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IT stocks tumble 9 per cent on concerns over H1-B visa

New Delhi: Shares of IT companies plunged as much as 9 per cent today 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 TCS plunged by 5.46 per cent to touch an intra-day low of Rs 2,206.55 on BSE. Infosys lost 4.57 per cent to Rs 905 and Wipro went down by 4.11 per cent to Rs 445.55.

Tech Mahindra tumbled as much as 9.68 per cent to Rs 426 and HCL Technologies declined by 6.25 per cent to Rs 787.20. The BSE IT index fell by 4.83 per cent to touch an intra-day low of 9401.85. It is currently trading at 9547.53.

According to market experts, US President Donald 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 USD 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 specialized fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

PTI