India, Canada to sign agreement on short term visits

India, Canada to sign agreement on short term visits

"Under the proposed agreement, an expatriate in either country need not contribute to social security schemes of the host country," A Didar Singh, Secretary in the Ministry for Overseas Indian Affairs, said here yesterday.

Singh, who was here to promote Canadian investment in India and woo Indo-Canadians to participate in the 9th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in New Delhi from January 7-9 next year, was addressing the community at a function organised by the Indian Consulate and the Panorama India.

"The agreement, which once signed, would benefit thousands of Indian who are working in Canada and paying social security but are unable to get any benefit out of it," he said.

Referring to India's migration policy, Singh said, "India's 5,000-year history of migration has led us to a deep appreciation of the importance of migration to India's development as a modern economy and to its relations with countries around the globe."

Singh, who made a presentation about forthcoming PBD, said: "The PBD is celebration of 25 million of Global Indians who are living across 192 countries and are able to co-exist with different cultures, religions, and societies around the world."

It was celebrated every year on the day Mahatma Gandhi returned to India from Africa, Singh said.

The Indian Council of Overseas Employment (ICOE) was looking forward from Indo-Canadians and a Canadian think tank for cooperation on migration policy issues like the impact of labour migration on economic development, he said.

"India is a major force in international migration dynamics and represents one of the largest and most successful immigrant communities in the Canada."

The Pravasi Bhartiya Divas is expected to be opened by India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Preeti Saran, Consul General of India, commended the efforts made by Panorama India, Canada India Foundation and Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in strengthening economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Canada for the G-20 Summit in June, "infused vitality and content to our relationship (with Canada) and fostered closer cultural bonds between India and Canada," she said.

Saran urged the Indian diaspora in Canada to attend and participate in the forthcoming Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Ajit Khanna, co-chair, Panorama India, highlighted the contributions made by the Panorama India in strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries.

Brijeshwar Singh, chairman of the National Highway Authority of India pointed out investment opportunities in the Highway sector and highlighted the achievements of the authority.

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