29 March, 2017 22:37 IST
Facilities for returning Indians
Import of Gold / Silver:
NRIs Nationals can bring into India , as part of their baggage, once in six months, gold upto 10 Kgs , if they have stayed abroad for a continuous period of six months. Gold can be brought into India in any form, including ornaments (other than those studded with stones and pearls). NRIs can bring upto 100 kg of silver. Customs duty has to be paid @ Rs. 250/- per 10 gms for gold and @ Rs.500 per kg for silver. The gold/silver so brought can be sold to residents against payment in rupees, by means of crossed cheque in India, which has to be credited to the NRO account of the seller.

In various housing projects taken up by the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for providing residential houses to its policy holders, 5 per cent is normally reserved for allotment to NRI Policy Holders. LIC Housing Finance Limited, has a separate scheme for grant of individual housing loan to Non-resident Indians viz., Grih Shobha under loans upto a maximum of Rs.2.5 million are advanced for construction/purchase/extension of flat. LIC also accepts repayment of outstanding balance of housing loans from returning Indians in Indian rupees.

The New Indian Insurance Company Limited (NIC), a subsidiary of General Insurance Corporation of India has devised a scheme for personal accidents and expenses following death (occurring in foreign countries due to accidents or sickness). This is a special scheme offered to meet the requirement of NRIs. The premium payable is very nominal in comparison to the risk coverage. NIC has entered into an agreement with the Government of Kerala for the implementation of the scheme.

In Private Medical Colleges/Dental Colleges, 15% of seats are reserved for admission to children of NRIs/PIOs, without any requirement of admission tests. The availability of seats for children of NRIs/PIOs in such institutions will be approximately 450. In other Universities and Colleges, students including NRIs are admitted as per Government of India Policy and will have to pay fees as applicable to Indian students.

Resurgent India Bonds:
As a follow-up of the Budget Speech made by the Union Finance Minister, the State Bank of India launched "Resurgent India Bonds" denominated in foreign currency (US Dollars, Sterling Pounds and Deutsche Mark) for subscription by NRIs. The Resurgent India Bonds generated deposits worth US Dollars 4.16 billion.

India Millennium Scheme:
The Unit Trust of India will be launching a new "India Millennium Scheme" which will be open for subscription in dollars only by NRIs. The money collected under this scheme would be invested in shares of Indian companies with high potential for growth and in high quality Indian debt.

PIO Cards:
The Government has decided to draw up a scheme for issuance of Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) Cards for Persons of Indian Origin living abroad with foreign passports. PIO cards, which would be extended to Persons of Indian Origin settled in countries to be specified by the Government would, besides introducing a visa free regime, also confer some special economic, educational, financial and cultural benefits to the holders.

Incorporation of a company:
To facilitate setting up of industrial projects in India by NRIs, RBI has allowed i. NRIs/ PIOs to subscribe to the Memorandum and Articles of Association and take up shares of an Indian company for the purpose of its incorporation ii. the company to issue shares to Non Resident Indians/Persons of Indian Origin subject. This is subject to the condition that the total face value of the shares to be taken up by such persons should not exceed Rs.10,000/- and the company should hold have RBI/ FIPB approval for the investment or a letter of intent/industrial license /acknowledgment of Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum issued by the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion or provisional registration from the State Government authority. The Indian company availing of the general permission is required to file the details with the RBI.

Investment by NRIs for establishing of schools and colleges in India:
NRIs are allowed to invest in establishing of schools and colleges in India. General permission is available if the investment is made by NRIs on non-repatriation basis. If the investment is on a repatriation basis, specific permission from RBI will be required. In case tf the educational institution requires affiliation to any University/Board, it will have to comply with the regulations of the concerned State/Central Government under whose jurisdiction the educational institution is located.

PIOs can now visit India on multi entry visa provided they hold letter of intent/acknowledgment of Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum/Licence or provisional registration with the State Director of Industries to establish industry. Persons of Indian origin may approach the Consulate General/ High Commission /Embassy of India for getting endorsement on their Passport for single/multi entry purposes. The spouses of PIOs can also be granted multi entry visa upto 5 years.