The Indian business process outsourcing (BPO) industry criticised the US Call Centre and Consumer Protection Bill. Indian media reports termed it another “protectionist” measure by USA.
The Bill, U.S. Call Center and Consumer Protection Act, tabled in the US House of Representatives yesterday, seeks to make companies that move call centre jobs abroad ineligible for all federal grants for the next five years. Introduced by Representatives Tim Bishop and David McKinley, it also aims to put stringent mandates on the operations of call centres. It is co-sponsored by Rep. Raymond Green, Rep. Michael Grimm, Rep. David McKinley and Rep. Michael Michaud, data on legislation tracking site GovTrack.us showed.
As per the bill, there will be a ban on government contractors from using American taxpayers' money to move jobs offshore. The bill seeks to penalize companies up to $10,000 a day if they don't inform at least 3 months ahead the secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor about any relocation of call center jobs to locations outside the U.S..
According to the media reports, India's ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao said that India would work to protect its business interests in the context of a proposed U.S. legislation against outsourcing call centre works to countries, including India. She said India would draw up appropriate strategies after studying the U.S. bill. "... Yes, it is something to be concerned about, yes, it is something to be worried about," Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar told media-quoted on certain news websites.
Kenan Machado, Dow Jones Newswires- reports very low possibility for US outsourcing bill to become law according to Nasscom.
"U.S. lawmakers seem to have developed the practice of unfairly taxing companies working overseas, to pay for domestic issues," NASSCOM said in a statement posted on its website.
It is sinteresting to note here that, anti-outsourcing bill was blocked in US senate several times back in 2010 and 2011. Senate Republicans successfully blocked the passage of an anti-offshoring bill that would have denied tax breaks to US companies which move jobs overseas.Republicans in a 53-45 vote prevented the bill from passing. The bill had a backing from Communications Workers of America that represents 150,000 call centre workers in the US.
In September 2010, ahead of mid-term elections for the US Congress, the state of Ohio had put a ban on the state expenditure for offshore work.