India says U.S. visa issue may be solved outside WTO

Reuters | Aug 26, 2010 | 5:57pm IST

India is confident of resolving a visa restrictions issue with the United States outside the WTO framework, a senior government official said on Thursday. India had objected to U.S. legislation passed this month to strengthen security along the border with Mexico, funds for which will be raised through a hike in visa fees that may affect Indian companies like Infosys Technologies and Wipro. India’s trade secretary, Rahul Khullar, said last week the move was not compatible with World Trade Organisation rules. The Indian government is speaking to the U.S. government on the issue.

Members of the apex Indian infotech association will also meet U.S. senators on the visa issue next month as part of a delegation to the United States led by Trade Minister Anand Sharma. “That consultation is ongoing as we speak and as that consultation proceeds, I am confident this problem will get resolved,” Khullar told reporters on Thursday, indicating that India may not take the United States to the WTO if the issue is resolved bilaterally.

The Indian software industry largely thrives on the model of cross-border movement of its professionals. India has long advocated free movement of professionals at global trade bodies like the WTO.


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