Arun Jaitley
India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley arrived in the U.S. for a five-day visit Thursday, the future of the H-1B visa program is on his agenda of discussions.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Arun Jaitley, India’s Finance Minister, provided an update on his discussion with U.S. officials regarding the Indian tech industries’ fear of getting an unfavorable deal on immigration and H-1B programs at the hands of the Trump administration.

Jaitley arrived Thursday for a five-day trip to meet and discuss matters with U.S. officials.

Speaking with Indian media in New York on Sunday, Jaitley said the H-1B program and matters of immigration are not currently on the country’s list of domestic concerns. The conversations are necessary in the scope of international affairs, he said, and the dialogue was necessary simply to ensure India can receive favorable terms in the matter. Jaitley said Indian professionals are highly skilled workers and they should not be mistaken for unskilled, illegal immigrants.

“As far as Indian professionals are concerned, these are highly skilled IT professionals. Indian professionals don’t fall in the category of illegal immigrants,” he said. “They don’t fall in the category of people who just shift for taxation reasons. These are highly skilled professionals. And they have contributed in a big way to the companies and the economies of the countries where they work.”

Jaitley added that it is in the best interest of America’s economy to take advantage of India’s workforce, and that protectionism could have more negative impacts than positive. He cited India’s experience on how the country grew by opening its economy to the world. Jaitley said that he has raised India’s concerns on visa-related issues with the U.S. officials, adding that U.S. officials are in the process of formulating a policy and “giving them [US officials] the input is the right thing that we have done.”

He also said that he doesn’t think de-globalization is coming in a big way, an issue that has been overstated, he added. He acknowledged that there are tendencies in some economies to disintegrate the global economy, but they are not sustainable.

“Effectively, what does it mean? It effectively means that you compel your own companies, your own citizens to buy good which are costlier; to hire services which are costlier; and you end up making them globally non-competitive,” Jaitley said.

Jaitley also said that the world’s investors are betting big on India, and that for the first time in the nation’s history, India has had the world’s fastest-growing economy for the third consecutive year. This has much to do with infrastructure development, he said.

“And therefore, obviously, the investors will put their money where they think there is the best prospect of return.”

Jaitley also said that India’s demonetization will aid in integrating the country’s informal economy to the formal.

“It’s a move towards elimination of the shadow economy. It’s a move towards the greater transparency, as far as businesses are concerned,” he said. “The fact that India’s government had the courage to take such a decision and implement such a decision successfully, I think has just sent the right message globally and internationally.”