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Letter To The Honourable Prime Minister Of India

LETTER TO THE HONOURABLE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA

FAX TO: 011-23019545 FAX FROM: NRIPA, VADODARA

To, The Prime Minister of India
Government of India, New Delhi.

Dear Honourable Shri Manmohan Singhji,

We are worried and concerned parents of Indian students studying abroad. Our Association represents the parents of such students.

Of late, as has been reported in the media, a large number of Indian students have been targeted in some countries. As parents of NRI students and children, we wish to know about the measures that the Government of India must have taken in this matter of the security of our students. We may give the following suggestions for improving this situation:
  1. The Indian foreign missions should have complete details of the students studying abroad, which can be obtained from the universities in those countries or from the Immigration desks at Indian Airports.
  2. Our foreign missions should have a help desk at every international airport during the last ten days before the starting of the academic year abroad.
  3. As soon as it is feasible, the foreign missions should invite the new students to a welcome session with consulate General or some responsible officer to guide them about the customs, culture and safety precautions that they need to take.
  4. The Government should appoint an Officer In-charge of the Students’ Affairs in each foreign mission that has a sizeable student population of Indian origin.
  5. Local Indian associations should be invited by the Indian Missions abroad to participate in welcoming the students from India.
  6. In case of any dangers or violence, the students should be alerted and protected by our Missions.We trust that you will kindly issue necessary directive to the concerned Ministries of Government of India.

    We also request our Hon. Minister for Foreign Affairs and Hon. Minister for Overseas Indians to take appropriate steps.

    Yours faithfully,
    Om P. Juneja, Ph.D.
    Senior Vice President
    NRI Parents Association, Vadodara, Gujarat
    Vadodara: 8 February, 2008

CONRIPO-LETTER TO FINANCE MINISTER-GOI

CONFEDERATION OF NON-RESIDENT INDIANS’ PARENTS’ ORGANISATIONS (CONRIPO)
H3/1AB Pluto, Road No. 2, Kalyani Nagar, Pune 411006
Tel: +91 (0) 20 26651676 Email: harish.bhargava@gmail.com

Hon’ble Shri Chidambram,

PARENTS OF NRIs & INCOME TAX

While fully recognizing the heavy demand on your time on account of the forthcoming presentation of the Budget, your kind indulgence is sought for favourable consideration measures covered in the attached note, which if approved, will substantially reduce procedural and to some extent the tax burden to some extent burden on parents of Non Resident Indians as also on other tax payers who are senior citizens.

This representation is being made by the Confederation of Non-Resident Indians’ Parents’ Organisations (CONRIPO), the apex body linking NRI parents’ organisations functioning at different locations. Development of attractive work opportunities abroad and availability of highly educated, skilled and proficient manpower in India has led to a large number of Indians studying or working outside the country. The Non Resident Indians have taken full advantage of the business opportunities abroad and, at the same time, have significantly contributed to economic growth of the parent country.

The NRIs remain abroad with full support and blessing of their parents. However, the parents, who are left back home, have to adjust themselves to face problems on their own. The children, with demands of their work and raising their own family, are unable to visit the parents as often as they like to. On the other hand, the parents, apart from bearing painful separation of their loved daughters and sons have to also face emotional, physical, health and financial insecurity. Sensing of a need for organized and sustained effort to alleviate the problems of the Parents led to the formation of the NRIs’ Parents’ organizations at locations, such as, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and Vadodara. These organizations, as a matter of fact, provide to such parents, a second family that is with them all the time.

Majority of parents of NRIs are senior citizens. The measures suggested in this note relate not only to the parents of NRIs, but to all senior citizens. These issues are of greater importance for NRI’s parents as they do not have their children with them to provide support. As stated earlier most of the suggested measures are for procedural simplification to make it possible for senior citizens to handle Income Tax matters, to full satisfaction of the concerned authorities, on their own without external assistance. The few others are to reduce that tax burden that will help in meeting the increasing cost of living, particularly of health care.

It is requested that suitable directions may please be given by you for acceptance and implementation of the suggestions.

Respectful regards.

Yours sincerely,

§¨©
(Harish Bhargava)
PRESIDENT

Hon’ble Shri P. Chidambram,
Minister for Finance, Government of India,
North Block,
NEW DELHI 110 001.

p.s. Only two suggestions have a fiscal implication and the other three are for simplification of procedures.

MEASURES SUGGESTED FOR CONSIDERATION

1.0 IT RETURN FORM & GUIDELINES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

For senior citizens, a special IT Return form should be designed such that it is simple to complete. It should be standardised and not changed unless absolutely necessary. The Return form for senior citizens may be based on:
§ Form 2D
or
§ ITR 1 + Income from Dividends/House Property and Capital Gains

Senior citizens should be provided a booklet with guidelines for:
§ Filling-in the Return Form
and
§ Specifying the information supporting the Return that should be compiled and kept to support the Return, clearly specifying the items, type of information and the detailed format in which it should be maintained.

2.0 SCRUTINY OF RETURNS SUBMITTED BY SENIOR CITIZENS

With the Introduction of Annual Information Return (AIR) the number of tax payers put under scrutiny has sharply increased. While use of AIRs for detection of tax evasion is right, the information should be used in manner that is logical and non-intrusive. Scrutiny of returns of senior citizens, in most cases, has not brought out tax evasion. Such elderly persons have had to spend unnecessary time and effort in repeatedly appearing before the Assessing Officer.

Most of senior citizens do not maintain books of account and should not have to engage services of accountants to prepare their IT Returns, unless engaged in business or profession.

A senior citizen should not be placed under scrutiny arbitrarily or through random selection, but only if there is some positive indication of tax evasion. If selected for scrutiny, the information required should be clearly specified in detail and sufficient time allowed for providing the information.

3.0 ASSESSMENT OF RETURNS SUBMITTED IN PERSON BY SENIOR CITIZENS

Assessment of IT Return should be carried out ‘Across-the-Table’ if the Return is submitted by a senior citizen in person, during a specified period of a fortnight or a month when work load on Assessing Officers is relatively light.

4.0 TAX LIABILITY FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

Income of senior citizens in real terms has been steadily reducing because of falling interest rates and non-availability of tax-free bonds and other forms of assured income investment. Pension of non-government retirees is not indexed. On the other hand, cost of living keeps on rising. Expenditure on geriatric health care is sharply increasing while medical insurance only covers cost of hospitalisation only up to age of 75 or 80 years. This is of serious concern since the government does not provide social security net for the elderly.

In view of the above total taxable income up to Rs. 2,50,000 instead of Rs. 1,95,000, may be exempted from tax.

5.0 INTEREST ON NRE DEPOSITS

Exemption of income tax on interest earned by NRE deposits may be made permanent. Funds remitted by NRIs are very substantial. Such deposits are primarily made By NRIs to help their elderly parents.

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