Although the focus has been on the United States, visas for IT professionals to work in Singapore have fallen “to a trickle,” inciting the government to put on hold the analysis of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) indicating a violation of the trade pact.
With Indian firms being advised to hire local talent, they are seeing at relocating some of their operations to other nations in the region. From HCL & TCS, which were the first movers to Singapore, the list has increased to include Wipro, Cognizant, Infosys and L&T Infotech.
“This (visa problem) has been lingering for a while but since early-2016, visas are down to a trickle. All Indian companies have received communication on fair consideration, which basically means hiring local people,” Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar stated. For all practical purposes, visas have stopped for our people, added another industry executive. Prompted by problems for IT and the banking sector — where there is lack of transparency on the capital requirement, the Indian government has now decided against expanding the scope of goods where import duties would be cut unless the concerns of domestic industry are addressed.
The prospect of the government is that it is important to assess the benefits that Indian industry obtains from the agreement before going ahead with allowing to expand its scope.