NRI commission assists Goan families in repatriation of mortal remains of bread winners

The NRI commission recently assisted in the repatriation of mortal remains of a 68-year-old man from St Estevam who died of a heart attack in Sharjah.

When the company he was working for months before he expired, refused to repatriate his mortal remains, his friend intimated the NRI commissioner who approached the Indian high commission that completed the required formalities and bore the cost of sending his body back home.

When a generator technician Baptista D’Souza from Mapusa, working in Saudi Arabia for 35 years, expired in a traffic accident while out on duty to attend to a customer at Al Kharj, the embassy of India facilitated the transportation of his remains and collected his dues to the tune of Rs 52 lakh from his company, disbursed through the district collector, North Goa, to all his legal heirs.

All that the family has to submit is a legal heirship certificate and a power of attorney issued in favour of the Indian embassy abroad, U D Kamat, OSD to NRI commissioner, says. “The legal heirship certificate is issued by the district collector, which the commission then sends to the ministry of external affairs, New Delhi, to get it apostilled. The power of attorney in favour of the Indian embassy permits the embassy to appoint one of its lawyers on its panel to pursue the compensation case. This would otherwise prove very costly for the family,” says Kamat, adding that a family must approach the NRI commission or embassy within three years of the mishap occurring, beyond which it is difficult to pursue a compensation case.

It is mostly Goans working in the Gulf who approach the commission for help. Those in the USA and UK are better off and many no more hold Indian passports.

When Vito Raicar from Bicholim, working in Kuwait, expired due to natural causes, his remains were transported to Goa for cremation and the question of his outstanding dues to the legal heirs was taken up with the embassy of India in Kuwait following which a cheque amount of Rs 4 lakh was received by the North Goa collector and disbursed to his legal heirs after due verification.


You may also check out Garamchai.com reference Dying abroad: Death, dying and repatriation of mortal remains of NRI


In another case, Joao Fernandes from Salcete, who was working as a housekeeping supervisor at a resort in Saudi Arabia, was killed in a terrorist attack following which the family of the deceased received his salary dues and an amount towards the insurance claim after the embassy pursued the matter.

Read the rest on Times of India

NRI Group Offers Tips On How To Survive In America

After The Killing Of Srinivas Kuchibhotla*, NRI Group Offers Tips On How To Survive In America

The General Secretary of the Virginia-based Telangana American Telugu Association (TATA), Vikram Jangam, offers four “tips” for Indians in America. Some tips for community members and South Asian descent during these challenging times. Please be aware of your surroundings and say something if you see anything suspicious.

  • Do not get into Argument with others at public places
  • If someone is provoking, Avoid confronting and leave the place.
  • Do not communicate in Mother Tongue as it may be misconstructed.
  • Avoid Isolated places
  • Avoid staying single
  • Do not Hesitate to call 911 in emergency.

Some of this is common sense and many of us living in the US may already be aware of these tips.


Kuchibhotla and Alok Madasani were at a bar in Kansas on Wednesday when Adam W Purinton asked them if they were in the country illegally. After he was thrown out of the bar, Purinton returned and yelled “get out of my country”. He shot dead Kuchibhotla and wounded Madasani.

NEET 2017 FAQ for NRI, OCI, and foreign national aspirants

Here is a recent announcement from India’s  Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) regarding NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST (NEET)

As per regulations framed under the Indian Medical Council Act-1956 as amended in 2016 and the Dentists Act-1948 as amended in 2016, NATIONAL ELIGIBILITY CUM ENTRANCE TEST (UG) – 2017 [NEET(UG)-2017] will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), for admission to MBBS/BDS Courses in India in Medical/Dental Colleges run with the approval of Medical Council of India/Dental Council of India under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India except for the institutions established through an Act of Parliament e.g. AIIMS and JIPMER Puducherry.

The NEET (UG)-2017 will be conducted on Sunday, the 7th May, 2017. The responsibility of the CBSE is limited to the conduct of the entrance examination, declaration of result and providing All India Rank to the Directorate General Health Services, Government of India for the conduct of counselling for 15% All India Quota Seats and for supplying the result to state/other Counselling Authorities.

A lot of students go abroad to study medicine. Those who have studied medicine in the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada are exempted from the screening test. (Representational image)
Googled Image of Test takers

 

This year foreign national aspirants need to take NEET, according to Supreme Court orders passed last year. Here are some key points that Non-Resident Indians (NRI), Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and foreign nationals need to keep in mind before applying for NEET 2017.

A few additional clarifications for NRIs and Foreign nationals

What is the minimum qualification for appearing in NEET-UG, 2017 for candidates of Foreign Nationals?

  • Any examination which in scope and standard (Last 02 years of 10+2 Study comprising of Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology; Which shall include practical test in these subjects) is found to be equivalent to the Intermediate Science Examination of an Indian University/Board, taking Physics, Chemistry and Biology/Bio-technology including practical tests in each of these subjects and English.
  • Provided that to be eligible for competitive entrance examination, candidate must have passed any of the qualifying examinations as enumerated in Bulletin or appearing in the qualifying examination in 2017.
  • Provided further that the students educated abroad seeking admission into medical colleges in India must have passed in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Bio-technology and English up to the 12th standard level with 50% marks and their equivalency determined as per regulations of the Medical Council of India and the concerned University.

 

What are the eligibility criteria for appearing in NEET-UG, 2017?

Indian Nationals, Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Oversees Citizen of India (OCIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) & Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear in NEET (UG)-2017.

  • He/she has completed age of 17 years at the time of admission or will complete the age on or before 31st December of the year of his/her admission to the 1styear MBBS/BDS Course.
  • The upper age limit for NEET-UG is 25 years as on the date of examination with relaxation of 5 years for the candidates belonging to SC/ST/ OBC category.

Who can appear in NEET-UG, 2017 for 15% All India Quota seats?

  • Indian Nationals
  • Non Resident Indians (NRIs)
  • Oversees Citizen of India (OCIs)
  • Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs)
  • Foreign Nationals are eligible to appear in NEET (UG)-2017 for 15% All India Quota Seats.

From which city foreign nationals, OCIs & PIOs can appear in NEET-UG, 2017?

They can choose any three cities as given in Appendix-II.


NRI Q&A: For returning NRIs of India, is there any way to save the tax on the NRE Savings interest?

Here is a recent online query:

For returning NRIs of India, is there any way to save the tax on the NRE Savings interest?

This is typically interesting. If you keep your money overseas, you can avoid the Indian taxes that is relatively high and hardly 1% of Indians pay taxes. In other words, practically the Government does not want the funds to be brought back to India. Looks weird!!!

Response below:

Evaluating just tax on your interest/savings is very myopic and can lead to poor decisions. Why do I say that?

  • Repatriate or not is a question that requires a lot of thought
    • Interest / dividends income in many western countries is taxable. For instance, if you have an account in the US, UK or Canada, your financial institution will automatically report it to tax authorities, and may also deduct tax (TDS) before you get paid.
    • Interest rates in the west – in $s £s or € – are much less than offered for ₹.
    • Of course other factors like exchange rate fluctuations will have to be taken into account
  • It is not practical – or wise – to evade taxes. Look for holistic strategies to avoid and minimize taxes. Check out Difference Between Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (with Comparison Chart) – Key Differences
  • Tax planning needs to take a 360 view of your earnings and finances and not just interest
    • Unless you are a professional financier or full-time investor (e.g Warren Buffet), Interest and dividends from investments are going to be one component of your earnings.
  • Tax planning will also have to consider one’s global income considering tax treaties India has with other governments . E.g – US – India tax treaty – IRS.gov

Another key factor to keep in mind: A “returning NRI” will become a (tax) “resident” of India after returning and spending a set period of time in India.

Bottomline: Trawling in Quora and online forums may give you partial answers. If you have sizable income and investments, hire a competent tax adviser.

Indore builders duped us: NRI couple

NDORE: An NRI couple from Scotland, who had purchased an apartment in Mangal Nagar, on Tuesday claimed that they had been duped by builders as they have still not got possession of the flat despite being promised so. The incident came to fore after the duo came to the city and approached in-charge DIG Harinarayan Chari Mishra at the public hearing.

In their complaint, Pushpalata Rohila, who worked as a manager at oil and gas industry and her husband Harsh Nama, an IT worker, said that they had purchased a flat in Classic City in Mangal Nagar from Swastik Infrastructure Company.

“We had been promised possession of the flat by November 15, 2015. The owners of the company – Ankit Shrivastav and Aman Sehgal – had also signed an agreement saying that they will pay Rs 10,000 as rent for the flat if the deadline of possession was breached by the builders,” said Harsh while speaking to TOI. He said that they also completed registry formalities for the flat and when they approached the owners again, they were told that they will be given the under-construction flat latest by December 15. 2016.

“Even after calling them several times, we got no response. We had purchased the flat by taking a loan and we are also paying interest on the loan. We have been deceived by the builders and have faced mental harassment,” he said.

“Everyone in my family including my sister-in-law who lives in scheme number 78 and my sister who also lives in city have faced problems because of these people. Since we were in Scotland, they had to approach the police and also builders for the possession,” said Harsh.

He said that after coming to India, he came to know that both the builders were allegedly absconding and there were other similar cases registered against them

“The police will take action in the matter at the earliest,” said in-charge DIG Harinarayan Chari Mishra
Article source TOI

NRI Q&A for week of 18th December

Interesting question on an online forum, and the response from our Editor:

However, keep in mind there is no grantee that an H1B application by your *new* employer will eventually be approved by USCIS or the Visa Officers.

I am assuming the question is for deposit into NRO account (where one can deposit Indian currency). Deposit of Rupees saved/earned in India is not permitted in NRE account.

NRI investment in real estate: Flexible policies are the need of the hour

The Indian government unabashedly woos the Indian diaspora to invest in various sectors in India and is considering easing norms further. Yet, the government makes Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) jump through hoops

The Indian government unabashedly woos the Indian diaspora to invest in various sectors in India and is considering easing norms further. Yet, the government makes Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) jump through hoops when it comes to investment in real estate. Finally, there is some hope. RR Singh, director general, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO), says the industry body has presented a set of recommendations to the government, requesting it to ease regulations in the real estate market. While, at present, NRIs can invest only in real estate, Naredco is pushing for them to be allowed into land developments and large-scale commercial properties as well.

Such a relaxation would help generate liquidity in the real estate market, which is witnessing a slump and delayed delivery on account of subdued consumer sentiment, high debt and slow growth. There is already a high level of inventory piled up, Singh points out.

Indians investing abroad

The figures from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) show that Indians top the list of non-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) investors in Dubai real estate. Outside the Arab world, Indian nationals contributed the lion’s share of investments AED7 billion ($1.9 billion) from 3,656 transactions, according to the DLD. This makes them the biggest investors in Dubai real estate during the first half of 2016.

In the US realty market, Indians are the third-largest international investor community, at US$8 bn, after Canadians and Chinese, according to brokerage firm Sotheby’s International Realty. Other corridors such as the UK, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia, which have relaxed investments from foreigners, have also seen a rise in Indian investors buying properties.

What are some of the restrictions?

S.No. Restrictions applicable to foreign nationals 1 Section 6(5) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) permits persons resident outside India to hold, own, transfer or invest in… any immovable property situated in India, if such… property was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was resident in India or inherited from a person who was resident in India. 2 A person who is resident outside India (or his successor) has been permitted to repatriate the proceeds of sale of immovable property in India only where the following conditions have been satisfied:

(a)   The sale is of an immovable property which was either owned by him when he was a resident of India or he has inherited it from a resident of India; and

(b)  Prior permission of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been obtained. 3 The applicable regulations under FEMA restricts foreign nationals from acquiring any immovable property in India and specific permission is required from RBI for the same, except in the following cases:

(c)  Where the foreign nationals have inherited property from a person who was resident in India.

(d)  Where the foreign nationals have leased an immovable property for a period not exceeding five years; or

(c)  When a foreign national (except a citizen of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Macau or Hong Kong) becomes a resident in India as per Section 2(v) of FEMA. Such a foreign national is also required to satisfy the conditions regarding period of stay, and the type of visa granted should clearly indicate the intention to stay in India for an uncertain period to determine his residential status. 4 Foreign nationals require specific approval of RBI for transferring any immovable property in India and are allowed to transfer only when the immovable property is either:

(a)  Acquired by way of inheritance and with specific approval from RBI; or (b) Was purchased with specific approval from RBI   5 Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal, Bhutan, Macau or Hong Kong (‘Restricted Countries’) are not allowed to acquire or transfer immovable property in India without prior permission of the RBI, except when they lease an immovable property for a period not exceeding five years. Indian developers have started realising the investment potential of NRIs and are actively showcasing their property portfolios at exhibitions abroad and simultaneously demanding a relaxation in policies. Experts believe that certain flexibility in relation to acquisition and transfer of immovable property by NRIs is required.

Provide renewable leases: It has been recommended that foreign investments through acquisition of immovable property should generally be allowed and should only be subject to land title agreement and renewable ownership leases. Acquisition of land development/plotted development: A number of developers have come up with villa properties. “Regulations should provide approval for plotted developments and properties such as bungalows, semi-detached and terrace houses,” says a Delhi-based developer and member of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI), requesting anonymity.

Measure to check price speculation: He suggests that to check price speculation, there should be a check on stamp duty payment. The differential treatment to ‘citizens of restricted countries’ from the perspective of acquisition of immovable property should be relaxed to the maximum extent possible. If required, these can be periodically re-evaluated and amendments made.

The restrictions noted above have adversely impacted foreign investments in India while countries like the UAE, Singapore and Mauritius have increased their inflow of investment by liberalising the restrictions applicable to immovable properties. A relaxation in policies will not only stop speculation in the Indian property market but also infuse much-needed liquidity in the market.

Current market conditions for NRIs NRIs prefer other countries over India to invest in real estate.

Developers ask Indian government to ease restrictions on NRI investment in India. Industry body submits recommendations to central government. Permission to allow NRI investment in land developments and commercial properties sought.

By: Housing.com/news Read more at: moneycontrol.com

Bank in Kodaikanal refuses NRI’s deposit on ‘security concern’

Madurai: In a shocking incident, the branch manager of a nationalised bank in Kodaikanal gave a written statement to a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) that he could not accept a cash deposit of Rs. 1.5 lakh owing to “security concerns”.


Check out Garamchai.com’s FAQ on the topic: Indian Government’s decision to do away with 500, 1000 RUPEE NOTES! Impact on NRIs from Garamchai.Com

Also refer to earlier blogs on the topic:


The NRI, Albert Fernando, has an account with the bank in Tallakulam branch in Madurai. “I have been doing construction work in Kodaikanal with the money I withdrew from Tallakulam branch in Madurai. However, Rs. 1.5 lakh remained with me when demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes was announced,” Mr. Albert said.

In an unexpected development, his friend in Chennai fell sick and he had to rush there to attend to him. However, since the money in hand was in the denomination of Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 500, he wanted to deposit it in Vadakaunchi branch of the bank in Kodaikanal.

When he handed over the pay-in slip along with the cash on November 16, the cashier asked Mr. Albert to meet the Manager.

The Manager told him that he could not repay the huge money in smaller denominations immediately, though Mr. Albert clarified that he only wanted to deposit the money.

“I had to travel a lot and did not have time to go back to Madurai to deposit it at Tallakulam branch. I also had apprehension about its safety in carrying it along with me,” he said.

“The bank officials asked for my PAN card which I produced. After a brief chat with the cashier, the Manager said that there was a burglary in the branch a few months back and refused to take the money citing safety concern,” Mr. Albert said.

However, when Mr. Albert insisted on a proper reply, the Manager gave that in writing on the pay-in slip.

Mr. Fernando said that the Manager was only shirking the responsibility of accepting the remittance of Rs. 1.5 lakh, when the Union Government had allowed deposits up to Rs. 2.5 lakh account holders’ accounts.

“If the bank had such a serious compromise on its safety, how are other deposits kept in the branch?” he asked. He lodged a complaint with the bank officials in Madurai.

Article from The Hindu

Hyderabad man saves NRI land, asks him to adopt village

A Good Samaritan in the city has got an NRI tycoon Deepak Kant Vyas, founder of Redberri Global Corp., St. Louis, to adopt a village near Bibinagar in Yadadri district.


You may also be interested in GaramChai Real Estate section   and Return to India Musings: when a home becomes a golden egg


When the Samaritan noticed that someone was grabbing a 24-acre land belonging to Mr Vyas, he Googled the tycoon and mailed him an alert. The gang had created fake documents and was trying to dispose of the land.
Mr Vyas, who had never returned to his native village in Bibinagar, met minister K.T. Rama Rao when he was in Chicago, and complained to him. On the minister’s directions, revenue and Cyberabad police officials arrested 10 members of the gang. Mr Vyas offered a reward to the Samaritan but he refused the money and asked him to provide health and education facilities by adopting the village. In October, Mr Vyas met Mr Rama Rao in Chicago and submitted a memorandum. Following this, the minister directed revenue and police department to launch a search operation in Bibinagar. Special teams were formed by Rachakonda Commissionerate.

Realtors faked NRI land papers
Police commissioner Mahesh M. Bhagwath said, “The plan was to encroach on the land to the extent of 24 acres, it involved forgery, fabrication of revenue records, creation of fake Aadhaar card by nearly 21 persons in Survey No. 567,569,583 of Raghavapuram (v) Bibinagar (m) Yadadri district.”

He said Mr Vyas had not seen the land for 15 years. “Noticing this situation, one Korni Mahesh, a real estate businessman, and 20 others created fake documents, passbooks, and even rubber stamps with the designation of the mandal revenue officer and the revenue divisional officer,” Mr Bhagwath said.

“The role of the sub-registrar will be ascertained after a thorough verification of the records. The police on December 15 arrested 15 members of the gang and six are absconding,” he said.

After the operation ended, Mr Vyas thanked the city resident and offered to help him. The Samaritan turned the offer down and instead urged him to adopt Bibinagar to strengthen its health and educational facilities. The NRI is in talks about the adoption.

Minister K.T. Rama Rao said, “Public is requested to go for registration of any particular piece of land or plot or a house with proper documents containing link documents, government fee receipts, encumbrance certificate and the original certificate of the revenue department. Without proper link documents public should not go for registration of any property.”

Repost from Deccan Chronicle

NRIs have advantage in luxury property market in India

SINGAPORE: NRIs have an advantage in luxury property market in India post-demonetisation as real estate developers in major cities of the country have “significantly” dropped property rates, according to Singapore-based business analysts.

Image result for house dollars

Image: Google Images

“Given the recent demonetisation move, property rates have significantly dropped across various cities in India,” said Abhijit Ghosh, India Desk leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Singapore, an international financial consultancy.

“Specifically, the luxury condominium range of property apartments has been badly hit given that one of the objectives of the current demonetisation move is to discourage all significant cash transactions,” said Gaurav Tijoriwalla, Manager, PwC Singapore

There has always been a trend for NRIs to invest in Indian luxury condominium apartments in the metropolitan cities of India, particularly such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

Industry observers said Chennai-based developers are cutting prices by up to Rs 20 lakhs on slow-moving projects.

“Experts believe that we can soon expect a 10 per cent-25 per cent discount in the luxury segment of residential condominiums and also in the upmarket areas such as Nungambakkam, RA Puram and MRC Nagar in Chennai,” Ghosh said.

They have also forecasted Delhi property prices to offer 25 per cent to 30 per cent discounts and Bangalore to offer 30 per cent to 40 per cent discounts.

NRI sources expects luxury property prices to drop by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.

Property transactions have plunged significantly in the last month post announcement of the demonetisation programme on November 8.

Bangalore property registrations have dropped to about 200 per day, compared to approximately 1,800 properties before demonetisation took effect, the experts said.

Mumbai is expected to see a 50 per cent to 70 per cent slow down or may even go to a no transaction period. India’s property enquiry portals, as observed by experts, have seen a significant dip, about 400 people per day asking from erstwhile number of 1500-1,700.

But it seems that the overall market sentiment at this juncture is to wait and watch and make the right move at the right time, they said.

There is no denying that the NRI community will be taking advantage of the situation and explore to invest in luxury condominium residential apartments in India, Ghosh said.

Read more at: Economic Times