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IT sector a solution, not a problem in US: Pilot

Minister of State for IT and Telecom Sachin Pilot said the issue of visa fees hike and outsourcing has already been taken up between the two countries at the highest levels.

twitter-logoPTI | November 4, 2010 | Updated 17:25 IST

Amid concerns over job loss due to outsourcing, the government on Thursday said the US should not look at the Indian IT sector as a problem, but as a solution for the unemployment situation in the super power.

"Indian IT companies are not a problem but they are a part of the solution. They are adding value. They are creating jobs for the local people whether in the US or Europe," Minister of State for IT and Telecom Sachin Pilot said on the sidelines of a BSNL conference here on Thursday.

He further added the country (US) that had advocated free trade should stand by it.

Asked whether his ministry had taken this issue up with the US authorities, Pilot said: "The issue of visa fee and outsourcing had already been taken up at the highest level."

According to the data available with the Indian IT industry body Nasscom, top six Indian IT firms have created about 35,000 to 40,000 jobs in the US market alone.

Pilot added job loss should not be looked as a "zero sum game", meaning the jobloss in the US is not equal to jobs created in India.

President Barack Obama had indicated he was unlikely to accommodate India's concerns about his policy of discouraging outsourcing of US jobs, saying it was his responsibility to support jobs and opportunity for the American people.

Obama, had recently spoken against outsourcing of American jobs to countries like India and offered tax breaks for those creating jobs in the US.

Nasscom had said it will raise IT industry's concerns on visa fees increase and other anti-outsourcing measures adopted by the US during Obama's visit to India.

Earlier this year, the US government had raised fee for H1-B and L1 visas, a move that could have adverse impact on the $50-billion domestic IT industry that sends many highly-skilled Indians to work there.

This was followed by Ohio state's ban on outsourcing of government IT projects, a step that further irked the Indian players. Both these moves coincide with a fragile recovery in the US economy, coupled with high unemployment levels.

Indian IT sector earns more than 60 per cent of its annual revenues from the US.

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