Delhi raises concerns of IT firms

Delhi raises concerns of IT firms

During the course of their talks— the second one under the framework of India-US joint strategic dialogue—Krishna conveyed to Clinton the industry’s worries regarding a US work regulation which requires those on work visa to return to India after seven years while their social security funds get stuck in the United States as they are payable only after 10 years.

On the social security issue, Krishna sought formalisation of a “Totalisation Agreement” under which professionals on short-term work visits to the United States would be exempted from paying social security taxes.

Under the proposed agreement, an expatriate in either country need not contribute to social security schemes of the host country. The other issue is regarding reduction in the number of annual work visas on offer and the third one relates to cyber security.

Sources told Deccan Herald that Clinton, while praising Indian workmanship and stating that Indian IT professionals were most sought after in the US, assured Krishna that she would take up the issues with the secretary concerned upon her return to Washington.

Krishna told her that Indian IT companies and their employees contributed in a big way to the US economy but the administration had taken a decision to reduce the number of work visas available to them that made seamless business a difficult proposition.

In his opening remarks at joint press conference following the talks, Krishna said: “I took the opportunity to convey to Secretary Clinton the concerns of our IT companies in sending their professionals to execute projects and conduct business in the United States. I highlighted that Indian IT companies are contributing to the US economy through investments, employment and supporting US competitiveness. I also requested Secretary Clinton to consider a Totalisation Agreement with India.”

The two sides decided to increase their engagement in the area of cyber security. “We are pleased with the MoU for cooperation between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team and the US CERT.” The minister thanked Clinton for her assurance that she would work with the US agencies to seek an early and satisfactory solution for the students affected by the closure of Tri-Valley University.

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