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Home > Business > Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

Gulf NRIs not enamoured of dual citizenship

Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | January 09, 2003 00:15 IST

Even as the three-day conference of Persons of Indian Origin and Non-Resident Indians is set to take off in New Delhi on Wednesday, some people have begun expressing resentment over the preferential treatment meted out to NRIs from the US, UK and other developed countries.

Dubai-based Bharat Shah, a member of the Overseas Indians Economic Forum (UAE), also fears that the conference may end up as an event whose main achievement would be the announcement of the facility of dual citizenship.

"Why spend Rs 100 million (Rs 10 crore) just to make this announcement?" he asked.

In any case, he claimed, the average NRI in the Gulf is more concerned about, among other things, the increasing cases of fraud in the overseas branches of Indian public sector banks than the privileges afforded by dual citizenship.

Last year, Shah had objected to the granting of dual citizenship in a meeting held at the Indians Merchants Chamber in Mumbai.

"Dual citizenship would be against the nation's interest. Why risk the nation's security for a few Indians? The PIO card takes care of all our needs. Therefore, the demand for dual nationality is dubious," he said.

There are fears that dubious elements might secure dual citizenship to carry out their nefarious activities without hindrance as it eliminates the need for visas (for travelling between the nations concerned).

Shah also questioned the criteria of granting dual citizenship only to Indians in select countries, like the US, UK, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and in Europe.

He accused the Committee on the Indian Diaspora of ignoring the four million Indians in the Gulf as they are mostly skilled and semi-skilled labourers.

"Indians in the Gulf face a lot of problems during immigration, in dealing with customs and income tax officials," he said.

"We also face problems in buying and selling shares and real estate, have to deal with time consuming bank formalities and our children face difficulties during school admissions," he said.

Pravasi Bharatiya Divas

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Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: Dual Citizenship

As I understand the dual citizenship has limitations and I consider that it is a privilege and not a right that is extended to ex-Indian ...

Posted by Raj Cherian

Sub: Gulf NRIs and Dual citizenship

Almost all gulf NRIs continue to remain Indian citizen because gulf countries do not let people become citizen of those countries. Whether or not Indian ...

Posted by Bharat Saini


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