India-US trade negotiations going in full swing: Nirmala Sitharaman
New Delhi : Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday claimed that the trade negotiations between India and the United States are on full swing and expressed hope that it will conclude soon.
The trade deal negotiations started during a pull aside between Ms Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at the IMF headquarters.
"In fact, I broadly mentioned it to Secretary Mnuchin, but that is something on which the Commerce minister and Mr (Robert) Lighthizer (US Trade Representatives) are working. My inputs are that the negotiations are going in full speed and there's a great intensity with which both sides are engaging and hopefully the deal will be structured soon," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Answering a question, she said a totalisation agreement with the US has always been on the cards. "One of the reasons why that was never responded to was that India did not have a social welfare net or social insurance cover for Indians in India. And therefore, if they had to give it, they wouldn't be given in the sense where would it be used?" she said.
"Today, I think most private insurances or for many of the families which are below the certain level of income, Ayushman Bharat is a fantastic big coverage. There is also now a lot more private sector option for insurance coverage. So whether that has been factored in now in the negotiations on this particular thing, I'm not adequately informed," Sitharaman added.