Washington: The United States is in
discussion with India trying to understand the potential
impact of the increase in fee of categories of H-1B and L1
visas on Indian companies.
"We have been explaining to the Indian Government the
specifics in the legislation, and trying to understand the
potential impact on Indian companies," State Department
spokesman P J Crowley told reporters here.
But beyond that, he said, he was not sure that there
was any particular next step.
After the Border Security Bill was passed by the
Congress and signed into Law by US President Barack Obama,
India has expressed its concern over the new legislation would
mainly impact the Indian companies as it allows increase in
fee of categories of H-1B and L1 visas on them to raises more
than USD 550 million of the USD 650 million required in the
bill to enhance the security of the US-Mexico border.
Meanwhile, writing for a blog on The Wall Street
Journal, Rupa Subramanya Dehejia, who writes on the political
economy-based out of Mumbai, said the increase in visa fee
would only help politicians.
"All said and done, if you look at the equation, the
Indian IT industry will have to fork out a few million
dollars, but that is the cost of doing business in an
increasingly protectionist environment. So, while the Senator
may score a marginal political victory and the US.
"Treasury will make a few bucks out of this, the
Indian IT industry will continue to prosper for the
foreseeable future and come out ahead despite the
legislation," Dehejia said.
"If the Senator really wanted to eliminate or make it
more difficult to bring Indian engineers over, he would have
suggested drastically curtailing the quota to say 20,000
workers a year. But everyone including the senator knows that
this would have disastrous consequences to the US economy,"
"Those positions would simply be outsourced or the
companies would move their operations offshore. In either
case, they will circumvent US jurisdiction and lead to job
losses in the US," she said.
Notably, India has called the fees discriminatory and
is planning to raise the issue as an unfair trade practise at
the World Trade Organisation.