As India and the IT sector take stock of the proposed Bill in the US House of Representatives that seeks to reform H1B visa rules, mixed reactions have come in from business leaders in the country. While some chose to tread cautiously and were on ‘wait and watch’ mode, others described the proposed legislation as a grave mistake for the United States.
Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education: There are many Bills in Congress. We need to wait some more time. Main Street America will be hurt badly as overall wages go up.
Vineet Nayyar, Vice-Chairman, Tech Mahindra to CNBC News 18: If the reform goes through, the resultant increase in employee wages will be a cost worry for the IT industry, but Tech Mahindra doesn’t see it as a disaster to be overly concerned
Meghnad Desai, Economist to Times Now: It is India’s interests that Trump should be liberal with H1B visas. India exports labour and it is in India’s interests that other people welcome India’s labour. As the Bill has not been passed, it is too early to look at economic effects of the move. Obviously, there will be protests from importers of labour like Google.
This is going to happen increasingly, where countries say, “We may suffer a temporary loss but we want to give jobs to our people.” This is a new regime coming. India has benefitted from a liberal, global regime of free movement of people. India has to prepare for the end of that regime. That world is ending now. It won’t come back. Even if it harms itself, it is going to stop free migration of labour. We have to learn that the world has changed. UK has changed with Brexit, it is going to restrict immigration. These countries are feeling that they are losing out. If a country feels it is losing out, then it is going to restrict it.
David Appasasmy, Head, brand and strategy, Social Beat: It is a complex issue. US as a country rides on contribution of immigrants. H1B brings in high skilled labour not factory workers. They are confusing the issue – IT employees are not factory workers. They are two different segments
It is a grave mistake. The ability of US companies to work efficiently is going to be curbed and the costs are going to increase. The H1B visas have contributed to the growth of the US and this will rule out opportunities for high skilled workers. There is a much larger play at work to the detriment of the country.