New Delhi, Sep 19 (Calcutta Tube) Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will raise the outsourcing ban and visa fee hike issues at his meetings with US officials and lawmakers during his visit to Chicago and Washington Sep 20-23.
During the visit, Sharma is scheduled to meet US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and interact with a host of top business heads in America.
Sharma’s visit will prepare the ground for US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in November.
The increase in visa fee is estimated to put an additional burden of $250 million annually on Indian IT firms. The US government has increased visa fee by $2,000 for certain H-1B visas and $2,250 for L-1A and L-1B visas.
In yet another protectionist approach, the US state of Ohio recently banned offshore outsourcing by government departments.
The Indian commerce minister has termed the US move ‘regressive’ that would prove counterproductive and might affect the recovery of the global economy.
According to an official statement, Sharma will visit Chicago Sep 20. At the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the minister is scheduled to deliver a keynote address on ‘Seizing the US-India Trade Opportunities’. He will also attend a luncheon session with select chief executives.
On his way back, via Ottawa in Canada, Sharma is scheduled to speak at the Canada-India Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology, Trade and Policy at the Carleton University Sep 25.