The Centre on Thursday said it would not “prejudge the outcome” of United States President Donald Trump’s move to tighten H1-B work visa norms for the country. Saying that no “executive order” had been signed so far, spokesperson for the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup explained: “Three private Bills have been introduced in the US House of Representatives. Such bills have been introduced in the past also, and they have to go through the full Congressional process,” Hindustan Times reported.

Assuring that New Delhi and Washington continue to be in talks, he urged citizens to not draw conclusions from the reported news. “We have seen what has happened to similar Bills in the past. If and when the executive order is passed, we will certainly give a reaction,” Swarup said.

Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services, Wipro and several other IT companies seek a considerable number of H-1B visas to send Indian workers to the US. IT stocks in Indian markets have taken a hit since news emerged that the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act, 2017, had been introduced in the US House of Representatives, calling for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders. This would make it much more expensive for IT firms to hire professionals from outside the US without justifying why they have not employed Americans.

The External Affairs Ministry had said earlier this week that it had conveyed India’s interests and concerns on the visa subject to the US “at senior levels”. More that three lakh Indian engineers are believed to be on H-1B visas in the US.