Don't Run Away from Reality!

Date:   Wednesday , September 01, 2010

It is often believed that to avoid its attacker, Ostrich bury their heads in the sand to avoid danger. The notion is 'if you can't see it, then it can't see you'. Is Obama also following the same? At a time when looming reports on gross domestic product and housing have raised fears about the fragile U.S economy either slipping back into a recession or face a lengthy period of growth that is too slow to make much of a dent in the 9.5 percent unemployment rate, Obama’s decision on H1B price hike seems to be an attempt to run away from the reality and divert the attention and to revive the support for November 2 Congressional Elections.

It is high time people realized that Obamanomics has failed and applications for H-1B work visas, not even reaching the 50 percent mark of the Congressional-mandated quota of 65,000 is a testimonial. According to the latest figures released by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), only 29,700 people had applied for H-1B visas till August 13. This in stark contrast to the situation two years ago, when the cap for both the categories of H-1B visas had been touched within the first few days and USCIS had to resort to computerised draw of lots to decide who made the cut.

The Indian IT-BPO industry for years has played a crucial role in helping U.S. companies tap these benefits and remains committed to being a part of the solution to help tide over this crisis. It is imperative that the U.S. and all countries continue to be proponents of free trade. Restricted trade affects businesses, incomes and employment in other countries thus resulting in lower spending and subsequently lower demand for U.S. goods and services globally. Globally, the economy will only suffer from such protectionist attitude.

If the U.S. government wants to "stop" Indian IT services firms bringing temporary IT staff over and create an environment for fostering onshore technology employment and innovation in the country, then it must create system that is flexible. Give Indian IT-ITeS firms tax-incentives that will motivate them to hire and train U.S. IT employees and not just offshore staff. Give U.S. enterprises tax-incentives for creating new onshore IT jobs.

Moreover immigration policies should be focused on ensuring developing the talent pool in the country and not abuse. Rather than playing to the gallery, its time Obama took some serious action as U.S economy is really in a risky situation.

Please do share your thoughts with us.
Christo Jacob
Managing Editor