Author Mohamed Faisal

Community
NRI deposits drop 98% as oil prices remain low: Report

Net deposits by Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) dropped sharply by 98 percent in April-August this fiscal due to fluctuation in oil prices, industry body ASSOCHAM said. Net bank deposits — the difference between total deposits and not withdrawals — came in at USD 434 million in April-August this year, compared to a net deposit of USD 3.8 billion in the same period last year. Gulf crisis hits remittances “While there are various factors responsible for the NRI flows, including the interest rates, but the most plausible at this point of time seems to be economic problems in the Gulf countries, the largest source of NRI remittances, particularly for the low income expatriates,” the statement said. “Remittances have been affected for states like Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, in particularly which have a large number of its people making living in the Gulf nations.” “With fading away of the glorious years for…

Kuwait
Kuwait raises health care service fees for expatriates, visitors

Kuwait’s health ministry has announced new health care service fees for expatriates and visitors. The Health Ministry has unveiled the health taxes which will be levied on expatriates and visitors to the country, Health Minister Dr. Jamal Al-Harbi has sent a circular featuring the new fees to be input into IT systems and implemented at public medical outlets. The fees for services now include natural child delivery, open heart surgery, nuclear medicine, radiology tests, laboratory tests and artificial limbs will be implemented starting October 1, the ministry said in a statement. Under the new plan, the fee for regular consultation at the health centres is two Kuwaiti dinars while the emergency consultation fee is KD5 at specialised and general hospitals and KD10 at outpatient clinics. The cost of admission is KD10 in the general wards per day and KD30 at the intensive care units. Patients who take private rooms will…

Community
Union Cabinet clears proposal to extend proxy voting facility to NRIs

India’s Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a proposal to extend the facility of voting by electronic means and proxy to Non-resident Indians (NRIs) by amending electoral laws. At present, an overseas Indian could cast his or her vote in the constituency he or she belonged to by being physically present at the polling station. As per the new proposal, NRIs would also be allowed to use the option of proxy, which as of now is only available to service personnel like Army officers. For overseas Indians, the Representation of the People Act needs to be amended to include proxy voting as other means to cast their votes. What is proxy voting Proxy voting is a form of voting whereby a voter may delegate his or her voting power to a representative, to enable a vote in absence. A person so designated is called a “proxy” and the person designating him…

India
NRIs don’t need Aadhaar cards, confirms UIDAI chief

Non Resident Indians (NRIs) visiting India on vacation are exempted from showing Aadhaar cards for official purposes, the chief of Aadhaar authority in India has confirmed. “NRIs are exempt from obtaining Aadhaar cards. These are only for Indians residing in the country and not for those living abroad,” clarified Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). UIDAI, which has issued 1.16 billion cards as of now, is responsible for the processing and authentication of data for Aadhaar and maintaining India’s Central Identities Data Repository. As informed earlier on several occasions, NRIs are not eligible to obtain them in the first place and it is open only to long-term residents of the country, which they are not. According to the official, circulars have been sent to all government departments, banks and education institutions, that NRIs are exempt. However several NRIs are still facing hardships as…

Qatar
Qatar crisis: Saudi-led coalition replaces 13 demands with 6 principles

The four Arab countries that cut diplomatic ties with Qatar are understood to have dropped their list of 13 demands and proposed six principles with which they want Qatar to comply, latest media reports suggested. This could indicate that the quartet is now more willing to engage in the mediation process led by Kuwait and backed by the United States, United Nations and European powers. Diplomats from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt told reporters at the United Nations they now wanted it to accept six broad principles, BBC reported. The six principles include commitments to combat terrorism and extremism and to end acts of provocation and incitement. There was no immediate comment from Qatar, which denies aiding terrorists. According to Associated Press, Saudi Arabia’s UN ambassador, Abdallah Al Mouallimi, told a briefing for UN correspondents in New York on Tuesday that foreign ministers for Saudi Arabia, the…

India
Mishap averted after AI Express flight from Dubai skids off runway

A mishap was averted at the Mangaluru airport in Karnataka today morning when an Air India Express aircraft from Dubai with 185 passengers on board, veered off the runway due to poor weather conditions, according to the Airport Authority of India officials. The pilots of the flight – IX 814 – were able to bring the Boeing 737 back to the runway’s centre line after it skidded. “Just as the aircraft was about to touch down, there was sudden gust of wind and heavy rain. The aircraft skidded to the right momentarily after the touch down. But got back to the center line thereafter,” Air India Express CEO Shyam Sundar was quoted as saying. “There was no discomfort or injury to any passenger. Post arrival inspection of the aircraft revealed no damages.” he added. “The aircraft was inspected and no “noticeable damage” was found, the official said. “The initial enquiry…

Saudi Arabia
Expats in Saudi Arabia hit with new fees as they leave for vacation

Expats in Saudi Arabia going on vacation with their families in this peak holiday season felt the pinch of the new dependent fee, which came into force on Saturday, when they tried to pay the exit-reentry visa fee for family members. Those who wanted to pay the exit-reentry visa fee for their family members were prompted by the online payment system to first clear the dependent fee for the remaining months of the validity of their iqamas (residence permits), Saudi Gazette has reported. From Saturday evening till Sunday morning, the online payment system was displaying only exit-reentry fees. But hours later it started displaying complete and accurately calculated amount of dependent fee based on the validity of iqama against each dependent. The payment of dependent fee is not only directly linked with the renewal of iqama but also the issuance of exit-reentry visa, whichever comes first. The exit-reentry process can…

Qatar
No restriction on exchange of Qatari Riyals in India: RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has said it has not issued any instructions restricting the exchange of Qatari Riyals in the country. The central bank came up with the clarification amid reports that certain authorised dealers/persons are not undertaking the sale or purchase of the Qatari currency. “It is clarified that the Reserve Bank has not issued any instructions restricting the exchange of Qatari Riyals in India,” RBI said in a notification. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, Reserve Bank authorises persons to deal in foreign exchange as authorised dealers. Several countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, among others, cut ties to Qatar this month over allegations that the Persian Gulf country funds terrorism. Earlier there were several complaints that some money exchanges in Indian airports were not accepting Qatari riyals. Even though RBI has issued the clarification now, it is advisable to change currency in Qatar itself…

Qatar
Qatar MoI issues safety advisory for travellers

The Public Relations Department at Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) has issued an advisory, titled ‘Have a Pleasant Trip’, in view of the upcoming summer vacation. The advisory contains awareness tips that people in Qatar need to follow to ensure their safety and security before and during the holidays, the department has said in a statement. Please follow these tips for a hassle free journey during summer vaccation. #MoI_Qatar pic.twitter.com/3SOSqie9Zw— Ministry of Interior (@MOI_QatarEn) June 22, 2017 A number of relevant topics are covered under different themes. These are as follows: Securing the house before travel Ensure to lock the doors of the house properly by using one or more high-quality locks. Do not leave behind money, jewellery or other valuables inside and instead deposit them in a bank. Before leaving the house, switch off the electric switchboard, gas pipelines and the main water valve. People could also request their…

Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia to start collecting expat tax from next month

Starting next month, Saudi Arabia will be collecting a new tax from expatriates and their dependents, a move that is seen to boost the country’s revenues amid weak oil prices. As per the details announced last December, there would be two kinds of taxes: Fee on dependents of expatriates, and Fee on companies employing expatriates Fee on dependents of expatriates The fee on dependents of expatriate workers will be levied from July of 2017, in order to minimize impact on families with children enrolled in school. From July 2017, dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR100 From July 2018, dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR200 From July 2019, dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR300 From July 2020, dependents of expats will each incur a monthly fee of SR400 Fee on companies employing expatriates Companies in Saudi Arabia…

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