More reports on: World economy
Mukherjee set to blast 'protectionism' on US visit news
07 October 2010

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is currently on a visit to the United States plans to express his disapproval of ''protectionist policies'' to top US government officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Protectionist policies are not acceptable," Mukherjee told newspersons after landing in New York, where he stopped for a day to address the India Investment Forum. "We shall have to keep in view that if the world economy is to come out of the present crisis then protectionism is not the answer."

India thinks some policy decisions in the US will impact its business; the information technology outsourcing industry in particular. Last month Ohio had banned outsourcing of state IT contracts to foreign companies. This was preceded by Washington's decision to hike visa fee for H-1B and L1 categories. The US policy decisions are expected to hurt the $50-billion Indian IT market, which garners a major chunk of revenues from American companies.

Mukherjee's visit comes after a bilateral meeting between Foreign Minister S M Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month, where India voiced its concerns about the visa fee hike, export controls and ban on government outsourcing.

Noting that the US protectionist policies could impact India's software companies, the minister said that the financial crisis would ease if "uninterrupted flow of goods and services and capital are allowed to take place".

Mukherjee stressed that India would be speaking out against protectionism at the meeting of the Finance ministers of G20 countries in South Korea later this month.





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Mukherjee set to blast 'protectionism' on US visit