Washington: Top American lawmaker Rich McCormick heaped praise on Indian-Americans noting that the community which constitutes about one per cent of the US population pay about six per cent of the taxes.

In his first speech in the US House of Representatives, the Congressman from Georgia urged for a streamlined immigration process. He also paid special tribute to Swati Vijay Kulkarni who is set to return to India after serving as the third consul general in Atlanta.

"I rise to this occasion to just appreciate my constituents, especially those who have immigrated from India. We have a very large portion of my community that's made up of almost 100,000 People who have immigrated directly from India. One out of every five doctors in my community is from India. They represent some of the best citizens we have in America, we should make sure that we streamline the immigration process for those who come here to obey the law and pay their taxes."

McCormick, who represents the 6th Congressional District of Georgia, further said that although the Indian-American community makes up only 1 per cent of American society, they pay about 6 per cent of the taxes. He lauded the community for their productiveness and for being the law-abiding citizens of the country.

"Although they make up about 1 per cent of American society, they pay about 6 per cent of the taxes. They are amongst the top producers, and they do not cause problems. They follow laws. They don't have the problems that we see other people have when they come to the emergency room for overdoses and depression anxiety because they're the most productive, most family oriented and the best of what represents American citizens. God bless my Indian constituents," said the US Congressman.

McCormick, a physician by profession, also stated he looked forward to meeting with Dr Swati Vijay Kulkarni, Consul General of India in Atlanta as her term ends.

"We look forward to meeting with Ambassador and God bless Dr Kulkarni and as she finishes her appointment as Indian consulate general to Atlanta," he said.

"As Dr Swati Vijay Kulkarni returns to India from her position as Consul General in Atlanta (@CGI_Atlanta) I wanted to give a quick tribute to her and our amazing Indian-American community in Georgia, who are great patriots, upstanding citizens, and good friends," tweeted McCormick.

Notably, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal has requested the United States to speed up the issuance of business visas so that people can undertake short trips to pursue their business and trade interests.

"We found very good resonance to our request that issuance of business visas which is taking a long time back home in India is an area which needs to be expedited, so that business persons interested on both sides, need to have faster processing of business visas so that trade, investment does not suffer," Piyush Goyal said during a press conference after participating in the 13th India-US Trade Policy Forum in Washington.

"India has made the request to the US that they may speed up the issuance of regular business visas where people come in for short trips to pursue their trade and business interest," he added.

Goyal underlined that the movement of professionals, students, skilled workers, investors, and business travellers is expanding between the two countries.

"And that has helped increase our bilateral relations. We are grateful that the US was able to process the student visas on an expedited basis so that in the post covid scenario our students would come to the US to pursue their studies in the fall of 2022 semester," he added.

Goyal was on an official visit to New York and Washington DC from 9-11 January to participate in India-US Trade Policy Forum. His visit included delegation-level talks and a one-to-one meeting with US Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai.

About 4.2 million Indian-Americans/Indian-origin people reside in the US. Indian Americans constitute the third largest Asian ethnic group in the US. There are a number of Indian-American community organizations as well as several professional organizations of Indian-Americans.

Indian Americans are one of the most successful immigrant communities in the US and are excelling in diverse fields, including politics. The Indian diaspora has been a catalyst in cementing closer ties between India and the US.

The nearly 200,000 Indian students in the United States contribute USD 7.7 billion annually to the US economy. It accounted for 23 per cent of total remittances in 2020-21.