Mumbai, March 17: IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said the government had voiced its concern regarding the H1-B visa issue to the US and added that Indians do not steal but create jobs. "We have conveyed our concern at the highest level (US administration) and I hope the American administration should know Indian companies don't steal jobs. They create jobs for a better India and a better US," Prasad said at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai.
"Indian IT companies are present in 200 cities in 80 countries, including the US. Particularly for the US, the Indian IT companies have given nearly $20 billion as tax in the last five years.
"They have given jobs to 4 lakh people there. They have given value addition to nearly 75 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies. Indian IT initiative is an asset for America," he added. The Indian government has said that Indian technical professionals help the US economy become competitive.
Talking about India's digital drive, Prasad said New Delhi was involved in a transformative programme in India with programmes like Digital India and Start-up India to bridge the digital divide.
"Digital India is more for the under privileged," the minister said. He stated that in a country of 1.25 billion, 1.08 billion Indians have mobile connections. Regarding the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app launched by the government, Prasad said it had already witnessed 1.8 crore downloads.
Asked how secure were online transactions in India, at a time when the government was asking people to transact more through digital payments platforms, the minister said all the cyber security mechanisms were in place. "India's digital economy will be $1 trillion in the next 5-7 years. We have to trust the enormous opportunity for digital economy."
Regarding the government's stand on pornography sites, the minister was very candid that the government was against sites showing child pornography and had taken all necessary steps to stop it.
But Prasad threw a question to the audience asking whether it was feasible to stop all pornography sites in India. "If an adult wants to watch pornography site in the privacy of his room, who are you to stop it?" he asked.