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United Kingdom wants to make London as India’s “destination of choice” for raising offshore Finance, says British-Indian minister Alok Sharma

We want Indian companies and public sector entities to see the City of London as the natural home for raising offshore finance, he said

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British Prime Minister Theresa May is greeted by her Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, at the India-U.K Tech Summit in New Delhi, Nov. 7, 2016. VOA
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London, Dec 14, 2016: Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi wants to ‘Make in India’. We say: ‘Make in India, finance in the UK’,” Alok Sharma, minster in charge of Asia, said in an address to the UK India Business Council on the ‘Future of the UK-India Relationship’ in London. The United Kingdom wants to make London as India’s “destination of choice” for raising offshore finance.

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“As well as seeking to expand its role as a manufacturer and innovator, India is also rightly addressing its future infrastructure and energy needs. Many of you know the staggering amounts of capital this will require – 2.8 trillion dollars needed by 2040 to invest in energy, according to the International Energy Agency and over 1 trillion dollars in other infrastructure,” he said.

According to PTI, the parliamentary under-secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Monday said the Theresa May led government wants the City of London to become India’s “destination of choice” for raising international funds.

”We want Indian companies and public sector entities to see the City of London as the natural home for raising offshore finance – for quasi-sovereigns as well as corporates.”

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British-Indian minister Alok Sharma, sought to clear up what he described as “mis perceptions and misconceptions” around the issue of visas.

“First of all, there is no cap on the number of international students studying at recognised institutions in the UK. Secondly, we continue to welcome students from India – in the year to March 2016, we approved 89 per cent of Indian student visa applications,” he said.

According to PTI, India is the only country where applicants can obtain a same-day visa and Indian citizens enjoy greater access to application centres than anyone else. “We naturally want our visa regime to be as simple and efficient as possible. But we must also ensure that people return to their country of origin once their visa has expired.” To ensure that the visa regime does not hinder the commercial relationship, he said the British government wants India to be the first country to be offered the “Registered Traveller Scheme, giving business traveller’s expedited clearance at the UK border.”

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Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to India last month was “no coincidence” that it was her first overseas bilateral visit outside the European Union as PM. “It signaled the immense value we place on our existing partnership with India and the potential we see to enhance this unique relationship in the future,” he said.

The Conservative Party MP pointed to the UK as India’s largest major investor, is responsible for employing one in every 20 Indians and second largest international employment generator and India as the UK’s third-largest investor – responsible for over 110,000 jobs in the UK.

– Prepared by Ruchika Kumari of NewsGram. Twitter: @RuchiUjjaini

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)