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March 22, 2018

India has to devise its own strategy on “High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 curbs” : BJP General Sec Muralidhar Rao

New Delhi : BJP leader Muralidhar Rao says India’s growth using U.S. and European markets is no longer possible. Amid growing unease in India and the United States over legislation in the U.S. Congress advocating an increase in salaries of H-1B visa holders to discourage American firms from hiring them, and an anticipated executive order from President Donald Trump, BJP general secretary Muralidhar Rao says India should “devise its own strategy” rather than try to put pressure on the U.S. government.

Mr. Rao, who earlier headed the RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM), told that India had “limited influence on the Trump or any other U.S. administration”, which would always frame policy looking at its own interests.

“The United States is not framing any India-specific laws, and we may be able to influence it to a certain extent but not enough for the U.S. to change a certain course it has decided on,” he said.

Minimum wage: The High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017 introduced by California Congressman Zoe Lofgren is the latest in a series of Bills that aim to restrict the number of H-1B visa holders.

The Bill advocates market-based allocation of visas to those companies willing to pay more than double the $60,000 fixed as minimum annual wage for H-1B holders in 1989, which has remained unchanged since.

The economic advantage of hiring low-salaried technology workers from India and other countries instead of locally, comes under threat with this new Bill. President Trump is also expected to issue an executive order on H-1B restrictions soon.

Reflection of economy: “These moves by the U.S. are a reflection of what has been happening in the global economy in the past few years. Globalization has been seeing a downward journey for some time. The economies of the U.S. and European countries are facing a downturn. The growth that we want to register using their markets is not possible now,” he said.

Terming these views his own, and not attributing it either to the BJP or the government, Mr. Rao said Mr. Trump’s actions could be seen as a “catalyst” in the situation, and not as an “initiator” of protectionist moves.

“Wherever immigrants fill the American skill gap, they may still be unaffected, but, wherever there can an American substitute, it will be different. We need to respond to this by devising our own strategy, and orient our industries to create more sustainable profits,” he said.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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