Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lobbied for easy norms for Indian IT companies as they are contributing to the creation of jobs in the United States.
“Indian IT companies are creating skilled jobs in the United States; and, helping US companies stay ahead. They have also helped US military veterans rebuild their lives,” Mr Modi said in his joint address with the visiting US president Barack Obama to the India-US Business Summit, attended by nearly 500 business leaders from US and Indian industry.
He said that Indians are powering US businesses.
Mr Modi’s remarks assume significance in the wake of growing opposition to outsourcing in the United States, which triggered concerns in the IT industry, whose mainstay continues to be American companies.
The proposed US Border Security Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernisation Act, if passed by the US Congress, requires companies functioning in America to reduce their foreign workforce over the next few years.
This law is expected to force Indian companies to hire local talent in the US at a higher cost. If the bill is passed in its current form, it has the potential to hurt the margins of the Indian IT sector. India’s IT exports make up a major part of India’s services exports and a major foreign currency earner.
During his electioneering, US President Barack Obama had spoken against outsourcing. In one of his remarks, Mr Obama had said that he wanted to create jobs in Buffalo rather than in Bangalore.
During the current visit of the US President, both countries have agreed to resume talks on totalization agreement, a long pending demand of Indian IT industry.
This agreement, Indian experts say, will exempt Indians IT professionals, who are take up short-term assignments in the US, from paying social security tax.
Mr Modi noted that there are more than 1,00,000 Indian students in the United States and thousands of American students visiting India. “They are sowing the partnerships of tomorrow. And, the success of 3 million Indian Americans points to our potential,” PM said.