Indo-US strategic & commercial dialogue on Aug 30

New Delhi : India is expected to raise its concerns over the visa issue and pitch for fast-tracking the talks for the proposed Social Security Agreement during the second US-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) here on August 30.

“During the day-long meeting, India and the US would discuss issues to further strengthen bilateral economic relations. India is likely to raise the issue of visa and Social Security Agreement in the meeting,” an official said.
Besides, the two sides would deliberate on ways to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in both the countries.
India wants early conclusion of the Totalisation Agreement or Social Security Agreement with the US.
The US has entered into this agreement with several nations for the purpose of avoiding double taxation of income with respect to social security taxes.

Under these, professionals of both the countries would be exempted from social security taxes when they go to work for a short period in other country.

India has voiced concern over hike in visa fee by the US time and again, saying it impacts Indian IT professionals.
India had already filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the US decision to impose high fees on temporary working visas.

The official said the India-US CEOs Forum would meet on August 30 to discuss ways to enhance trade and investments between the two countries.

The meeting gains importance given India’s need for massive funding in infrastructure and the ambitious goal set by the two countries to increase bilateral trade to USD 500 billion per annum from the existing about USD 100 billion.
From Indian side, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry will co-chair the forum’s meeting. About 20 top CEOs would participate in the meet from each side.

For the S&CD, US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker will visit the national capital. From the Indian side, Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will attend the meeting.

The first dialogue of US-India S&CD was held in Washington last year in September. The US leaders are also expected to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 31.

The bilateral trade in goods between the countries stood at USD 62 billion in 2015-16. India has received USD 17.94 billion foreign direct investment from the US during April 2000 and March 2016.