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India to take up outsourcing issue with Obama


New Delhi : During the visit of US President Barack Obama here, India will raise concerns expressed by its IT industry over the US curbs on outsourcing, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here Friday.

“There are some serious reservations being expressed about India’s IT industry about outsourcing and the tightening of visa rules. These are the kind of issues that will be discussed,” Krishna told journalists here.

He was replying to a question on the areas on which India expected to see positive improvement during Obama’s visit.

Krishna, however, stressed that the commonalities between India and the US are so strong that the problems in perception on some issues will not mar the relationship.

Obama is expected to arrive on his maiden visit to India Nov 5. In view of India’s sensitivity over the outsourcing issue, Obama will not go to Bangalore during his four-day visit to India.

The US recently hiked H-1B and L1 visa fees for foreign companies, particularly outsourcing giants from India, a controversial step that could cost India’s IT industry $200 million a year.

In August this year, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland of the Democratic Party banned outsourcing, saying this undermined economic development and had unacceptable business consequences for his state.