Cabinet clears social security pact with Brazil

New Delhi, Dec 11 () The government on Wednesday approved a social security agreement between India and Brazil, which would enable workers of both the nations to avoid making double social security contributions while their stay in each other's territory.

India has been signing bilateral social security agreements (SSAs) with other countries in order to protect the interests of Indian professionals/skilled workers working abroad for short durations and enhance the competitiveness of Indian companies.

"The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for signing the agreement on social security between the Republic of India and the Federative Republic of Brazil," an official statement said.

The SSA with Brazil will help in avoiding making of double social security contributions by the workers (detachment); easy remittance of benefits (exportability); aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (totalisation).

The agreement will also provide for disability insurance benefits to Indian nationals working abroad.

As on date, India has signed SSAs with 18 countries. The idea of inking such pacts with BRICS nations was discussed at the bloc's ministerial level meetings in Geneva and New Delhi in 2016.

The possibility of concluding SSAs with BRICS countries also finds mention in the Goa Declaration of the 8th BRICS Leaders' Summit. Taking forward the spirit of the Goa Declaration, India and Brazil held negotiations on SSA from March 13-16, 2017 in Brasilia.

At the end of the negotiations, both sides initialled the finalised text of the Agreement on Social Security.

The signed agreement will be hosted on the websites of labour ministry and the EPFO for 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.

Thus, it would promote equity and inclusiveness. 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 SSA will cover the territories of India and Brazil. KKS KKS ANU ANU
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