NEW DELHI (TIP): Finance minister Arun Jaitley has urged US authorities to create a framework that would help Indian workers to get back $3 billion annually, which they contribute as social security in the US.

“A related issue is totalization. Indians contribute — according to research done by Jacob Kirkegaard at the Peterson Institute — about $3 billion annually to the US government by way of social security contributions, which they will never receive back,” Jaitley said in a speech in Washington on deepening India-US economic ties.

“This is like an aid programme that Indian workers run for the US government. I would urge the US administration to create a framework and start a process so that we can rectify what is really a very unjust situation. I am confident that the US will take up this matter soon,” he said.

India has been pushing to sign a totalization agreement with the US but Washington has repeatedly rejected such a proposal. Jaitley detailed the steps being taken by the government to boost growth and benefit from the demographic dividend. He said the potential of India is considerable and the government plans to raise growth to a sustained double-digit trajectory and, hence, realizing the demographic dividend. “The US can both contribute to this process as well as participate in the opportunities that the Indian future will create. In these and other endeavours, the US will continue to remain India’s key strategic ally and partner… The basis for a 21st century relationship for a 21st century country has been established. Let us build on it. Chalein Saath Saath.”

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