Major IT companies including TCS, Wipro, Infosys and HCL Technologies were top losers on the index after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending a number of employment visas including the H-1Bs to restrict immigrant workers in the country.
TCS registered one of its worst openings of a negative 11.15 per cent on Tuesday, while Infosys opened with 5 per cent negative and Wipro tanked 1.5 per cent. Nifty IT index was down 0.16 per cent to 14,440.
Issuing a presidential proclamation, Trump on Monday temporarily blocked entries into the US through H-1B, H-2B, L and J visas. With effect from Wednesday, June 24, the visas will continue to remain suspended till the end of the year.
Experts predicted that the move was likely to impact Indian IT companies as nearly 70 per cent of the 85,000 visas issued each year are to Indians. Work visas such as H1-B and L1 are regularly used by IT companies to hire Indian employees to work on contractual basis in the US.
TCS and Infosys' exposure to H-1B visas is at 40-50 per cent while Wipro and HCL Tech are at 30-35 per cent.
Disappointed by Trump's proclamation, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that immigration had helped in the economic growth to the US. "Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation - we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all," Pichai tweeted.
Trump's move to temporarily ban visas aims to free up to 5,25,000 jobs for US citizens who have lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic.