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'US work permits process should not include restrictive practices'

The IT industry hopes Modi will work towards improving bilateral relations between India and the US - the US is key to the industry's fortunes, contributing a majority of its revenues.

twitter-logoGoutam Das | May 16, 2014 | Updated 19:14 IST
'Ensure there are no restrictive practices when it comes to US work permits'
CEO of mid-tier IT services company Mindtree Krishnakumar Natarajan.

Can Narendra Modi, himself denied a United States visa, lobby for more visas for the Indian IT industry, a sector that seems to be perennially battling visa restrictions?

Full Coverage:Lok Sabha Elections 2014 The IT industry hopes Modi will work towards improving bilateral relations between India and the US - the US is key to the industry's fortunes, contributing a majority of its revenues.

"We give access to oversees companies. And we should ensure there are no restrictive practices when it comes to US work permits. There should be fair play," CEO of mid-tier IT services company Mindtree Krishnakumar Natarajan said.

The post-Lehmnan era was marked by a number of restrictive regulations that included higher visa fees for Indian companies, restrictions on placement of Indian engineers on client sites as well as caps on the number of H1-B visa workers in a company's workforce. At various points, the Indian IT services industry described these provisions as "discriminatory" and "negative", since American multinationals that use the same Indian global delivery model don't face such regulations. The industry wants the new government to start a dialogue with the US.

Partly linked to the visa issue is Indian IT's mission to change its brand image - from that of a provider of low-cost services to a hub of innovation. Natarajan said that the new government could enable that. The CEO also added that smaller companies in the IT industry would need the government's help to access global markets and scale. "Policies that extends tax benefits or gives incentives linked to jobs created can be useful," he said.

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