Asserting that artificial trade barriers between India and the US would “evaporate” quickly, an Indian-American donor and supporter of US President Donald Trump has said fears about the H-1B overhauling is “overblown” and the issue is unlikely to cause trouble in bilateral ties. “President Trump first and foremost is a businessman. He knows how to grow US as a business. He is pretty clear on the position of US Chambers of Commerce that in order to grow the American economy, you need a lot of IT experts and professionals,” Chicago-based Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar said. “My expectation is that there would be a good monitoring of abuse and fraud in H-1B system. There is a little bit of that, not much. Otherwise when the US economy grows 4-5 per cent per year, there is going to be a very big need of IT workers and IT work, which will still be primarily be going to India and Indians,” he added in response to a question on the series of legislations pending in the US Congress and if this could be a major point of friction between India and the US.
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The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year. During his campaign, Trump promised to increase oversight of our H-1B and L-1 visa programmes. “People in India need not be necessarily be worried about twist of words in orders. There should be no concern about H-1B visas in India,” Kumar assured and said the Trump administration is determined to remove abuse and fraud in the system.
Kumar, who has his own business in Chicago, said there is a huge need of IT workers in the US. “I would want the US to start producing more IT workers here itself,” he said adding that major Indian IT companies would be happy to employ American IT workers if available. “The fear of H-1B, immigration, green card is overblown. I would like to assure the industry, Indian IT industry as well as Indians on H-1B visas here that things are actually going to get better for them in the coming months rather than getting worse,” Kumar said.
He said in the next few years India will play a crucial role in the planned economic growth of the US, which will also mean a big growth for India. “Through this, both the economies would be prosperous and it will be a win-win situation.” “There is a tremendous trade opportunities between US and India. Trade barriers between India and the US would evaporate very quickly. That has to do with technology defence equipment’s and energy. He is very much in favour of bilateral trade relations. It would be a great,” he said.