Jaitley flags H-1B concerns with US Treasury Secretary

Jaitley flags H-1B concerns with US Treasury Secretary

Jaitley flags H-1B concerns with US Treasury Secretary
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has raised the issue of restrictions on H-1B visa with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as India fears the curb would impact the movement of Indian IT professionals to America.

During a meeting with his US counterpart, Jaitley also highlighted the contribution Indian companies and professionals are making to the US economy.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop its ‘abuse’ and ensure that the visas are given to the ‘most- skilled or highest paid’ petitioners, a decision that would impact India’s $150 billion IT industry. The Indian IT industry has expressed serious concerns over this as these visas are mainly used by domestic IT professionals for short-term work in America.

Earlier, Jaitley raised the visa issue with US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. An official statement said: “Jaitley raised the issue of H-1B visas for skilled professionals from India.”

Issues related to terror funding were also discussed in the meeting and Mnuchin appreciated the role of India in this regard, including Indo-US cooperation in Financial Action Task Force. These matters were discussed on Saturday on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

During the discussions, the statement said that Jaitley pointed out India’s ambitious reform agenda which is creating new opportunities towards a deeper economic engagement between both the countries in the years ahead.

As per several US reports, a majority of H-1B visas every year are grabbed by Indian IT professionals, and India accounts for the highest pool of qualified IT professionals, whose services go a long way in making US companies globally competitive.