From Lalit K Jha Washington, Jul 12 (PTI) Pitching for closer business ties between India and US, Finance Minister P Chidambaram has said the two nations should not let "a few cases of business rivalry" stand in the way of good relations.
Delivering the key note address at the 38th annual Leadership Summit of the US India Business Council (USIBC) here yesterday, Chidambaram expressed concern over provisions of an immigration legislation passed by US Senate that would make it harder for Indian IT professionals to get temporary work visas.
Stating that economic woes back home had been exacerbated by the global economic slowdown, he asked for patience as India creates jobs for its young and growing population. India had paid a price for its earlier period of rapid growth "in terms of a high fiscal deficit, high inflation and now a high current account deficit.
But these are not problems that we cannot overcome," Chidambaram said. Noting that business competition is the foundation of a free market and free economy, Chidambaram said business rivalries should not be brought to the political table. "I therefore appeal to you there is great opportunity to work together for the two countries," he said in his speech.
"We are a country where we are building our economy brick by brick, and in that process we seek your help," Chidambaram told the audience that included executives, officials and lawmakers from both India and the US. Expressing concern over the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill passed by the US Senate, Chidambaram said there is a need to fine a way to "disentangle" it.
"In no dictionary is immigration defined as including temporary relocation of knowledge workers. Yet the immigration bill has a clause that seems to erect non-tariff barriers on temporary relocation of knowledge workers," he said. "I have spoken to officials, Senators and Congressmen (on our concerns on immigration bill). They understated that."