Shares of IT companies plunged as much as 9% on Tuesday amid concerns that the new bill in the US that aims to rework the H1-B visa programme will adversely impact the hiring plans of Indian technology firms. Shares of the Indian IT companies crashed wiping out over Rs 50,000 crore in the market value of top companies after the newly-elected US President Donald Trump called for a new bill which would double the salary of H1-B visa holders, a move that would make it difficult for Indian IT companies to hire employees on H-1B visas to work on projects in the US.
Shares of TCS plunged by 5.46% to touch an intra-day low of Rs 2,206.55 on BSE. Infosys lost 4.57% to Rs 905 and Wipro went down by 4.11% to Rs 445.55. Tech Mahindra tumbled as much as 9.68% to Rs 426 and HCL Technologies declined by 6.25% to Rs 787.20. The BSE IT index fell by 4.83% to touch an intra-day low of 9401.85. It is currently trading at 9547.53.
According to market experts, Trump plans to overhaul work-visa programmes that dampened investors’ sentiment. Trump is set to sign a new executive order aimed at overhauling work visa programmes like the H-1B and L1, a move that will adversely hit the lifeline of Indian tech firms and professionals in the US.
A legislation has been introduced in the US House of Representatives which among other things calls for more than doubling the minimum salary of H-1B visa holders to $130,000, making it difficult for firms to use the programme to replace American employees with foreign workers, including from India. The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.