for Indian merchandise exports, the exporter community is hoping that the new White House incumbent would resurrect the American economy, which can refuel the global trade.

"We expect the US economy to improve. Obama has already made up his mind what he is going to do," President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations A Sakthivel said.

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