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Indian budget to propel economy and generate employment

Abu Dhabi - The managing committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Abu Dhabi Chapter, in talks with Khaleej Times expressed their pre-budget expectation on India Union Budget 2021

An employee counts Indian rupee currency notes inside a private money exchange office in New Delhi. — Reuters
An employee counts Indian rupee currency notes inside a private money exchange office in New Delhi. — Reuters

By Staff Report

Published: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 4:38 PM

The ICAI, Abu Dhabi Chapter feels that the government will come up with a mega budget which will support the common public in their daily lives as well as bring policies to improve the business environment and growth to become a $5 trillion economy.

During current times, everyone wishes to see a ray of hope from any corner of life. The Indian budget is on February 1, 2021 and we expect rays of hope from the various segments. The budget should be able to propel the economy and generate employment. The inflation needs to be contained as well at around five per cent.

We believe that the budget will give importance to Non-Resident Indians (NRI) and will address their major issues in the budget this year.

“We expect the honourable Finance Minister to consider amending the law on change in the residential status of non-resident to RNOR (Resident but not ordinary resident) in case the NRI stays in India for 120 days or more,” says Neeraj Ritolia, chairman of the chapter.

Since Indians are socially and culturally integrated to India, many Indians do visit India several times to see their parents, for kid education, their children marriage, religious and family functions. This law makes NRI think twice when they plan their visit to India frequently.

“We do expect a lot of incentives including subsidized housing loan rates to boost the housing sector in this budget with the aim of affordable housing,” says John George, vice-chairman.

MSME is one the sector which was affected during the pandemic and it is the priority of the government to bring many measures to revive the economy. He also added that transaction cost of investment in stock market is very high for NRI due to requirements of Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS) and expect that regulation in investment for NRI’s should be simplified and treated at par with residents. This will encourage NRI’s to participate in a bigger way in the stock market with reduced transaction cost. Further, the residential status should not be decided on the basis of income in India exceeding Rs1.5 million, observes Krishnan NV, general secretary. The DNA of Indians is to invest in India and this law will discourage NRIs to make investments in India beyond a certain threshold. These provisions have far-reaching implications and are counterproductive. Request FM to make a law that encourages bonding between NRIs and India.

We believe there is a huge opportunity for India to grow in various sectors such as infrastructure, Pharma, Rural and agriculture and the government has already taken various initiative to fulfill its ambition of Make in India “Atma Nirbhar Project”. In order to achieve its goal, the government should provide incentives, tax rebate and separate clearance cell to attract Foreign Investment in these areas.

NRI should not be targeted with such laws due to very few taking advantage to evade tax. Provision for Disclosure of income is there in the law which may be exercised to catch hold of such persons who are taking undue advantage.

With the Government of India’s initiative on ease of filing IT returns, most of the NRIs are now filing returns against the previous mindset of avoiding filing the return.

“The Finance Minister should consider reducing the existing high TDS rates (tax deducted at source) as NRIs will file a return to seek a refund even if the refund amount is meagre,” says Rohit Dayma, treasurer of the chapter.

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