January 7, 2017 6:16:22 am
An association of people of Indian origin (PIOs) on Friday passed a resolution seeking time till December 30, 2017 for the exchange of demonetised Indian currency notes. The Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) passed the resolution after a two-day convention in the run-up to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, which will be inaugurated here on Saturday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the gathering on Sunday.
“There is an estimated Rs 15,000 crore in old currency in the hands of NRIs and PIOs. This is in small amounts. The government should allow us to exchange this for new currency. We are happy that the government has extended time for exchange till June 30. We want it extended further,” GOPIO founder president Thomas Abraham said.
The resolution asked the government to provide NRIs and PIOs an opportunity similar to the one given to Indian nationals to deposit up to Rs 2.5 lakh in Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or State Bank of India (SBI) branches. “NRIs and PIOs should be given six more months (until December 30, 2017) to exchange the old currency notes at either the RBI or a SBI (as long as they provide documentary proof that they are NRIs/PIOs and they had not visited India between Nov 8, 2016 and Dec 30, 2016).”
The resolution noted that not all NRIs and PIOs may not be able to visit India prior to June 30.
The GOPIO will seek extension of cash exchange facilities at more places in the country since cash can be exchanged only at the RBI offices in a few major cities.
“A PIO or NRI will have to spend Rs 6,000 to travel from Ludhiana to Delhi to exchange Rs 12,000 in cash. Our hard earned money should not be rendered useless because only a few centres are authorised to exchange cash,” Abraham said.
Another GOPIO resolution sought Rajya Sabha seats for NRIs, uniform fees for PIOs at monuments and tourist places. It also sought removal of taxes on social security benefits received from foreign countries after people move back to India and creation of NRI co-ordination offices across the country.
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