business environment

Assocham predicts layoffs in Indian IT companies after Trump’s executive order on H-IB visas

Nearly 86% of such visas issued for workers in the sector go to Indians, the industry body said.

A day after United States President Donald Trump signed an executive order introducing changes to the H-1B temporary visa scheme, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India said that it would force Indian information technology giants to introduce changes to their hiring patterns and salary packages, NDTV said. “Indian Information Technology companies are bound to face disruptions by way of higher costs and even some laying off work force back home, as the rising rupee is aggravating the situation further for the technology export firms,” Assocham said in a report.

Nearly 86% of the H-1B visas issued for workers in the computer space go to Indians. This figure will now be scaled down to about 60% or even less, the report said. World Bank data showed that the United States was the second-largest source of remittance for India in 2015, after Saudi Arabia, Assocham added.

Trump signed the order, which is being dubbed the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, as he visited the global headquarters of tool manufacturing firm Snap-On Inc in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The new order asks the four federal departments of labour, justice, homeland security and state to crack down on alleged “fraud and abuse” in the immigration system in order to protect American workers. It urges these departments to propose reforms to ensure H-1B visas were awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicant.

As the cost pressure of hiring such employees would increase, aggravated by the rising rupee leading to lower realisations, Indian IT companies may be forced to displace workforce, Assocham said. “In that case, the chances of layoffs are real,” the industry body’s secretary general DS Rawat was quoted as saying by NDTV.

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