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Diaspora Seeks Revocation of New Rule on NRI Status

In Nation, NRI
April 14, 2020

The Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) has requested the Government of India to revoke the provision in the Union budget introduced this year redefining the status of NRIs and stating that an Indian national who wants to claim the non-resident status can’t stay in India for more than 120 days in a year, while the earlier limit was 180 days.

The provision has hit many NRIs hard due to the worldwide restrictions in travel and stay imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, said Sunny Kulathakal, president of GOPIO International, in a representation sent to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

The new rule has virtually penalised the NRIs and PIOs who have been contributing substantially to the growth of Indian economy. Many NRIs have been forced to stay longer in India due to quarantine and travel restrictions resulting in their losing their NRI status.

“These disruptive developments are beyond our control,” said Kulathakal and urged the minister to consider their plight and repeal the revised NRI status duration rule immediately.

Reminding the government of the role of NRIs in the country’s development, he said as per a World Bank report, India is the world’s topmost recipient of remittances by the diaspora which sent a whopping USD 79 billion back home in 2018 showing a rise of 14 percent from the previous year.

GOPIO has also been striving to promote the Prime Minister’s initiatives such as Make-in-India, Skill India and Digital India among the NRI-PIO community besides taking up their social, economic, cultural and educational issues around the globe. But they are now dismayed by the new rule, he said and requested the finance minister to come to their aid at this critical time.