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Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi and Dutch Minister of Social Welfare and Employment Jan Piet Hein Donner had announced the pact during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas Europe (Indian Diaspora meeting) Sep 19 at The Hague, EuAsiaNews reported, citing Dutch website

Wahid Saleh, a prominent Indian social worker in the Netherlands who runs the website, which focuses on India related information, said that in October 2002, he had informed the Indian embassy in the Hague about the new “Dutch Law on Export Restrictions on Benefits Act (BEU)”.

The new law would deprive NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) and Dutch nationals with an Indian spouse living in the Netherlands of social security benefits if they return to India after retiring at the age of 65.

In May 2005, Saleh sent a petition to the Indian prime minister seeking his intervention to save the right of social security benefits.

Ravi took up this issue and as a result, the long awaited social security agreement between the two countries will be signed next month.

The agreement will cover several branches of social insurance.

“At long last we have received the good news,” said Saleh, who has been awarded the coveted Dutch honour “Ridder va de Orange” in recognition of his social services.

An estimated 19,000 Indians are living in the Netherlands.



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