During a meeting with Deputy US Trade Representative Robert Holleyman, Indian Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia pushed on behalf of India issues regarding the high costs of Visa in the United States and a mechanism that allows Indian executives on short-term work visas have their social security contributions rightfully returned to them.
Teaotia also suggested creating a separate working group to discuss market access for Indian pharmaceuticals and traditional AYUSH pharmacopeia and professionals.
“She (the commerce secretary) highlighted the need for setting up a High Level Group to discuss India’s concerns on US Totalization and Social Security Act (how the policy was discriminatory towards Indian workers in the US, who ended up losing their social security contributions due to discrepancy in the visa and social security regimes, also indicating recourse to legal remedies),” an official statement said.
The suggestions and issues come after the United States signed Totalisation Agreements with several countries including India. As other countries have been treated fairly, India argues that its professionals do not get a refund on their unusable social security benefits because they were not part of the welfare net.
Meanwhile, the US argued that India’s social security net is not similar to the US’ scheme, which downplays the dilemma further.