Rajya Sabha

February 6, 2017

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien speaks on “Securing interests of Indian IT firms creating value globally” during Zero Hour

Trinamool’s Derek O’Brien speaks on “Securing interests of Indian IT firms creating value globally” during Zero Hour


The subject today, Sir, is ‘Securing the Interests of IT Firms, Creating Value Globally’. This is a very important subject, Sir. A few days ago, the Chief Minister of West Bengal was the first person to react on this – I just want to read two lines of the quote before I get into the meat: “News about H1B visas is concerning; we must protect our IT companies and professionals. They are our pride, our inspiration. We stand by them. India is proud of its world-class talent and it is our duty to secure their interests. We pledge our solidarity with IT professionals across the world”.

Sir, as we know, the H1B visas – and I don’t want to get into discussion what the new executive order does. It is suffice to say, Sir, that it will fundamentally and adversely affect Indian IT companies. Now, Indian IT companies don’t need our pity nor do they need our sympathy; they are very, very strong to stand on their own feet, and there is an alternative view. But I think it must be tabled as to what role these IT companies have played globally. As doctors, technologists, scientists are always in short supply, and it is well known across the world that Indians always come and top them up, no one is doing us a favour – it is because we are qualified to do what we do.

Sir, there are three or four very important points to highlight here. Seventy-five per cent of Fortune 500 companies have operational support from Indian IT companies, Sir. I’m not only talking about the Fortune 500 companies, I’m also talking about thousands of other American companies who have this support. From 2011 to 2015, when the American job market has been growing at 1.7 per cent, those Indian companies supporting American companies are growing at 10 per cent, Sir. That is a huge contribution.

Sir, if it even comes to tax, 20 billion is being contributed every year, Sir, from these companies. Sir, there are millions of jobs which are being created as a result. So we need to protect these companies. We fully believe that these companies can stand on their own feet. I don’t mean ‘protection’ in a negative kind of way; there is an alternative view to suggest that these companies could be looking globally elsewhere. But I think we need to place on record that these companies play a positive role, not only in the American economy, but across the world.

Sir, these software engineers are truly a jewel in the crown of the Indian workforce and of the international workforce. Thank you, Sir.