US looking into India's concerns on outsourcing: Rao

It also cautioned against building up an "atmosphere of accusations and counter-accusations" over the matter as such things would not help solve it.

"It (outsourcing) is one of the issues in the (US-India) relationship. We have taken it up with the American administration at all levels. They are very aware of the concerns that we have on this issue and the fact that our companies are being targeted for no reason. This is an issue that we would like to see addressed," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told reporters here.

Rao was in the city to deliver the third Harish Mahindra Memorial Lecture at Harvard University. The lecture is given in honour of industrialist Anand Mahindra's father, who was the founding chairman of Mahindra Ugine Steel Company and a Harvard alumnus.

Earlier, Rao was in Washington where she raised the issue of H1B visa fee hike and ban on outsourcing by Ohio state, apart from discussing President Barack Obama's November visit to India with senior US officials.

"They (US officials) have told us that they are alert and they have understood the depth of our concern on (outsourcing ban). They are looking into the matter," Rao added.

Rao said it is because of a "measure of maturity" in India-US relations that both countries are able to discuss issues such as outsourcing and visa fee hike in a rationale manner.

"Given the maturity and increasing depth in the relationship, issues like this can be handled in a very reasoned and rationale way," she said.

As the two countries seek to grow their "strategic global partnership," Rao said "I don't think building up an atmosphere of accusations and counter-accusations on the issues (like outsourcing) is going to be very constructive or conducive to solving it."

The issue of outsourcing would also be discussed at the Trade Policy Forum meeting by Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and his American counterpart Ron Kirk.
Indian business associations would also take up the matter during the Indo-US Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) meeting in Washington shortly.

"The US is being made fully aware of our position on this, the legitimacy of our concerns on this and the fact that it is difficult for us to comprehend on why our companies are being targeted," Rao said.

Official sources said that issues such as health, energy, removal of export controls on hi-technology and India's bid for a permanent UNSC seat are likely to be discussed between the two countries when President Obama visits India.

 

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