New Delhi: Thousands of Indian professionals working in Austria will soon be exempted from paying social security contribution there if they make such payments in India.
    
The benefit will be available under the social security pact India entered into with Austria which will also provide for cooperation in area of labour market expansion with the country where over 17,000 Indian professionals are working currently.
    
The agreement was signed by Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Austria's Minister for Labour and Social Security Rudolf Hundstorfer in Vienna on Monday.

Under the agreement, India workers on short-term contracts of up to five years will not be required to make any social security contribution in Austria provided they continue to make social security payments India.
    
The relief will be available to Indian workers even if an Indian company sends its employees to Austria from a third country. Officials said similar relaxation will be provided to Austrian citizens working in India.
    
As per the pact, Indian workers will be entitled to "export" of their social security benefits if they relocate to India after completion of their service in Austria. Self-employed Indians will also be entitled to export of the benefits on their relocation to India.
    
According to Indian labour laws, all employees and employers falling under the purview of the Employees Provident Fund Act, 1952, are required to make mandatory contribution towards provident fund. A mandatory contribution fund is known by different names in different countries, such as social security in the US.
    
Though professionals posted in foreign countries continue to make such payments in India, they are compelled to pay social security tax in the host countries too leading to double contribution.
    
Officials said the pact will also help in cooperation in area of labour market expansion with Austria.
    
"There is a huge potential for Indian workers to take employment in Austria as there is a huge labour supply gap in the country," they said.
    
India has already signed similar agreements with Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Denmark, Czech Republic, South Korea, Norway,
Finland, Canada and Japan.

(Agencies)

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