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Mamata worried about Trump's proposed changes to H-1B visa, writes to MEA for immediate action

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 3 February 2017, 18:54 IST

US President Donald Trump's proposed changes to the H-1B visa has Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rather concerned. The changes, if implemented to the H-1B visa, will make the minimum wage requirement a whopping $1,30,000.

Banerjee wrote a letter to the Centre asking them to take immediate steps to protect the IT professionals who are working abroad with the H-1B visa.

Senior officials of the state government have confirmed that the CMO has written to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) urging them to arrange alternative options for the huge number of Indian IT professionals working in the USA.

However, with Banerjee being vocal against PM Narendra Modi for his demonetisation move and AITMC walking out of the Parliament during the Budget discussion on Thursday, it is to be seen whether Banerjee's sustained belligerence will pay her any dividends.

In her latest tweet, Mamata mentioned that India is proud of the world-class talent of its IT techies and that the news of H-1B visa changes was rather concerning.

According to the figures provided by the state government, almost around 50,000 IT professionals from Bengal are working in the USA holding H-1B visas and the state government is concerned with the fate of these professionals.

On 31 January, a legislation impacting the H-1B visa programme was introduced in the US House of Representatives making it difficult for companies in the US to employ skilled foreign workers.

Among other things, the Bill more than doubled the minimum wage requirement of H-1B visa holders to the US, making it $130,000.

The Bengal's IT minister Bratya Basu has been directly co-coordinating with the heads of the Indian firms, to get a feedback of the day-to-day situation from the US right now.

Basu said, "West Bengal is deeply concerned with the fate of the IT professionals after the proposed changes in H-1B visas and we will try our best so that IT professionals do not face any problems."

Edited by Jhinuk Sen

First published: 3 February 2017, 18:54 IST