Date
19 October 2017
Indian firms such as Infosys are campaigning against moves by the US to curb visas for IT workers. Photo: Reuters
Indian firms such as Infosys are campaigning against moves by the US to curb visas for IT workers. Photo: Reuters

Indian IT firms step up lobbying against US visa curbs

India’s outsourcing firms are stepping up lobbying efforts against moves by the Donald Trump administration in the US to impose curbs on H-1B visas for skilled IT workers. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that leading companies are working behind the scenes to prevent potential immigration curbs in the US, their most important market.

Apart from boosting lobbying, firms such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys are considering ways to train American workers for tasks that Indian workers come to the US to do, the report said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month met with a delegation of 26 US congressional members visiting New Delhi, during which he stressed the importance of skilled Indian talent to the US economy.

The discussions centered on the H-1B skilled worker visa program, which permits Indian IT services firms to send thousands of workers every year to the US, the Journal said, citing unidentified senior Indian government officials.

Indian outsourcers and US tech firms say the visa program, which Trump had assailed as “a cheap labor program”, is necessary to fill jobs where too few workers with the right skills are available in the United States.

Critics say H-1B visas are used as a cost-cutting method, with firms largely hiring Indians, who are willing to work for less than Americans.

Lat month, officials from India’s top IT services firms gathered in New Delhi to discuss a plan to address the skill shortage in the US by setting up schools there to train local workers to do simple IT jobs, Shalabh Kumar, an Indian-American businessman who coordinated the talks, was quoted as saying.

Leaders from TCS, Infosys and Wipro were among those who attended the meeting.

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