“Tax Evasion Not Intention”: Kerala Chief Minister To PM On NRI Status
Monday 3 February 2020 5:10 AM UTC
New Delhi Jan 3: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has criticised the centre over its proposed amendment in criteria for residential status of those working abroad, saying it would affect “hard working” Indians, especially those in the Middle East. The Chief Minister, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested that Finance Bill 2020 be amended in a manner that avoids hardship to those working in the Gulf region.
According to the proposed changes, a person will be considered a resident of India if he or she stays in the country for 120 days, a reduction of 60 days from the earlier permittance of 180 days.
“It needs to be taken note that a large number of persons who do not fall even remotely in the category of tax evaders, will be put to great hardship due to this proposed amendment,” Mr Vijayan said in the letter to PM Modi.
“Most of the people working in the Middle East from Kerala are having houses and families in Kerala and they visit and stay in their home state to look after their domestic affairs.
Tax Evasion is not their intention and they do not fall in the category of persons who shift their bases to avoid taxes,” Mr Vijayan added.
“The government of Kerala places on record its strong disagreement with the move in the Finance Bill,2020, brought in under the guise of checking tax abuse, but is in reality going to hurt those who toil and bring foreign exchange to the country. The Central Government may desist,” the Chief Minister said.
“The proposed reduction from 180 days to 120 days will adversely affect leaving for employment in areas like oil rigs, who will be in India off their duty after a period of arduous work schedules,” he said.
Kerala’s economy is substantially supported by remittances, especially from those in the Gulf countries, and is expected to be affected by the proposed amendment.