OI, here’s a handbook for you

Your personal guide through the maze of registration, taxation and regulations

Chetan Kunte directs us to a new 112-page handbook, available online from the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. The honourable minister is “sure this Handbook will facilitate greater understanding of the environs and help Overseas Indians to work, invest and flourish in their own country”. Lest you wonder why there is such a ministry, the handbook tells us that “an important service that the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is striving to extend to the Overseas Indians is that of investment services to enable potential Overseas Indian Investors to benefit from India’s rapidly growing economy.”

Among others, it says that the ‘dual’ citizenship scheme is not really dual at all. Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) has been introduced by statute as a new category of citizenship to facilitate life-long visa, free travel to India (sic) and certain economic, educational and cultural benefits. This is not to be construed as ‘dual citizenship’ since it does not confer political rights. Any Overseas Indian applicant who is comfortable with his present citizenship status in the country of his residence can apply for OCI. [OI handbook]

Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, even those comfortable in their citizenship status, aren’t eligible. Sorry.

5 thoughts on “OI, here’s a handbook for you”

  1. …even those comfortable in their citizenship status, aren’t eligible.

    There’s a reason why—I presume—the Ministry is saying (doing) this: the Indian Ministry of External Affairs all over the world—in recent times—are getting a ton of requests from people—who left behind India’s citizenship officially to embrace their new host country long ago. (Perhaps, with the economic boom et al, India is looking rozy again.)

    One of the embassy officials confessed their irritation about the number of requests they’re getting everyday from Surinamis here in Holland, for example. (Suriname was a former colony of the Dutch; When offered a choice, Surinmis of Indian origin preferred Dutch citizenship to Indian.) Some of the OIC info in the handbook could be coming from the information handouts to counter such requests.

  2. So, why exactly the idea of the book is being ridiculed?

    It seems bloggers nowadays write can make fun of anything and everything that they can. Becoming another TV media journalists, whom they love to deride!

  3. paradise.mine,

    I’m not sure what makes you think it’s being ridiculed here.

    (As for your general point about bloggers poking fun at everything, why, that’s such a wonderful thing! Life would be dull if the blogosphere was full of humourless blogs as The Acorn.)

    Patrix,

    Good point. There are ministries for every little thing these days. Coalition governments are partly responsible for the increase in demand for ministerial berths.

  4. “Coalition governments are partly responsible for the increase in demand for ministerial berths.”

    If I remember correctly, NRI wanted, at one of those pravasi bharatiya samelan, a ministry – just like IT industry wanted, and got, one. Nothing gets done without a minister in charge to push an agenda within our babucracy.

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