UK must simplify immigration system says leading Indian businessman

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, the chief executive of Tata Consulting Services says that the UK government should improve 'labour mobility' to increase levels of inward investment. He said 'Britain must simplify the visa system for workers wanting to come in and out'. He told UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph that this would help the UK to continue to recover from the global financial crisis of 2008.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr Chandrasekaran told The Sunday Telegraph that UK companies could become more competitive if they made their internal business processes more efficient. He said that his company would be in a 'unique position' to help UK companies do this if only his staff could get into the country. He said 'We want to be able to help our clients but need more flexibility of labour'.

Mr Chandrasekaran said that his staff were not interested in emigrating to the UK. 'They want to come and work and leave' he said.

Tata Consulting is part of Lakshmi Mittal's Tata Group, one of India's biggest companies. Tata owns Jaguar Land Rover and various steel interests in the UK. It is said to employ about 9,000 people in the UK. 900 Tata steelworkers in the north-east of England were made redundant in November 2012.

Technology is 'shaping the economy'

Mr Chandrasekaran said that technological advances would not only create savings for business through efficiency, they could also drive growth in other ways. He gave the example of the iPad. 'At the time of the Beijing Olympics (in 2008), no-one had heard of the iPad. By the London Olympics, there were 55m tablets in use. Companies need to reimagine the way the work to take advantage of these changes. Technology is shaping the economy and playing a central role in the recovery' he said.

Currently, skilled workers who work for international consultancy firms with a UK presence can enter the country on a Tier 2 (Inter Company Transfer) visa. There is no cap on the number of these visas that can be granted annually but business people have complained that the requirements for getting visas for staff are bureaucratic and difficult.

Other skilled workers with a job offer in the UK can travel to work in the UK with a Tier 2 (General) visa. There is an annual cap on the number of these visas that can be granted of 20,700.

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