Indian budget should have something for NRIs too

Published: Sat 26 Jan 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 26 Jan 2019, 10:01 PM

Many senior Indian citizens are living in foreign countries. Some are doing business, and some are staying with their children. Many of them have taxable income in India.
Most of these senior NRI citizens are supporting India by remitting money to the country frequently. Resident Indian citizens above the age of 60 have many tax benefits whereas such benefits are not available for senior non-resident Indians citizens, which is a clear discrimination.
In India, senior citizens (people over 60 years) and super senior citizens (more than 80 years) get tax exemptions through slab limits of Rs300,000 and Rs500,000 respectively. However, this is not available for non-resident Indians in the same age category.
Similarly, resident senior citizens are getting tax exemption on interest of up to Rs50,000, but non-resident senior Indian citizens do not.
We request the Indian government to extend these tax benefits to NRIs as well.
Also, non-resident Indians are not permitted to invest in agriculture properties. It is worth considering that many NRIs are involved in agriculture activities in various countries, and have access to modern agriculture methods. By permitting NRIs to buy agriculture properties they can help such expertise to India and help modernize the Indian agriculture system as well.
In January 2016, Union Minister of External Affairs Sushama Swaraj had said that the government is considering to give Aadhaar to NRIs. As per the current law only resident Indians are eligible to obtain Aadhaar. Since Aadhaar is compulsory for several services, irrespective of the resident status of the citizen, we request the Indian government to change current unique Id law and permit NRIs to obtain Aadhaar as well.
The writer is based in Dubai

By K V Shamsudheen

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