x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Remittance tax vexes Indian expatriates

The plan for a 12.36 per cent duty on remittances by non-resident Indians elicited resentment from expatriates across the world.

DUBAI // Indians in the Emirates say they remain confused about a tax on foreign remittances that the Indian government had said would be implemented from yesterday.

The plan for a 12.36 per cent duty on remittances by non-resident Indians elicited resentment from expatriates across the world.

Indian businessmen spoke out against the service tax and hope the final levy will at least be low.

"I don't mind paying a small amount on the fee because I don't send money back so often," said Shabbir Rokadia, a Sharjah-based businessman who owns hardware stores.

"But there are people who feel this is totally unfair because we are paying money back home, so why should we be charged for that?"

Sunil Bhatia, the president of the Indian Punjabi Association, said: "If it's a marginal fee it's too early to jump up and protest. There is still some confusion about the amount of tax.

"Of course if it's high then it will be unfair. Also, it will pinch labourers because they religiously send money home every month, so even a small tax will not be right for them."

The chief executive of Lulu International Exchange said the amount could well be small.

"We don't see it having an adverse effect on remittances from the Gulf," said Adeeb Ahamed.

* Preeti Kannan and Ramola Talwar Badam