Increased international mobility of both capital and labor in recent years has forced advanced countries to examine their fiscal policies from international perspective. In this age of globalization, cross-border matters have become of great concern to individuals. Citizen of other countries, at times, move to the USA or own assets here, and U.S. Citizens often move or own assets outside the United States.
The Global organization of People of Indian Origin – New York chapter organized a community meeting where many issues of NRIs buying, selling and owning properties in India were discussed. It was jointly organized by the Indian American Kerala Center at its auditorium in Elmont, New York. The speakers were New York Attorney Anand Ahuja who is also the President of GOPIO-New York and Mr. Pambayan Meyyan, Senior Vice President of Forest Hills Financial Group. The meeting was chaired by GOPIO Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham.
“Indian Americans, as an immigrant community to the USA, are greatly affected with this spur in globalization as most still own vast assets, particularly real estate back home in India,” said Attorney Anand Ahuja. “As with owning assets outside USA, the Indian American community is at greater risks, therefore, any sale-purchase of real estate in India, estate, gift or tax planning should be considered from international perspective than just domestically,” Attorney Ahuja continued.
“This is a great opportunity to discuss these issues in a community forum and develop strategies for a community compaign and reach out to the Govt. of India and the state governments on NRI property issues back home,” said Dr. Abraham
Several issues were brought out at this meeting especially buying, selling and owning real estate properties by NRIs/PIOs in India. It was pointed out that there have been growing number of scams against NRIs/PIOs hereditary, residential and commercial properties and due to these reasons, NRIs/PIOs are being greatly discouraged to invest in India
“NRIs/PIOs are at a great disadvantage to contest property issues in courts in India due to the length of the time (10-20 years) it takes, and/or due to the fact that in both civil and criminal cases NRIs/PIOs need to be present on many occasions before the court,” said Dr. Abraham. The meeting requested GOPIO to take up this issue with Govt. of India to have Fast Tack Courts.
The meeting also called upon the Government of India to enact another legislation to provide Title Insurance to ensure that their ownership in real estate is protected against forged signatures on the deed and for any such fraudulent transfer of their properties.
It was also pointed out that NRIs and PIOs are subjected to higher TDS (tax deducted at source) than resident Indians for capital gains and while selling properties. GOPIIO meeting passed a resolution covering all these issues and plans to present it at the Regional Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be held in Los Angeles on November 15th.
In a resolution passed at the end of the day, GOPIO urged the Government of India to enact legislation to designate Fast Track Courts for NRIs/PIOs for the speedy settlement of their property issues in India, and enact another legislation to provide Title Insurance to ensure that their ownership in real estate is protected against forged signatures on the deed and for any such fraudulent transfer of their properties.