Monday, April 9, 2012

India Budget 2012 - NRI / Overseas Indians Concerns

Like many millions I was eager to hear some good news so I don't have to "BRIBE" the babu's to carry my laptop+ipad+iphone through Customs in India.

Based on law, any passenger with min 3 days overseas stay can carry a laptop, mobile phone + 25,000 goods without paying duty. But the tricky part is "based on law" and it doesn't work in India. The Customs officer simply asked me that iPad costs more than 50,000 based on price in India so I have to pay the penalty @ 35%.

I refused but as many of you know there is no way you can get over them without 'paying'. I tried my best before I gave up. 

There are many such similar cases experienced by my friends, business travelers to India. No wonder people prefer to travel to Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia or even African nations but when you say India you can see the raised eye brows, unspoken "No, No, Nah, Nah's...

Anyway, this budget I was hoping that the Government can make it legalize to bring electronic devices for personal usage & increase the duty free limit to 50,000 or 100,000 which is not really a lot of money if you are a business man flying overseas.

The outcome is increase to 35,000. This is worse compared to past based on recent downfall of "INR". Rupee lost it's value by more than 15%. So if we see in USD terms, in the past you could bring approx USD 555 worth goods. Now it's only USD 490. :(

There was a new "tax law" proposed which gives the power to Tax his/her overseas income if the NRI/OCI stays in India for more than 60 days in an year. Imagine what would have happened if this becomes a law.

In a way India is trying to push it's own citizens not to visit their own home country for business or family visits. 

So imagine you are making 100,000/year and paying your taxes in your host country. For business reasons you traveled to India & stayed for 30 days; and for family visits another 30 days. That's it. The proposed law wants you to pay tax for 100,000 in India @ 35% rates.

Fortunately this was mooted for now but we won't be that lucky in near future. So my dear fellow country man. Prepare for this...

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