x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

India's growing reach

India's government has improved its ability to meet the demands of its citizens, even those who live abroad

As India marked the 62nd anniversary of its establishment as a republic yesterday, the country had reason to celebrate its government's improved capacity to meet the demands of its diverse population. And as demonstrated by a meeting of Indian community leaders in Abu Dhabi with their country's minister for overseas affairs, that ability includes meeting the demands of citizens abroad.

The Indian minister recognised that many of the issues facing the 1.75 million Indian expatriates in the UAE require urgent attention. Vayalar Ravi also expressed concern with new challenges that have emerged for the UAE's Indian community. New legislation now means that Indian expatriates will lose their tax-exempt status if they spend more than 60 days in their home country. For a group that transfers millions of dirhams in remittances to families back home, that burden could be difficult to handle.

Meanwhile, on Saturday many parents queued overnight for the chance to register their children in Indian Schools for the next academic year, only to be met with disappointment. There are simply not enough placements for Indian students. These issues and others will be at the centre of the UAE-India dialogue that begins this week. It is hoped that, for the sake of Indian citizens who have long contributed to the UAE's rise, compromises on these issues can be reached.