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Government says protectionist visa policies abroad led to workforce expansion

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.........NEW DELHI: Giving a positive spin to its inability to intervene in the scrapping of 457 visa programme in Australia or revamping of H1B visa in the US, the government on Wednesday said that its foreign policy has resulted in "expansion of workforce" in India. Responding to a query regarding comments on Government’s success in job creation in the context of foreign policy, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson said : "The Government's foreign policy has facilitated expansion of workforce within the country through flagship programmes such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’, by delivering large technological partnerships and enhanced Foreign Direct Investment." The MEA statement has come on a day when US President Donald Trump signed the executive order for reforming the H1B visa and a day after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced to scrap the 457 visa programme in "national interest". The Spokesperson, in a way to counterbalance the impact of the recent developments in two biggest destinations for Indian skilled workers, recalled that "Government had agreed with the Government of France last year to allow Indian students at Masters level and above to extend their stay in France for two years." Baglay also sought to downplay the development in the US saying : "Insofar as H1-B visas are concerned, the cap has remained at 65,000 since December 2004 when the H1-B Visa Reform Act of 2004 was enacted by the US Congress." The MEA also contended that the doing away of 457 visa programme in Australia is to " replace one scheme with another" . "Senior Australian officials have conveyed to us that the impact of the changes will be negligible on Indian workers, most of whom fall in high skill category," Baglay said. However, the MEA Spokesperson said that the Government is in touch with the Governments of the United States and Australia on these matters and is also "making full assessment of impact of these recent changes, in consultation with all stake holders."

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News Updated: 4/20/2017 9:50:45 AM.
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