PIO convention seeks voting rights for NRIs, also Seats in the Indian Upper House of Parliament

PIO convention seeks voting rights for NRIs also Seats in the Indian Upper House of Parliament pardesi news 1467650202

An international convention of people of Indian origin (PIOs) in the US has claimed voting rights for the Indian citizens living outside India, and also the ‘Rajya Sabha’ (Upper House of Indian Parliament) Seats.

According to the resolution passed during its annual convention in New York by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO), “The Election Commission of India should finalise the procedure for electronic voting before the next general election in India takes place".

There are approximately 10 million NRIs who are citizens of India, have no representation in the decision making process of the country of their citizenship, it said.  "We urge the Government of India to nominate a few prominent NRIs as members of the Rajya Sabha (the Upper House of Parliament) so as to reinforce and further integrate the bonds between India and the overseas Indian community," GOPIO said.

Noting that several NRIs wish to support their alma maters; set up schools and colleges in their villages and towns, and support social and environmental causes, GOPIO asked the Indian government to implement uniform entrance fees throughout India including to monuments under the jurisdiction of the states, so as to avoid the unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles. Another request was to permit returning NRIs’ social security benefits be taxed according to Indian tax rules.

They also asked India to enact another legislation to provide 'Title Insurance' to ensure that their ownership in real estate is protected against forged signatures and other fraudulent means used to transfer their properties. "We want the government to enact legislation to designate Fast Track Courts for NRIs/PIOs for the speedy settlement of their property, business, inheritance and other legal issues in India," it said

Several NRIs/PIOs are moving back to India to be closer to their families, GOPIO said. According to GOPIO, when the NRIs settle back in India, their social security benefits (which are generally tax free in the developed countries such as income comes below the tax bracket) are taxed according to the Indian tax rules.

"We strongly feel that those who are getting their social security benefits from outside India should receive tax parity similar to Indian retirees and request the Finance Ministry to change the rules. Of course, such person's Indian income must be taxed as per the rules," it said.


Over 200 delegates from 20 countries participated in the annual GOPIO convention.

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Patrick Callahan

Pardesi News Reporter

Pardesi News Reporter

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