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IT Industry Visa Problems with US

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Taking Up Issue of IT Industry Visa Problems with US
The issue of IT industry visa problems has been taken up with the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Michael Froman, during the Trade Policy Forum meeting in New Delhi on October 20, 2016.

On December 18, 2015, the US President signed into law the 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill (Public Law 114-113) which doubled the supplemental visa fees for L-1 and H-1B visas for a period of 10 years for companies employing 50 or more employees in the United States, 50% or more of which were on L-1 and H-1B visas (50:50 rule). With this legislation in place, 50:50 companies would now need to pay an enhanced fee of $4,500 for each L-1 visa and $4000 for each H-1B visa, as compared to $2,250 and $2000 previously. According to data available from the US State Department, Indian nationals accounts for 69.43 percent of total H1B visas issued during Fiscal Year 2015.
The matter on US visa fee hike has been raised by India at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Geneva. India had consultations with the United States on 11-12 May 2016 at the WTO, Geneva under WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism. India had raised claims on US measures relating to:
i. Fees for L-1 and H-1B visas;
ii. Numerical commitment for H-1B visas.
The US Trade Representative’s position is that the Public Law 114-113 applies uniformly to all companies irrespective of the origin of the company.
Visa related issues of IT industry have been raised with the US Government at various forums, including at the Ministerial dialogues during the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue in August 2016 and the Trade Policy Forum in October 2016.
This information was given by the Commerce and Industry Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today

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Index of Eight Core Industries (Base: 2004-05=100) October, 2016
The summary of the Index of Eight Core Industries (base: 2004-05) is given at the Annexure.
The Eight Core Industries comprise nearly 38 % of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).  The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stands at 188.1 in October, 2016, which was 6.6 % higher compared to the index of October, 2015. Its cumulative growth during April to October, 2016-17 was 4.9 %.
Coal
Coal production (weight: 4.38 %) declined by 1.6 % in October, 2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 increased by 0.7 % over corresponding period of previous year.
Crude Oil
Crude Oil production (weight: 5.22 %) declined by 3.2 % in October2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 declined by 3.3 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Natural Gas
The Natural Gas production (weight: 1.71 %) declined by 1.4 % in October, 2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index duringApril to October, 2016-17 declined by 4.0 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Refinery Products (93% of Crude Throughput)
Petroleum Refinery production (weight: 5.94%) increased by 15.1 % in October, 2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April to October, 2016-17 increased by 8.9 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Fertilizers
Fertilizer production (weight: 1.25%) increased by 0.8 % in October, 2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 increased by 4.8 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Steel (Alloy + Non-Alloy)
Steel production (weight: 6.68%) increased by 16.9 % in October2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 increased by 8.5 over the corresponding period of previous year.
Cement
Cement production (weight: 2.41%) increased by 6.2 % in October, 2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 increased by 4.8 over the corresponding period of previous year.
Electricity
Electricity generation (weight: 10.32%) increased by 2.8 % in October2016 over October, 2015. Its cumulative index during April toOctober, 2016-17 increased by 4.7 % over the corresponding period of previous year.
Note 1: Data are provisional. Revision has been made based on revised data received for corresponding month of previous year in respect of Coal, Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Fertilizer, Steel, Cement and Electricity. Accordingly, indices for the month of October, 2015 have been revised.

Note 2: Since October, 2016, Electricity generation data from Renewable sources is also included.

Note 3: Release of the index for November, 2016 will be on Monday, 2nd January, 2017.


Annexure
Performance of Eight Core Industries

Yearly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2004-05=100


INDEX
Sector
Weight
 2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
Apr-Oct 2015-16
Apr-Oct 2016-17
Coal
4.379
141.5
148.1
150.0
162.2
169.7
149.3
150.4
Crude Oil
5.216
112.1
111.4
111.2
110.2
108.7
110.1
106.5
Natural Gas
1.708
149.7
128.1
111.5
106.0
101.5
103.9
99.7
Refinery Products
5.939
133.7
172.5
175.0
175.6
182.3
176.5
192.2
Fertilizers
1.254
103.8
100.2
101.8
101.7
114.0
110.9
116.2
Steel
6.684
174.0
181.1
201.9
211.4
208.3
208.9
226.8
Cement
2.406
175.2
188.7
194.5
205.3
215.1
209.1
219.1
Electricity
10.316
149.3
155.3
164.6
178.5
189.0
192.3
201.4
Overall Index
37.903
145.3
154.7
161.2
168.5
173.3
170.9
179.2



GROWTH RATES (in %)
Sector
Weight
 2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
2015-16
Apr-Oct 2015-16
Apr-Oct 2016-17
Coal
4.379
1.3
4.6
1.3
8.1
4.6
4.4
0.7
Crude Oil
5.216
1.0
-0.6
-0.2
-0.9
-1.4
0.1
-3.3
Natural Gas
1.708
-8.9
-14.5
-13.0
-4.9
-4.2
-2.1
-4.0
Refinery Products#
5.939
3.1
29.0
1.5
0.3
3.8
2.4
8.9
Fertilizers
1.254
0.4
-3.4
1.5
-0.1
12.1
10.6
4.8
Steel
6.684
10.3
4.1
11.5
4.7
-1.5
-0.7
8.5
Cement
2.406
6.7
7.7
3.1
5.6
4.8
2.9
4.8
Electricity
10.316
8.1
4.0
6.0
8.4
5.9
5.9
4.7
Overall Index
37.903
5.0
6.5
4.2
4.5
2.9
2.8
4.9

#Refinery Products’ yearly growth rate of 2012-13 is not comparable with other years on account of inclusion of RIL (SEZ) production data since April, 2012.

Performance of Eight Core Industries

Monthly Index & Growth Rate

Base Year: 2004-05=100
Index
Sector
Coal
Crude Oil
Natural Gas
Refinery Products
Fertilizers
Steel
Cement
Electricity
Overall Index
Weight
4.379
5.216
1.708
5.939
1.254
6.684
2.406
10.316
37.903
Oct-15
168.9
111.3
105.6
172.5
122.8
200.2
208.3
210.4
176.5
Nov-15
180.3
107.3
102.6
185.9
118.4
194.6
185.9
174.2
166.8
Dec-15
197.4
108.7
103.4
190.2
122.6
203.6
217.9
182.4
175.7
Jan-16
200.4
107.3
92.5
194.7
118.5
216.7
236.1
187.3
180.7
Feb-16
191.5
102.3
96.9
179.4
113.4
202.6
232.5
181.2
172.2
Mar-16
221.1
108.1
96.0
201.9
119.1
219.7
244.6
196.3
188.0
Apr-16
154.9
104.4
94.0
190.3
94.2
212.3
225.2
203.1
176.4
May-16
164.8
108.7
100.3
188.3
116.9
237.6
227.0
203.9
183.7
Jun-16
164.6
104.8
98.2
190.4
115.6
225.0
237.7
198.6
180.4
Jul-16
140.9
108.7
102.2
200.3
114.1
207.6
212.8
193.2
173.7
Aug-16
126.4
108.3
101.0
191.5
127.1
237.3
203.3
194.6
176.0
Sep-16
135.2
103.0
98.2
186.1
122.0
233.4
206.4
199.8
176.1
Oct-16
166.3
107.7
104.1
198.5
123.8
234.0
221.3
216.4
188.1


Growth Rates (in %)
Sector
Coal
Crude Oil
Natural Gas
Refinery Products
Fertilizers
Steel
Cement
Electricity
Overall Index
Weight
4.379
5.216
1.708
5.939
1.254
6.684
2.406
10.316
37.903
Oct-15
6.6
-2.1
-1.8
-4.4
16.8
-5.5
12.2
13.8
3.8
Nov-15
3.5
-3.3
-3.9
2.5
13.5
-8.4
-1.8
0.0
-1.3
Dec-15
6.1
-4.1
-6.1
2.1
13.1
-4.4
3.2
2.7
0.9
Jan-16
9.1
-4.6
-15.3
4.8
6.2
-2.8
9.0
6.0
2.9
Feb-16
3.9
0.8
1.2
8.1
16.3
-0.5
13.5
9.2
5.7
Mar-16
1.7
-5.1
-10.5
10.8
22.9
3.4
11.9
11.3
6.4
Apr-16
-0.9
-2.3
-6.8
17.9
7.8
6.1
4.4
14.7
8.5
May-16
5.5
-3.3
-6.9
1.2
14.8
3.2
2.4
4.6
2.8
Jun-16
12.0
-4.3
-4.5
3.5
9.8
2.4
10.3
8.1
5.2
Jul-16
5.1
-1.8
3.3
13.7
-4.3
-0.5
1.4
1.6
3.0
Aug-16
-9.2
-3.9
-5.7
3.5
5.7
17.0
3.1
0.1
3.2
Sep-16
-5.8
-4.1
-5.5
9.3
2.0
16.3
5.5
2.2
5.0
Oct-16
-1.6
-3.2
-1.4
15.1
0.8
16.9
6.2
2.8
6.6

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Safeguarding India's Fisheries Interest at WTO Meet
Government of India (GOI) has constituted an Inter-Ministerial task force under the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture, with the responsibility to work out specific strategies required from time to time for India’s constructive interventions in the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies. GOI had reiterated before the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules (NGR), its stand on the need for Special & Differential (S&D) Treatment for the developing countries in line with the Ministerial Decisions under Doha Development Agenda in 2001 and the Hong Kong Ministerial Meet of 2005. Flexibilities, particularly for the artisanal, poor and subsistence fishermen, is the major element of India’s interventions in these negotiations.

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High Yielding Variety of Robusta and Arabica Coffee Plants
The Central Coffee Research Institute (CCRI) of Coffee Board is releasing high yielding and disease resistant varieties of Arabica and Robusta from time to time.In Arabica, ‘Chandragiri’ a semi-dwarf variety with high degree of field tolerance to leaf rust disease and high yield potential has been released for commercial cultivation during 2007-08 season. In addition, three genotypes of Arabica have been given for multi-location trials in growers’ field during 2014-15. In Robusta, the improved hybrid variety already developed by CCRI is most preferred among the growers because of its high yield potential and quality of beans. Further research for development of drought resistant variety of Robusta has been taken up by CCRI.
CCRI has developed and refined the clonal propagation techniques and has supplied around 1,62,000rooted clones of hybrid variety to the growers’ from 2014-15 onwards. Training programmes are organized to build the capacity of growers in clonal production methods. Clonal nurseries have been set up in about 10 estates with the technical support of CCRI. Efforts are being made to involve the unemployed youth and self-help groups for clonal multiplication of Robusta coffee.
Coffee Board is also implementing Integrated Coffee Development Project under which various interventions such as research & development, technology transfer, capacity building, replacing the old unproductive varieties with improved high yielding/disease tolerant varieties, water augmentation and mechanization etc. are undertaken for the overall improvement of production, productivity and quality of coffee.

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