US IT, telcos ask Obama Admin to act on 'discriminatory' Indian policies

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US companies have alleged that Indian policy is deliberately designed to disadvantage foreign companies in favour of domestic Indian ICT manufacturers. US companies have alleged that Indian policy is deliberately designed to disadvantage foreign companies in favour of domestic Indian ICT manufacturers.
SummaryCompanies claim policies have resulted in hundred millions of dollars of losses in the last quarter.

The American influential IT and telecom industry today sought intervention of the Obama Administration against what they alleged are "discriminatory" Indian policies, which they claimed has resulted in several hundred millions of dollars of losses in the last quarter.

"In discussions with our member companies, we have quantified the potential Q4 losses at several hundred million dollars, with billions of dollars of lost exports and sales at risk in 2014 if these requirements remain in place.

"If left in place, these policies could shut out US technology companies from a critical emerging market," Information Technology Industry Council said in a letter to Obama Administration.

The letter dated September 24 against India's "compulsory registration order" which goes into effect on October 3, has been jointly written to the US Commerce Secretary, Penny S Pritzker; the US Trade Representatives, Mike Froman, and the Caroline Atkinson, the Deputy National Security Advisor to the US President for International Economic Affairs.

Under the new "Compulsory Registration Order" issued last year by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the ITIC alleged new equipment cannot be imported into or sold in India after April 3, 2013, which now has been extended to October 3, unless it is tested and registered with Bureau of Indian Standards-approved testing labs in India.

"We urgently request that you raise this issue with senior Indian officials during the Prime Minister's visit to Washington. Specifically, we request US Government support in pressing for at least a six-month delay in the implementation date beyond October 3, creation of an exemption for Highly-Specialised Equipment, and the suspension of fines for noncompliance given the backlog at BIS and the continuing, good-faith efforts by companies to meet the testing and registration requirements," said the ITIC letter.

The letter alleged that there is every reason to believe this policy is deliberately designed to disadvantage foreign companies in favour of domestic Indian ICT manufacturers, and to compel companies to help build and finance testing labs in India and force the transfer of technology through reverse engineering.

The letter has been signed by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of Consumer Electronics Association; Dean C Garfield, president and CEO of Information Technology Industry Council and Grant Seiffert, president, Telecommunications Industry Association.

In their letter they said, US industry has raised concerns repeatedly for the past year with the Indian officials, including the Prime Minister's Office.

Senior public officials have admitted that India lacks the testing

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