Swaraj raises visa fee hike, totalisation pact with US Secretary Kerry

Cyrus Mistry Chairman of Tata Group will co-chair the meeting from Indian side. Express
Cyrus Mistry Chairman of Tata Group will co-chair the meeting from Indian side. Express

02 September, 2016

The omnibus USA spending bill for this fiscal year, Public Law 114-113, tacked on thousands of dollars of fees to guest-worker visas that critics say let companies replace American citizens with lower-paid foreign workers.

In the afternoon, the S&CD Plenary is scheduled to be held and will be led from the Indian side by India's External Affairs Minister, Mrs. Sushma Swaraj and Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman. "But given the concerns expressed by Indian industry, I committed to Minister [Nirmala] Sitharaman to look into this and report back".

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker promised to look into India's concerns about moves to increase fees for a type of guest-worker visa held predominantly by the country's citizens. But pointed out Indians get 70% of the H1B visa the United States issues and 30% of L1 visa that U.S. issues all over the world.

"They also looked forward to the immediate commencement of work on engineering and site design and early conclusion of a competitive financing package based on the joint work by India and the US Export-Import Bank", it added. The current S& CD would be reviewing the progress made so far in strengthening the agreed upon issues and lay down the road map for the ensuing year, under the two tracks.

"In line with the CEO Forum recommendations, a number of concrete measures have been undertaken", the statement said.

The US CEOs were here for the India-CEO Forum meet which is part of the second Strategic and Commercial Dialogue.

Raising concerns over hike in visa fee for professionals, India Tuesday asked the United States to find a "just and non-discriminatory" solution to the issue to avoid any adverse effect on the bilateral trade ties.

More news: Scientists: Aliens may be calling Earth

A new work stream is also being proposed in the current S&CD meeting on the area of Tourism Sector.

Both sides will also facilitate collaboration in research in health sector, specifically focusing on non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular ailments, diabetics and cancer, she added.

Both countries discussed their priorities for economic development and the policies initiated to achieve these objectives and agreed to continue their engagement for fulfilling the potential for bilateral trade between the two largest democracies in the world.

On APEC, Swaraj said India's membership at the forum has both "strategic significance as it has commercial potential" for India.

To a question about the possibility of a bilateral free trade agreement, the minister said there is a possibility of an FTA.

"I don't think that's true (Indian IT professionals being targeted). The 2017 GES will be a significant opportunity to highlight how our governments can serve as a partner to entrepreneurs by promoting and enacting policies and programs that help our innovators thrive", it said quoting Pritzker. They seek to build on the growth in bilateral trade from $37 billion in 2005 to $109 billion in 2015, with a new aim of reaching an annual $500 billion in the near future.

More news

  • Clinton attacks Trump's outreach to black voters in new ad

    Clinton attacks Trump's outreach to black voters in new ad

    Because the poll is conducted online and individuals self-select to participate, a margin of error can not be calculated. Trump, whose support comes mainly from whites, is unlikely to be victorious unless he can cut into that support.
    Apple must pay Ireland up to 13 bn euros in taxes

    Apple must pay Ireland up to 13 bn euros in taxes

    Apple has derided the European Union's ruling that it must pay up to 13 billion euros ($14.5 billion) in back taxes to Ireland. "I disagree profoundly with the Commission's decision", Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan said in a statement .

    Scientists Looking For Alien Life Investigate 'Interesting' Signal From Space

    The astronomy community is abuzz over "a strong signal " that might just be from aliens trying to establish contact with Earth. A Type II civilization would be able to harness the entirety of the energy emitted by its star, billions of billions of watts.
  • Felipe Massa to quit F1 at end of season

    Felipe Massa to quit F1 at end of season

    After eight seasons at Maranello, Massa joined Williams in 2014 and helped re-establish them as a podium-finishing force. Massa almost won the world drivers' championship in 2008, but lost out by one point to Lewis Hamilton.

    Black Pastor Tweets Black Face Cartoon Of Clinton, Gets Labeled Racist

    And he said it's years of frustration, not just frustration from the this election year as Trump now trails Clinton in many polls. While Burns has described Hillary as "pandering and using black people just for their votes", Trump has taken a different tack.

    Dogs Understand Language A LOT More Than We Give Them Credit For

    The scientists played the dogs recordings of words said in a happy or a normal tone of voice to see how they would react. Andics says what makes human communication unique is the invention of words, not the ability to process them.
  • ECU falls short of Big 12 bid: What's next for the Pirates

    ECU falls short of Big 12 bid: What's next for the Pirates

    After reviewing the candidates, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and his staff will trim the list to two candidates. Brigham Young is the other contender, the story said.

    Powerful 7.1-magnitude natural disaster jolts off New Zealand

    The central North Island was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude quake early this morning, located 130km north-east of Te Araroa. People in North Island reported on Twitter being woken by shaking and local media said there were some power outages.

    Three Rainbow Warriors suspended for season opener

    The Cal Bears do have one thing working for them: they won't have to travel 7,400 miles to another game this season. With the bear raid offense ready to get rolling again Hawaii was able to hold them to field goal from Matt Anderson.
  • Mark your calendars: Apple iPhone 7 to be launched on September 7!

    The starting point for storage on the new entry-level iPhone will be 32GB, up from 16GB, according to the Journal. The latest mock-ups support this claim, which show no headphone jack, but features two speaker grills.

    Man United's Zlatan Ibrahimovic will get extra time off - Jose Mourinho

    Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have more days off than his teammates. Schweinsteiger made his debut for Germany in 2004 and scored 24 times in 120 matches.
    Apple Ordered To Pay 13bn Euros In EU Tax Crackdown

    Apple Ordered To Pay 13bn Euros In EU Tax Crackdown

    The EU decision will require the Irish tax collection agency to issue a demand soon to Apple for payment, Vale said. Some opposition Irish lawmakers have urged Dublin to collect whatever tax the Commission orders it to.