Nasscom to talk trade policy during US visit

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Updated: Feb 11 2009, 05:35am hrs
Immigration is not an immediate agenda of discussion for Nasscom (national association of software and services companies) during its annual visit to the US. The trade body for the Indian IT-BPO industry is expected to largely discuss trade policy and outsourcing benefits with the US government.

Two days back, US Senators took a decision to put stricter limits on banks and other recipients of taxpayer moneythrough the Troubled Assets Relief Program or Tarp who want to hire high-skilled workers from overseas, under the H-1B visa program. This had created concern among the Indian IT industry. However, Nasscom clearly feels that it will bring minimal impact on the industry and going ahead, companies can hire people from India if they demonstrate that they are not replacing any existing talent from the US.

The Comprehensive Immigration Bill is still pending in the US. The agenda for Nasscom's visit to US is not immigration, but to discuss trade policy and outsourcing benefits with the US government. says Ganesh Natarajan, chairman of Nasscom. We will also bring forth other aspects like social security payments by Indians in the US in spite of their provident fund accounts/payments in India. We will also discuss the position of the Indian IT industry and the benefits it brings to the US, he added. Natarajan said the policy makes sense at these times when the US has lost as many as three million jobs in the last three months and the government is just ensuring that there is no rampart hiring.

The US is expected to pump in $825 million to pull back the economy from recession and of these, about $ 30 million is expected to be invested in the expansion of broadband and healthcare. Natarajan said this is expected to bring more jobs to India. Considering the fact that about 60% of the revenue of the Indian IT industry are still coming from the US, we can expect a lot of this work to come to India.