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WTO: India pushes for simpler qualification, licensing norms for foreign workers

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2019 Published on March 12, 2019

FILE PHOTO   -  Reuters

Draft to be discussed at a meeting next week

India has pushed for more transparent and simpler qualification and licensing norms at the World Trade Organization for workers and professionals seeking to work in another country and has circulated a draft paper for consideration of other members.

“Members recognise the difficulties which may be faced by service suppliers, particularly those of least-developed country members and developing country members, in complying with measures relating to licensing requirements and procedures, qualification requirements and procedures, and technical standards of other members (countries),” the draft states explaining the need for simpler and straight norms.

The draft, circulated by the Indian delegation at the WTO to members of the Working Party on Domestic Regulation, lays down ways in which the qualification and licensing norms could be made easier to comprehend and implement.

It will be discussed by all members at the meeting of the Working Party meeting next week.

“Where a member imposes licensing or qualification requirements for the supply of a service, it shall ensure that adequate procedures exist to enable an applicant to fulfil such requirements,” the draft stated.

In verifying and assessing qualifications and licensing requirements, the competent authority shall give due consideration to relevant professional experience of the applicant as a complement to educational qualifications. “Where the competent authority considers that membership in a relevant professional association in the territory of another member is indicative of the level of competence or extent of experience of the applicant, such membership shall also be given due consideration,” it added.

Once qualification requirements and any applicable licensing requirements have been fulfilled, each member shall ensure that a service supplier is allowed to supply the service without undue delay, subject to the applicable terms and conditions, it said.

“Each member shall ensure that licensing and qualification procedures are simple, reasonable and clear for applicants to demonstrate whether they meet the relevant licensing or qualification requirements,” the draft said. It added that the procedures should also be impartial with respect to all applicants.

Published on March 12, 2019
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