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“Charges against Indian IT firms on H-1B visas must be probed”

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2017,16:27 IST By anju A A A

Bengaluru | The National Confederation of Unites (NCU) today said the CAI should look into the US government’s accusation that top Indian IT firms are “unfairly” cornering the lion’s share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system.

The Competition Authority of India (CAI) should probe the allegations, since the voices of IT employees are not heard by Nasscom and IT companies, NCU Chairman JSR Prasad told PTI.

The NCU, founded to protect the workers in IT/ITES in India, is a registered National Federation that supports IT/ITES workers in different states.

“CAI should probe the allegations and tell whether these companies (Infosys and TCS) have done something wrong or something right…” he said.

Yesterday, Nasscom had come out in defence of its members, TCS and Infosys, saying the two accounted for only 8.8 per cent of the approved H1B visas in 2014-15.

Nasscom had also contended that the average wage for visa holders is over 82,000 US dollars, apart from a fixed cost of about 15,000 US dollars incurred for each visa issued (including visa cost and related expenses).

Prasad also alleged that Nasscom has failed to take cognisance of the allegations made by the Donald Trump administration and to take appropriate action to protect the image and reputation of Indian IT companies.

Critics believe that the prevailing visa regime allows companies to bring in “cheap” labour from countries like India, which adversely impacts local employment opportunities.

The Trump administration had also said that the H-1B visas are awarded through random lottery with about 80 per cent of H-1B workers being paid less than the median wage in their fields.

NCU General Secretary Karthik Shekhar also said, “Nasscom also should be blamed for US administration’s allegations against our top IT companies for putting extra tickets in lottery system to corner the lion’s share of H-1B visas.”

“If these companies were to do it, they should have red flagged them,” he added.

Shekhar, who is a former IT professional and a film producer, urged IT professionals working in the US to come back to India where there are immense opportunities including startups lying for them to be picked up.

“US was the country where people used to go to grab  opportunities.. Now let us replace it with India.. Come back to tap opportunities lying around..,” he said.

“Do startups.. Don’t worry about Nasscom and people belonging to companies against whom the  Trump administration has levelled allegations,” he added.

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