External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi met United States President Donald Trump had discussed the H-1B visa controversy extensively without using the term “H-1B” when they met on June 27.
“I am proud to say that the prime minister was able to make President Trump agree that Indian skilled professionals contributed greatly to the American economy,” Swaraj said in Parliament, where the Monsoon Session is on.
The minister was responding to senior Congress leader Anand Sharma’s query in the Rajya Sabha. Sharma had asked why there was no mention of the H-1B visa or Indian IT professionals in the US in the joint statement that was released after Modi’s meeting with Trump. “I request the government to be sensitive to our concerns,” he said.
The H-1B visa allows US companies to employ skilled workers from abroad. More than three lakh Indian engineers are believed to be on this work permit in the US.
India’s defence deals
The Opposition in the Rajya Sabha also brought up India’s defence deals with other countries. Communist Party of India leader D Raja questioned why the government was buying defence equipment from foreign nations. “Is this ‘Make in US’ or ‘Make in Israel’ and sold in India?” he asked.
Swaraj, in response, claimed that the Modi government was the only one that had taken steps towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing. She also took a jab at the CPI, saying the governments the party had supported earlier were not as self-reliant in the sector.