PM weighs in on visa curbs

Wed 22 Feb 2017


New vision:Mr. Modi recalled his positive conversation with President Trump and committed to further strengthen ties.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged the U.S. to develop a “reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals.”

Mr.Modi’s comments come in the backdrop of proposals in the U.S. for restrictions on short-term work visas for foreign skilled professionals.

‘Good start’

“It augurs a good start to bilateral exchanges following the new U.S. Administration and Congress,” Mr. Modi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the PM’s office after a bipartisan delegation of 26 members of the U.S. Congress met Mr. Modi.

Mr. Modi recalled his positive conversation with President Donald Trump and the shared commitment to further strengthen ties that have grown deeper in the last two-and-a-half years, it said, adding that in this regard, Mr. Modi recognised Congress’ strong bipartisan support for the India-U.S. partnership. Mr. Modi also shared his perspective on areas where both countries can work even more closely, including in facilitating greater people-to-people linkages that have over the years helped contribute to each other’s prosperity. The PM referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society, the statement added.

Visa curbs

Eight of the visiting American lawmakers had on Monday held discussions with India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry on issues including the proposed U.S. work visa curbs that could impact the $110 billion Indian IT sector as well as issues concerning intellectual property rights (IPRs) and market access for certain farm products.

While India took up its IT sector's concerns on the proposed restrictions on the U.S. non-immigrant visas for foreign skilled workers, the American lawmakers led by Bob Goodlatte, chairman, Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, raised concerns on IPR issues including the need to strengthen copyright norms and provisions to encourage and protect innovation, sources said.

On proposed visa curbs, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters, “we have discussed in detail as to what the uncertainties are all about...business always flourishes in an environment of certainty and transparency. So even this visa-related issue is an issue on which we would want to have an air of certainty and also transparency.” The congressional delegation had said they were waiting for the new administration to fully settle down. “I hope as important Congressmen, they will play their role.”

[source:TheHindu]

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