US decision to curb outsourcing of IT projects regressive: Anand Sharma

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Bangalore, Sep.11 (ANI): Terming the move of the U.S. state of Ohio to forbid outsourcing of Information Technology (IT) projects by Government departments "regressive", Union Minister for Trade Anand Sharma said on Saturday that this would eventually slowdown the process of economic recovery for the world's largest democracy.

Addressing a conference at Infosys, India's foremost IT giant in Bangalore city, the Minister said: "We feel that these are regressive measures, because the leading economy of the world, that is, the United States of America (USA), has to have more confidence to engage with the rest of the world. In our view, in testing times, it is important to step out and engage to dismantle the existing barriers, and not to engage in new ones. Doing so, particularly the protectionist measures, always end up deepening the recession and delaying the economic recovery. "

Sharma added that the ban would be counter-productive as the Indian IT sector has made a significant contribution in the United States.

Referring to the visa fee hike for IT professionals, which the US has escalated by 2,000 dollars for the two categories - H1B and L1 - that IT companies use to send workers to the US for project work, Sharma said that Indian corporates have created employment opportunities in the West as well.

"Indian corporates, including the IT industry, have created jobs not in this country but even in the United States of America," Sharma emphasized.

Indian IT industry alone has created 250,000 jobs in the U.S. in the last three years, even at the time of recession.

The minister would be addressing these concerns with the United States administration at the forthcoming Joint Trade Policy Forum meeting and Global Services Summit in Washington on September 22.

Narayana Murthy, founder of Infosys Technologies said, that the corporates have to prove their worth in the global market to keep pace with clients.

"Ministers like Shri Anand Sharma will take it up at appropriate levels. We in the corporation, we have to look at how we can innovate more and more and more, so that our clients will realize the importance of transacting with us," Murthy said.

The measure mooted by Washington has been viewed as a blow to Indian IT companies, which have been tapping opportunities in numerous sectors in the US.

India's back-office outsourcing sector is estimated to have grown 6 percent to 12.4 billion dollars in the last fiscal. (ANI)

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