New Delhi: As most of the world entered a lockdown situation due to the rapid rise of coronavirus pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs as companies shuttered down factories and offices. The Congress on Friday pointed out to the Modi government how many Indians holding H-1B visa in the United States have suffered job losses. Also Read - Israel to start human trials of COVID vaccine on Nov 1
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala urged the central government to hold talks with the Trump administration and prevent more Indians from becoming unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has devastated the world’s largest economy. Also Read - Spain Declares Nationwide State of Emergency to Curb Second Wave of Coronavirus
“Time for the prime minister to ensure that our soft power of ‘Namaste Trump’ converts into fair treatment of H-1B visa holders in the US,” Surjewala said, noting that the US has already put Americans on a temporary paid leave or allowed them to work for reduced hours in the wake of the pandemic. Also Read - Pandemic Casts Shadow over Dussehra Festivities in India, Covid Effigies Become New Addition | See Visuals
The Congress also slammed the Modi government for compromising on the “India First” policy with regards to the export of Hydroxichloroquine (HCQ) drug for the treatment of the contagious disease.
“We demand that the Modi government ensure the extension of post-job loss limit of H-1B Visa holder Indians to 180 days,” Surjewala said, adding that it will give them sufficient time to look for another job once the situation betters.
“Modi government should also ensure that H-1B visa holders, who lost their jobs, are covered for COVID-19 and other health insurance free of cost, including extending support to their families,” he added.
Notably, at least 11 Indians in the US have died of coronavirus, while hundreds are still stuck in the country, unable to return to homeland.