India Inc cheers defeat of anti-outsourcing bill in US

A relieved India Inc that lobbied hard against anti-outsourcing campaign in the US, hailed the Senate Republicans for blocking the bill that denied tax breaks to US companies moving jobs offshore.

The defeat of the bill comes a week after a Nasscom delegation comprising representatives of top IT companies such as Infosys, Wipro and TCS visited the US and lobbied with the key Congressmen and corporations.

"We welcome the move. The anti-offshoring bill was more of an electoral rhetoric. We had met the Congressmen, key Government officials and American industry last week and expressed our concerns against the protectionist measures," Nasscom Vice-President Ameet Nivsarkar said.

The mid-term Congressional elections due in November and the high unemployment rates have triggered a spate of protectionist moves by the US government.

As part of efforts to boost employment in the US, President Obama is vigorously pushing to end the tax breaks for companies, which ship jobs overseas saying they should go to firms who create jobs in America. The Obama administration has also recently hiked fee for professional visas, hurting interests of the Indian IT industry.

FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra said,"We believe that the majority of US Senate has kept in mind the larger interest of the US economy, its corporations and global economy".

Opposition from several US business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), to the bill showed that these groups realised that such measures would only hurt the competitiveness of US companies.

Assocham President Swati Piramal said the anti-outsourcing bill was against free trade and a non-tariff barrier. "Offshoring creates job opportunities" for both the countries-those which outsource and the suppliers of services.

Ganesh Natarajan, the chairman of the CII national committee on IT and the CEO of Zensar Technologies said, "Unemployment is a concern in the US. But they should understand that any protectionist barrier will deepen the recession. This kind of measures will not help create job in the US."

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