By Chandra SrikanthIt is important that if there are going to be regulatory actions, then it should not appear in the form of an interim final rule. People should be allowed to make a comment on that, says Shivendra Singh, Vice-President & Head. President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order preventing federal agencies from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers -- mainly those on H-1B visa -- from hiring. What impact would that have on the Indian IT industry?The order signed by the US president includes areas like speciality occupation, H1-B visas granted to the highest wage earners, employer employee relationship and third party placement sites. Just a few months back, there was a settlement between IT Serve Alliance and USCIS on this issue where this whole definition of third party placement sites and employer employees was looked at. When you look at this employer employee relationship and look at this judgment, if you as a company are hiring or firing or have a control stake over the employee, even if you place the person at some other location at a client site, it still means that you are in control of that.Now, as I understand, regulatory changes are going to come which are probably going to be around these areas and we will only be able to comment when we see that in totality. But the bigger challenge is that this continues to make the entire process very unpredictable and the industry and the companies like predictability and this is altering that whole process. Till the US elections, is this the new normal? Are you hopeful that some of this might get reversed if there is a different result? The industry has said they are working towards a visa independent model and all of them have above 50-60% local hires. You are absolutely correct. We have increased local hiring and statistics all say that there are nearly half a million direct and indirect employees locally in the US. There is a $57 billion contribution to the US GDP as part of research. While all this is happening, you want to hire locally. It is not that companies do not want to hire locally, it is a fact that relevant skill sets are not available. The statistics of unemployment is at a high on one side and there are a number of job vacancies on the other side. The problem is that this regulatory action I am told, as it comes out one after the other, will come in the form of an interim final rule which basically means that companies or industry bodies or anyone will not get a time to comment on it, which is rather ad hoc I think it is important that if there are going to be regulatory actions, then it should not appear in the form of an interim final rule. People should be allowed to make a comment on that and then the US administration is obviously free to take a decision as it deems appropriate. These kind of things have been happening each month, increasing unpredictability at a time when the industry is making a huge contribution both in terms of Covid recovery period and providing critical infrastructure to healthcare, online education and even working for the Covid vaccine as essential workers and at the same time making all these contributions. It is a huge challenge and in some way or form, it will impact innovation and R&D and some of the others if free flow of talent globally is not allowed in the way it should be, given there is an acknowledged STEM skills gap in the US.