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No reduction in H1B visas to India: Sitharaman

21 Mai 2017

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) will help improve India's export growth, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said here on Saturday.

"On the GST concerns, the GST Council has been fairly seized our requests. The type of people selected will change but the numbers will not be cut", Sitharaman said at a briefing on three years of initiatives and achievements of the Commerce Ministry.

Ms Sitharaman said, number of mandatory documents required for exports and imports have been reduced to three each. She also said that if there are any extreme fluctuations in the rupee, which usually bothers exporters, it is for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to look into it. "We are yet to hear from them (on this issue)", the minister said. The Minister said, forms related to imports and exports have also been simplified. I have repeated several times that exporters are fairly seized due to currency fluctuations...and these fluctuations have become a new normal. "So, it's not for the government to answer on that". Necessary arrangements will have to be made on which discussions have happened between several ministries.

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It would come up with a draft policy which will be taken to the cabinet soon, he said. If we can think of giving an alternate to them rather than asking them to pay first and then get refund.

She said that the IT industry is ready to address the issue and there is no need to panic as the fear was more out of the uncertainty on the number of visas gettting affected. "After going through the details we have found that there will be no change in the number of visas", she added. On job creation, the minister informed that any proposal which goes to the Union cabinet, "its (proposal's) implication on jobs is something which the prime minister is very keen and we all are providing expected impact on direct and indirect employment of every such proposals which goes to the cabinet". Exports rose 5% to reach $276 billion in 2016-17 and in the past few months had reversed the declining trend.

No reduction in H1B visas to India: Sitharaman