Indian Minister cautions US on move to examine visa use

New Delhi, May 16: Cautioning United States against restricting the existing liberalised regime in the services sector, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today warned that US move to examine the use of H-1B visas by nine Indian companies would make it difficult for India to enhance its commitments in the services sector during negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Reacting to US lawmakers’ decison asking foreign companies, including Indians like Infosys, Wipro and TCS, to disclose details about their workforce using the American visa programme, he said the US move on utilisation of the special H-1B visa by Indian IT companies would not only restrict movement of skilled professionals but also have an adverse impact on the rapidly expanding services trade.

The Minister warned that it would be difficult for India to enhance its commitments in the services negotiations in WTO unless there is forward movement by trading partners like the US in such areas.

He said he will also raise this issue with US Trade Representative Susan Schwab and in the G-4 meetings scheduled to be held in Brussels on May 17-19. (full text).

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