With regard to H-1B visas, Shringla said that Indian authorities had addressed the issue during Tuesday`s dialogue with their American counterparts and stressed that Indian experts are making a significant contribution to the high-tech sector in the United States. « The SSAs offer three benefits overall, including preventing double social security contributions for workers, simply transferring benefits and aggregating contribution periods in two countries to avoid loss of benefits, » Rao said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of the need for the totalization agreement, while Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that the two issues relating to the H-1B visa, which has a direct impact on the IT sector, and totalization agreements with the US authorities were addressed. New Delhi and Washington had several roundtable discussions on a totalization agreement a decade ago. But the talks were suspended because the United States said that India had not been able to offer its citizens enough social security and that the two countries` systems were too incompatible for a pact to be drawn up. India on Tuesday called on the United States to consider signing a totalization agreement to avoid a double deduction of the incomes of workers working in the other company`s countries and to allow Indian partial-unemployment workers in the United States to recover billions of dollars in social security deposits. India insists on such a pact because, under U.S. law, foreign workers can claim social security reimbursements after 10 years of service, while H-1B visas are only issued for up to six years. As a result, social security contributions cannot be used by workers at all. « The issue of totalization has also arisen. There was a feeling that Indian pros who spend less than eight years and contribute to social security…

really need to get that money back, » Shringla said Tuesday. The United States has formalized totalization pacts with countries such as Canada and Australia. India also hopes to be on this list, » the official added. Click here to read the Mint ePaperMint is now on telegram. Join the mint chain in your telegram and stay up to date with the latest economic news. As per day, India has SSAs with at least 18 countries and the United States has an agreement with more than 24 nations. Some believe, however, that the United States may not be willing to consider a pact until India has a universal social security system in place. « It is possible that the US SSA will insist on a universal social security system covering the entire population before agreeing to a totalization pact, » said a Delhi trade expert. « The United States believes that due to the incompatibility of the two social security systems, the totalization agreement may not be plausible in the current context, » says the joint CII-USIBC report, which recommends an analysis of the feasibility and prospects of an agreement.