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Last Updated : May 16, 2019 08:02 PM IST | Source:

Editor's pick: Green cards for Indians may become easier; Huawei controversy just got messier; After Jet, an Indigo crisis? Oh dear.

...and other stories from India and around the world

Moneycontrol Contributor @moneycontrolcom

Rakesh Sharma

Trump's new immigration plan may make it easier for Indian professionals to get green cards

"They don’t have to be Shakespeare, but they need to be able to navigate the law," an official from the Trump administration said about those people the administration plans to favour in their new immigration laws. Brainchild of Trump's son-in-law, Jarred Kushner, the new plan primarily focuses on strengthening border security and revamping the system of Green Card or legal permanent residency so that people with merit, higher degrees and professional qualifications could get an easy access to the immigration system.

CNBC reported, "In addition to basic health and criminal record checks, applicants would be awarded points for various factors, including age, English proficiency, an offer of employment or an investment and job creation pledge, and educational and vocational certifications."

President Trump is all set to announce a new proposal to overhaul the country's immigration policy that would give preference to foreigners based on merit rather than the existing system that gives preference to family ties, a move that could end the agonising Green Card wait for hundreds and thousands of Indian professionals.

According to Kushner and his team, as of now, about 66 per cent of the green cards are given to those with family ties and only 12 per cent are based on skills. The Trump administration is set to put an end to this. The team did a comparative analysis of how immigration works in other developed countries - they found that 12% of migration to the United States was based on employment and skill, compared with 63% for Canada, 57% for New Zealand, 68% for Australia and 52% for Japan. With this new plan, they plan to take the 12% tally to 57%.

According to CNBC, "The officials said they have aggressive economic goals for the plan, predicting that it would increase annual GDP by 0.17 percentage point over 10 years, add $500 billion in new tax revenue, and reduce spending on social safety net programs by about $100 billion."

Crucially, the plan is not expected to address the crucial electoral issue of "Dreamers," who are young undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children. Democratic lawmakers have made securing a pathway to citizenship for them one of their top legislative priorities.

While several Indians living in the US might heave a sigh of relief now that their Green Card wait agony might be over, this new plan is certainly not good news for thousands of immigrants who, at great risk to life, cross over into the border for a better life for themselves and their families.

It would appear that the major talking point for the 2020 presidential election is upon us now.

Indigo top management crisis?

Even as we are digesting the Jet crisis - and its many new nuggets of many crises - reports have appeared that suggest that all is not well in the top management of the country's largest airline Indigo. Apparently, there are serious differences over the airline's expansion strategies between the two promoters, Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal. Analysts are worried that this new Indigo crisis has the potential to send the Indian aviation sector into a disastrous tizzy, considering the recent Jet saga.

The Economic Times has reported that Bhatia and Gangwal are trying to sort out the differences with the help of their respective law firms. Gangwal's aggressive approach to expanding overseas seems to be at the heart of the matter. Bhatia, according to Business Today, also fears that Gangwal is trying to take greater control over the airline as he hired his own team, including some top-level executives, on key posts in the recent past. Gangwal, an industry veteran himself, having worked with United Airlines and US Airways before launching IndiGo, has been responsible for these hires, including Gregory Taylor as its CEO. Taylor and other foreign hires are from UA, Gangwal's previous employer. Business Today further said, "The issues cropped up in 2018 after Gangwal sought aggressive expansion to tap into India's aviation market while Bhatia called for a balanced and cautious approach. Gangwal in February 2018 had claimed to increase the airline's capacity to 250 from 155 (almost 52 per cent). The proposal didn't go down well with IndiGo management, including Aditya Ghosh who subsequently resigned from the airline as its whole-time director in April 2018. Questioning Gangwal's approach, the Bhatia camp had reportedly raised the issue of "overcapacity" and "yield"."

With Jet unravelling in recent times, the promoters clearly believe now is the time for IndiGo to aggressively expand and fill the lacuna left by Jet. But it appears their approaches are different, and this is what has caused the deadlock. Bhatia believes wide-bodied aircraft are the way to go forward in their pursuit of international success, while Gangwal thinks narrow-bodied Boeing 737 for its operations and codeshare agreements with global airlines to be the way to go.

With a market cap of nearly 62,000 crore rupees, Indigo is the largest airline in the country. Rahul Bhatia and family have a 38.26 per cent in IndiGo, while Rakesh Gangwal, along with his family, owns 36.69 per cent in the low-cost carrier. As per March figures, with a market share of 47 per cent, IndiGo has a fleet of 225 aircraft right now. The airline runs 1,400 daily flights to 54 domestic and 17 international routes.

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First Published on May 16, 2019 08:02 pm
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