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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s five days visit to USA

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was on an official visit to United States from 21st to 25th April 2017. During this visit, he attended the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, participated in a G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting and interacted with high profile American investors.

  • Urjit Patel – Governor of Reserve Bank of India, Arvind Subramanian – Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) and Shaktikanta Das – Economic Affairs Secretary were the part of Mr. Jaitley’s delegation to US.

G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting:

On April 21, 2017, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley along with Mr. Urjit Patel and Mr. Shaktikanta Das attended the G-20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting in Washington D.C. The discussion in this meeting focused upon following areas:

  1. Financial Sector Development and Regulations
  2. International Financial Architecture
  3. Global Financial Governance
  4. Compact with Africa (framework for supporting private investment, including in infrastructure in African continent)

On the same day, Mr. Jaitley also attended a meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) on Global Development and Prospects. Thereafter he had a meeting with CEO’s of top American companies.

Other Meetings held during Finance Minister’s US Visit:

  • On April 22, 2017, Mr. Jaitley had a meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin which was followed by a meeting with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
  • From 23-24 April, 2017, separate meetings were held with institutional investors and long-term investors in New York.
  • Finance Minister also met the editorial board of New York Times.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Raises H-1B Visa Issue With US Authorities:

On April 22, 2017, during the meeting with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley raised the issue of tightening of the H-1B visa norms. Earlier he had raised this issue with US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.

H-1B Visa and Indian IT Companies:

  • H-1B is US Government’s non-immigrant visa programme through which, US companies hire highly skilled foreign workers.Arun Jaitley Visit to USA
  • Indian IT companies, operating in the US use this visa programme to hire thousands of IT professionals from India.
  • The new reforms in this visa programme which restricts these companies to hire professionals from abroad will dilute their competitive edge and will create a dent in the revenue.
  • It is to be noted that Indian IT industry earns 60% revenue from US market.

In context of US President Donald Trump’s executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme, Mr Jaitley mentioned that Indian IT companies and Indian IT professional who are using this visa programme are actually contributing positively to the US economy.