BENGALURU: British Prime Minister Theresa May made a day-long, action-packed stop at Bengaluru on Tuesday. May, who arrived in the morning, was received by IT/BT Minister Priyank Kharge. She later met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Industries Minister R V Deshpande, where she conveyed concerns about the latest restrictions on applying for visas.
Requesting her to review the visa policy, Siddaramaiah said that fast growing and high value tech sectors relied on effective immigration policy that attracted high-skilled workers and minimised barriers to the flow of talented people.
Under the new visa rules announced by the UK Home Office, anyone applying after November 24 under the tier-2 intra-company transfer (ICT) category will be required to meet a higher salary threshold of 30,000 pounds from the earlier 20,800 pounds.
“The movement of skilled tech workers from India should be seen as a trade priority rather than an immigration issue. Temporary placement of highly-skilled individuals in the UK provides a significant economic boost while having a negligible impact on net migration. I request you to review the new policy so that the earlier threshold is continued,” he said.
May then went to the government school at Sadahalli near Yelahanka, which has been adopted by Embassy Group. The group runs Stonehill International School and works with the British Embassy.
May interacted with the children and teachers and learnt about the activities there. This was followed by a visit to Dynamatic Technologies in Peenya. She later headed for lunch with some industrialists at 13th Floor located at Barton Centre on M G Road.
She then headed to Taj Vivanta on M G Road, changed into a silk saree and visited the Someshwara temple at Ulsoor. She then went for a meeting with business leaders which lasted for an hour, before she headed back to Delhi.
Around 15 per cent of UK-based companies in India are in Karnataka, employing 23,000 people.
These companies are in ICT, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, health and life science sectors. Several companies such as Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Dynamatic Technologies, Biocon, Microlabs continue to be present in the UK.