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Nasscom warns over global turmoil

Nasscom has not yet cut its 16-18 per cent growth forecast for the Indian IT industry. But its President Som Mittal said that in the backdrop of increasing global uncertainty, the sector needs to observe the situation carefully and reflect upon the kind of work it is doing.

BT Online Bureau        Last Updated: December 2, 2011  | 16:24 IST

Given the global economic scenario and the drop in India's GDP growth, the Indian IT industry needs to observe the situation carefully and reflect upon the kind of work it is doing, Nasscom President Som Mittal said on Thursday.

"I think the world is getting tougher and it is a matter of concern. We are seeing economic situations and GDPs going down and more importantly there is a worry given the uncertainty that is there.

"Our industry, which is so globally oriented... it is a matter for us to carefully watch what is going on. At the same time it is the kind of work what we do and what is the impact of all these," he told reporters.

Talking about the IT industry, he said the world IT spend is about $1.7 trillion, out of which India spend is about $70 billion.

He added, "While we are significant in our own way, we are a small percentage of this. So when there are IT cuts and so on, there are good reasons why in our sector, we are not seeing it yet. We don't think that it will happen."

The reasons behind this, Mittal said, is the kind of work that is done in IT and BPO are businesses which are sticky.

"We run people's operation, we run business services, we run their business application services, infrastructure... So that work doesn't go with the ups and downs of the market," he said.

Asked about guidance and forecast, Mittal said, "We have given a narrow range of forecast at around 16-18 percentage and we see no reasons why that cannot be achieved. In the first half itself the industry has done almost 17.5 per cent. So given the current trends and I think we should look at other cues as well."

He said the industry continues to hire and invest in real estate, but at the same time there is caution.

"We are much better equipped to handle the crisis than we were when it hit us in 2008," he added.

Mittal also said the country continued to witness high visa rejections in categories like L1 and B1, not just in IT but other sectors as well. He said H1 visa uptake has increased which could see the quota getting over soon.

"It is very important for us to ensure that the visa rejection reduces. We are continuously in dialogue with the agencies both in India and the US, our government has also taken up these issues as this is extremely important," he said.

Further, he stated US's decision to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas is positive.

"This shows positive signal that immigrants are good for the economy and the fact that the bill got passed was a welcome sign, but we will continuously work on it," he said.

In a move that would benefit highly-skilled workers from countries like India seeking stay in the US, the US House of Representatives yesterday voted to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas.

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