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Vice President on two-nation tour

delhi Updated: Jun 06, 2010 09:23 IST

Vice President Hamid Ansari will undertake a visit to Czech Republic beginning on Monday during which several bilateral agreements will be signed including one on social security that will save Indians working there for less than five years from paying taxes.

During the six-day two-nation tour, Ansari will also visit Croatia where he will meet top leadership of that country.

In the first leg of the tour in Czech Republic, he will meet President Vaclav Klaus, President of Senate Premysl Sobotka and sign three agreements on cooperation in economic and social issues.

"Under the Social Security Agreement with Czech Republic, citizens working in either country in less than five years would be exempted from social security contributions," Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Vivek Katju told reporters here.

Besides, the contributions of those who return after five years will also be protected through the proposed pact.

Currently bilateral trade between India and Czech Republic stands at USD one billion every year.

"The Czech Republic supports India's bid for a permanent membership in UN Security Council and non-permanent seat in UNSC in 2011-12," Katju said.

Ansari's visit will be first high level visit to Czech Republic after former President Shankar Dayal Sharma's tour to that country in 1996.

During his visit to Croatia beginning June nine, the Vice President will meet President Ivo Josipovic, Speaker of the Parliament Luka Bebic and sign two agreements on mutual cooperation in promotion of trade, health care and culture.

"There are opportunities for enhancing cooperation with Croatia in areas like energy, infrastructure, information technology and tourism," Katju said.

Annual bilateral trade between India and Croatia stands at USD 160 million.

Croatia also supports India's bid for a permanent membership in the UN Security Council and non-permanent seat in UNSC in 2011-12.

Ansari will be accompanied by Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Sachin Pilot and MPs Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Prasanta Chatterjee (CPI-M), Maya Singh(BJP) and Mohammed Azharuddin (Congress).