Review of India-S’pore economic pact not on hold
I refer to the article “Review of India-S’pore economic pact not on hold: Delhi” (Straits Times, Apr 6).
It states that “India’s Commerce Ministry says it is in discussion with Singapore on providing visas for its IT professionals but denies that the issue has led to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca) being put on hold.
“Disagreements over the movement of professionals”?
The ministry denied a report in The Times of India that the review of Ceca had been put on hold due to disagreements over the movement of professionals.
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) has complained that the movement of Indian software professionals to Singapore had been reduced to a “trickle” since January last year and that it was hurting software firms, some of which were even looking to relocate.”
India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry also expressed concern that restrictions on the movement of Indian professionals to Singapore violate the terms of Ceca but said the matter was under discussion.
The pact has a chapter which basically provides for citizens of one country going to the other for temporary stays to provide services, including professionals who are in a specialised occupation.
“The movement of natural persons is explicitly provided for in the agreement (Ceca),” India’s Commerce Ministry spokesman said in response to a query from The Straits Times, on the impact of the move on an ongoing review of the agreement. “Recent policy measures by Singapore that do not respect this provision are a cause of concern and are being discussed with the Government of Singapore.”
How many have come since 2005?
How many foreigners have come to Singapore since the CECA became operational in 2005?
127 occupations can come up to 1 year?
In this connection, I understand that professionals in the 127 occupations listed, can come to Singapore for up to one year?
If its not more than a year, are they counted in any of the normal foreign employment pass categories like the employment passes?
Counted in foreign worker statistics?
Are all of them counted in the annual statistics on the increase in foreign workers, employment passes, etc?
Impact on Singaporeans?
And what are the implications for Singaporeans?
Given the implications of the India‐Singapore CECA on jobs and salaries of Singaporeans, how much was debated in Parliament on the impact of this and other Free-Trade Agreements (FTAs) that Singapore has signed with other countries?
Short term Service Suppliers can come for 90 to 180 days?
I also understand that in addition to the professionals in the 127 occupations who can come to Singapore for up to one year, there may also have been “Short term Service Suppliers (who) can get entry for up to 90 days to provide a specific service, with provision for a further 90 day extension”.