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India tells UK not to enforce strict rules for skilled workers

Posted on May 10, 2016
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Skilled Workers

India has asked the United Kingdom to refrain from enforcing stringent rules for skilled workers.

The Indian Commerce & Industry Ministry said such a step would make ICTs (Intra Company Transfers) overlap with immigration, which could adversely impact bilateral relations between India and UK.

Even as the ministry is waiting for a response from the British government on this issue, it is planning to obtain legal advice on whether these new rules on ICTs are biased against India and also not in accordance with the General Agreement of WTO (World Trade Organisation) on Trade in Services.

This move has seen Indian IT companies raise concerns as they are worried that these stricter rules would affect their earnings.

With the new rule, information technology and its allied sectors in India will be impacted following the condition that mandates any company wishing to relocate an employee to Britain for a short period, particularly to carry out contractual work of another firm, to shell out a minimum pay packet of £41,500 per annum. This will raise the minimum entry point salary by 67 percent from the existing £24,800.

The Indian IT industry trade body Nasscom said the move mooted by UK will entail increases on salary and levies, and its restrictions would negatively affect the UK market, curtail access to essential services and increase costs for everyone involved. In the bargain, productivity in UK would be adversely impacted, it added.

The organisation said that it would make Indian IT companies shift away from UK to other European countries. It said that skilled workers from abroad have helped to rev up Britain economy.

Meanwhile, defending its move, UK said the reforms for skilled staff were put in place to protect its residents’ employment opportunities so that it need not have to depend on skilled migrant workers.

The union commerce ministry will send suggestions to Nasscom, which wants the salaries to be raised in a phased manner.

If the Indian government manages to stymie these proposals of the UK government, Britain will continue to be a top destination for IT workers involved in ICTs.

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