Urging the US to reform its visa policies, India's Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here Sunday that the paranoia of the Americans about Indians taking away their jobs, especially in the IT and services sectors, is a myth.
There is an incorrect perception in the US that Indians are taking away the jobs of Americans, which is driven more by the fast-paced growth India in the IT and services sectors, Sharma told newsmen.
Citing three recent reports, including one by PricewaterhouseCoopers and International Business Forum, Sharma said, "contrary to popular perception, Indian BPO companies have created income worth USD 106 billion inside the US in the past three years ending 2009, and generated 3,00,000 jobs out of which 2,50,000 were filled by Americans."
"These are jobs for Americans created in America but by Indian companies. This is a myth that jobs are being taken away by Indians," Sharma said.
On the issue of India swamping the US with its massive services sector, the minister pointed out that though India is an exporter of services, it is a net importer of services, and there is a mutual exchange of services between the two countries.
"It is more or less balanced and if there is a tilt that tilt is in the favour of the US," Sharma said, adding, "we have more nationals from here and we are welcoming them, as we do not want any restrictions as strategic partners."
The minister called on the American corporate leaders to create greater sensitivity and awareness among ill-informed politicians who seek to create barriers in the trade between the two countries.
"I have been urging US corporate leaders that since you are aware of these facts, go in a delegation and sit with Congress people," Sharma said, noting that accurate information would cause politicians to stop pushing forth unhelpful amendments.
On a three-day visit to Washington where he met his counterpart Ron Kirk, before arriving in New York, Sharma pressed upon American officials to relax visa norms for Indian professionals.