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Kuwait: IKFS Calls for Protest against Service Tax on NRIs
with inputs from media release
Kuwait: This is the second time that the Indo-Kuwait Friendship Society is requesting Union minister for overseas Indian affairs Vayalar Ravi to protect the rights of NRIs spread all over the world.
IKFS has expressed sadness over the government decision to levy 12.36% service tax on foreign remittances which will be deducted directly by the money exchange houses where the payment is channelled.
In fact, this proposal was introduced indirectly in the proposed place of provision of service rules. The issue has not received due attention as it was introduced through the backdoor, ignoring the likely adverse impact on the nation.
IKFS president Dr Ghalib Al-Mashoor sought to know the justifications to levy the hardworking people’s money who have been maltreated with the nickname as strangers and NRIs. "The move is surprising. When a cow gives the milk, it is like chopping off its udder to get its blood and flesh," he said.
He also wanted to know as to why the UPA government wanted to hurt Indians and what wrong they have committed against their beloved country India. The NRIs leave their families, children and dear and near behind in order to feed them better.
He also questioned that if the ruling UPA government could not give a job in their home country, then why the UPA government should burden the poor NRIs. Moreover, he pointed out that no such levy was imposed on inward remittances in any other developed or developing countries.
Non-resident Indians numbering about 7.0 million transfer more than US$ 65.0 billion annually to dependents in India. These remittances account for more than 3.0 per cent of India’s GDP and have been instrumental in reducing the current account deficit by shoring up the country’s foreign exchange reserves. Also, migrant remittances have recently surged to the forefront of development agendas worldwide.
As per the latest statistical reports, states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab are among the regions worldwide that depend heavily on international remittances. The share of NRI remittances in the state’s net domestic product is about 31.0 per cent in Kerala, 13.0 per cent in Punjab and 7.0 per cent in Tamil Nadu. The remittances provide social security to the dependent families, help them meet basic necessities of life, education and improve their standard of living.
Therefore, IKFS calls upon all Indian associations based in the GCC countries to protest against levying the so called service tax of 12.36% on foreign remittances by NRIs. Sending only protest notes and memorandums to UPA government will not have any impact. An effect can be created only if NRIs go and convince the lawmakers in both houses of the Indian parliament, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, not to charge any levies over the coming 100 years.
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