India asks US to address concerns of IT industry

Washington: India today expressed hope that the current economic woes in the US would not lead to protectionism and said that concerns of the Indian IT industry over anti-outsourcing measures announced by President Barack Obama recently will be addressed quickly.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai on his first bilateral visit to the US said that the Indian IT industry in the US has contributed USD 15 billion in taxes alone in the last five years and underlined the need to eliminate discriminatory actions.

Mathai is believed to have raised the issue in his meeting with the officials of Commerce Department yesterday in the backdrop of Obama`s State of the Union address in which he outlined measures to bring jobs back to the country.

Obama had said his administration would offer incentives to those firms which will create jobs in the country.

Mathai in his address to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies said, "Indian IT industry contributed USD 15 billion in taxes over the last five years. This success story should not be set back by stringent visa regulations which act as a non-tariff barrier."

"We do hope the current economic challenges in the US would not lead to protectionism and that concerns of Indian IT industry will be addressed quickly," he said.

NASSCOM estimates that Indian industry employs over 100,000 in the US up from 20,000 six years ago, he said adding it supports 200,000 other jobs, including indirect ones, apart from enhancing the competitiveness of some the US industries.