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NEW DELHI: The hike in visa fees by up to $4,500 will not have an impact on the growth of the Indian IT industry, Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy said on Friday.
I don’t think it is an issue at all, $2,000 or $4,000 that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you have to provide excellent value to customers,” Murthy told reporters after meeting telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He was replying to a query on the impact of the fee hike on the Indian IT companies.
Murthy further said, “These are issues that need to be discussed and I have no doubt at all that value of Indian IT services industry is so high to the US corporations that some of these issues will not come in the way of the growth of the Indian IT industry.”
The US Congress has imposed a special fee of up to $4,500 on the H-1B and L-1 visas popular among Indian IT companies to fund a 9/11 healthcare act and biometric tracking system.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16 shared with US President Barack Obama the concerns of the Indian IT industry and professionals on the legislation, while it was under process, in the US Congress relating to popular H 1B and L1 visas.
Congressional leaders, while agreeing on the $1.1 trillion spending bill, decided to impose a special fee of $4,000 on certain categories of H-1B and $4,500 on L-1 visa.
The money generated, expected to be more than a billion USD per annum, would be used to fund a biometric entry and exit tracking system, in addition to funding health screenings and treatments for 9/11 first responders.
According to the agreed bill, the new $4,000 fee would apply to companies having at least 50 employees with 50% of their employees on H-1B or L-1 visa.
While the specific provisions of the spending bill has no mention of Indian IT companies, the language of the bill has been written in such a way that it would have a big impact on Indian IT companies.
“I am a foreigner. As far as the US government is concerned, it is their right to take whatever decision they want in the best interest of the US,” Murthy said.
He said that as a foreign entity, Indian IT companies can work harder, smarter and bring more innovation so that customers in the US will realise importance of value addition done by the Indian IT industry.
Murthy also praised Prasad for the initiatives taken by his ministry for the IT industry.
“…looking at things that he has done in the last 15-16 months, I personally feel he is the finest IT and communications minister that we have,” Murthy said.