You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Indians help make US economy more competitive, says Indian foreign ministry

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-03-2017 Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: There is a broad recognition in the US that Indian IT professionals contribute to making the US economy more competitive, an Indian official said on Thursday amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration plans to curb the flow of Indian software professionals into the US.

In his weekly media briefing, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said that foreign secretary S. Jaishankar and commerce secretary Rita Teotia had raised the issues with US officials during a visit to the US last week.

“There was a wide-ranging and strong recognition as well as respect for Indian skills and contribution of the Indian technological manpower to the US economy. It is widely agreed that the presence of Indian technical professionals makes the United States more competitive and helps its economy,” he said. Senior US officials had stated that “illegal immigration and not H1B (visa) is their priority,” he said.

ALSO READ | Suspension on expedited H1B visa to affect IT firms: Nasscom

“It has been our view that the presence of skilled Indian professionals is a positive for the US economy as well, particularly when the US seeks to build a stronger economy,” Baglay said.

“We believe that the plans of the US Administration for the US economy present an opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate their strong economic partnership,” he said.

The comments come against the backdrop of apprehensions in India of a cut in the current limit of 65,000 H1B visas for skilled professionals. A PTI report said at least half a dozen bills have been tabled in the US house of representatives and the senate, contending that the programme eats into American jobs. Trump has promised to resolve the issue.

ALSO READ | Trump administration has very positive view of India-US ties: Jaishankar

H1B visas are used by firms hiring foreign professionals while the L1 is used for intra-company transfers.

On the Chinese media describing India’s nod to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh—that China claims as its own—as an “act of hostility,” Baglay said that the Tibetan spiritual leader was a “revered religious figure who is treated as such by the Government and the people of India. The government has no say in his travels within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such,” he added.

On the decision by US-based Christian charity Compassion International to close shop in India on suspicions of religious conversions, Baglay said all voluntary organisations—whether Indian or foreign—had to abide by the laws of the land they were operating in.

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon