H1B visa concerns conveyed to US, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

H1B visa concerns conveyed to US, says Ravi Shankar Prasad

Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (Photo: PIB)

India's concerns over H1B visa related developments have been conveyed at the "highest quarters" in the US, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Saturday.

The IT ecosystem is based upon "reciprocity" approach, and India neither creates boundaries nor appreciates boundaries, the minister said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Washington had met the Commerce Secretary of the US and conveyed the concerns.


"We are proud of the contribution of Indian IT companies in America and around the world. They have paid $22 billion as tax revenue in the last five years, they have created 400,000 jobs there, they have given value and competitive edge to nearly two-thirds of the fortune 500 companies," Prasad said.

He said the IT ecosystem is based up on reciprocity.

"Indian human resource contributes to USA's economy and many US companies also benefit here in Bengaluru and other parts of India who have Indian minds in creating their research products more competitively."

Prasad was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the interactive meeting with IT /ESDM industry organised by the Software Technology Parks of India (STPI).

To a question about protectionist noises being heard from Europe and other parts of the world and government's approach towards this, he said, "We are reaching out. But what I'm very confident about is the talent of Indian IT minds – that they will always keep the flag flying."

Earlier, addressing the meeting, Prasad said that today IT ecosystem is under some stress and pressure because of what is happening in the US.

Stating that the IT sector needs to acknowledge its own real strengths, he said the Indian IT industry has created a new form of confidence in India's human resources.

He said, "The DNA of technology does not count in its boundaries, and as far as we in India are concerned, we neither create boundaries, nor we appreciate boundaries."

"Indian IT companies don't steal jobs, they create jobs, wherever they go whether it is America or any part of the world." 

Noting that the Indian digital economy that includes communication, IT/ITES, e-commerce, digital payments is going to be $1 trillion, the minister said he is seeing India at the cusp of a big digital revolution.

"We missed the industrial revolution, we missed the entrepreneur revolution and we don't want to miss the digital revolution. We want to become leader in that, that is our fundamental philosophy," he said.

Highlighting that in the last two years, 72 mobile manufacturing factories had started production in India, Prasad said 42 are mobiles and 30 are components like battery and others.

He also said that the US-based iPhone maker Apple is again going to meet him in couple of days.

"They are very keen."

To a question by reporters on meeting with Apple executives, he said they are going to meet him. What was important is that India is a huge market and Make in India was basically for making in India for Indian market and also exporting it outside, he said.

"A lot of big mobile phone manufacturing companies have come, if Apple comes fine, they are welcome," he added.