India has been entering into bilateral Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with other nations in order to protect the interests of Indian professionals / skilled workers working abroad for short durations and enhance the competitiveness of Indian companies.
SSAs broadly provide the following three benefits.
- Avoiding making of double Social Security contributions by the workers;
- Easy remittance of benefits;
- Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization).
The agreement will also provide for disability insurance benefits to the Indian nationals working abroad. As on date, India has signed SSAs with 18 countries.
The signed agreement will be hosted on the Ministry’s website and the website of Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation for the information of the stakeholders so that they can secure certificates of coverage to avoid making double social security contributions.
At present, about 1,000 Brazilians are living in India, while about 4,700 Indians are living in Brazil.
All posted/detached workers and self-employed persons will benefit from this proposal without any discrimination.
The SSA will cover the territories of the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Thus, it would promote equity and inclusiveness, the statement said.
Export of Social Security benefits of Indian workers after their relocation from Brazil is an innovative arrangement to ensure that there is no loss of social security benefits and also adds to the competitiveness of Indian companies by reducing their overall costs, the statement added.
The idea to ink pacts on social security programmes with BRICS nations was discussed at the meetings of the BRICS Labour& Employment Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi, respectively.