Update on PPF account for NRIs – You can continue with PPF account now

The Indian government recently announced that Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts had to be closed when a person became a Non Resident Indian (NRI). 

A few months ago in October, the government announced that if a resident, who opened an account under this scheme, and subsequently becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.

Image result for ppf

On February 23, 2018, the government’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)  released an office memo  keeping its earlier notification in abeyance (or temporarily dismissed). The earlier notification was regarding the NRI’s PPF account released on October 2, 2017. According to the recent memo

Subject: Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts held by Non Resident-regarding.

The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department’s notification GSR No.
1237(E) dated 03.10.2017 regarding amendment in PPF Scheme, 1968. As per the said
notification, if a resident who opened an account under this scheme, subsequently
becomes a non-resident during the currency of the maturity period, the account shall be
deemed to be closed with effect from the day he becomes a non-resident.

2. It has now been decided to keep the said notification in abeyance till the further
order in this regard.

Advertisements

Trudeau in India: Are traditional Indian attires ‘too Indian’ for modern Indians ?

The Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family, during a recent visit  to India made headlines with their flashy ‘Indian attire’ that got media and digirati debating.

One was the picture of Trudeau family in Sherwani and Sarees with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan

KhanJustinTrudeau

And then the Trudeaus were spotted at the Golden Temple in Amritsar in a spiffy Punjabi attire

TrudeauGoldenTemple

And the visit to Sabarmati in somber Reds

trudeau-sabarmati
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with his wife, Sophie, prays at the Sabarmati Mahatma Gandhi Ashram in Ahmadabad, India, on Monday, Feb 19, 2018. ─ AP

And at Akshardham like a newly wed Gujju couple

trudeau-akshardam

 

O Canada: Perhaps the only exception to the desi-photo-op,  was the Trudeau family visit to Taj Mahal where they managed to look ‘naturally Canadian’ 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, their daughter Ella Grace and sons Hadrien and Xavier pose in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra

Why is this making headlines?

All this left many Indians wondering if the Trudeau family in ‘traditional Indian attires’ were trying to be a bit too Indian. 

In case you are wondering: Contemporary Indians, especially in urban cities are more comfortable in t-shirts and jeans.

Image result for youth bangalore

Perhaps the only time one sees young men awkwardly milling about in Sherwanis or silk Kurtas are at weddings and melas. Same goes for the globalized bharitya nari, who is more comfortable in pants and jeans and not Sarees and Bindis.

 

images collated from published sources in the media:

#PNBScam – No, Nirav #Modi is NOT related to Indian PM, Narendra Modi

As the details of the multi-billion $ scandal at the Indian Nationalized bank, Punjab National Bank (#PNBScam) unfolds, the world is watching with interest and wondering about the implications. Many around the world are bound to see the headlines describing the involvement of diamond merchant Nirav Modi and will perhaps be wondering about his relation to the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi.

Nirav_Modi_IT[1]
Nirav Modi, Image credit: India Today
At this time, there are no indications that the two Modis – Nirav and Narendra – are in any way related though they share a common last name.

Wikipedia explains “Modi is a surname in India. The surname is most commonly found amongst people from the Northern and Western states of Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Gujarat. It is mostly associated with Baniyas, grain merchants and grocers.”

At this time, details of the mega-fraud are still emerging and journalists are trying to piece together the facts (e.g Five things you need to know about Nirav Modi and PNB fraud). According to media reports,

Indian-born diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi is the founder of the $2.3 billion Firestar Diamond and was ranked #57 in the Forbes list of India’s billionaires in 2017.

Modi grew up in Belgium, dropped out of Wharton and moved to India where he got trained in the diamond trade under his uncle, according to Forbes.

He went on to launch his own Nirav Modi brand with 16 stores in locations such as Delhi, Mumbai, New York, Hong Kong, London and Macau.

 

 

A few recent articles on the scandal

Encouraging Sikh Proposal Submissions for 2018 Toronto Parliament of the World’s Religions

The Parliament Sikh Task Force of the Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations (SCIR) calls upon Sikhs across the world to submit interfaith and intrafaith proposals (panel discussions, workshops, seminars, training sessions, religious performances, exhibits, films etc.) for presentation at the 2018 Parliament of the World¡¦s Religions to be held November 1 to 7, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.

All interfaith and intrafaith proposals must be submitted online at https://parliamentofreligions.org/rfp by deadline of April 1, 2018.

The theme of the 2018 parliament is The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love:  Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, and Change. Programming for the 2018 Parliament will focus largely, but not exclusively, on:

  • broad critical issues of the Parliament¡¦s mission statement (justice, peace and sustainability)
  • critical constituencies (Indigenous Peoples, Next Generations, and Women and Girls)
  • signature document of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Declaration Toward a Global Ethic.

Kindly note that the Guiding Principles of the 2018 Parliament are:

  1. respectful dialogue: we listen and speak with respect
  2. non-proselytizing: we do not attempt to convert others or speak derogatorily about any tradition
  3. willingness to explore a wide variety of topics: we embody compassion as we engage in difficult conversations.

 More than 10,000 people from across the world are expected to participate in the 2018 Parliament, which will last for seven days and comprise more than 500 programs, workshops, and dialogues, alongside music, dance, art and photography exhibitions, and related events presented by the world¡¦s religious communities and cultural institutions. The Ontario Sikh and Gurdwara Council (OSGC) is planning to serve Guru ka Langar at the parliament during lunch time. For more information on the Guru ka Langar, please contact OSGC at manjit@ramrapsolutions.com.

20170502_132306
 Toronto Mayor John Tory with Dr. Satpal Singh

Having coordinated the Sikh participation and presentations at the 2015 Salt Lake City Parliament of the World¡¦s Religions, SCIR established a 2018 Parliament Sikh Task Force in February 2017. The charge of the Parliament Sikh Task Force is to coordinate and implement the active participation of the worldwide Sikh community at the upcoming parliament through:

  • significant international Sikh presence and engagement,
  • presentations at plenary and parallel sessions focused on interfaith and intrafaith issues, and
  • Guru ka Langar, if possible, at the parliament to be led by the local Sikh community.

 The task force members include Sikh representatives from Canada, US, and across the world. Suggestions and queries about Sikh participation in the upcoming parliament can be emailed to parliamentsikh@gmail.com.

 The Parliament of the World’s Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world. More information about the 2018 Parliament of the World¡¦s Religions along with online registration is available at https://parliamentofreligions.org/parliament/2018-toronto/toronto-2018.

If you need help with your Sikh proposal submission, please feel free to contact the Program Workgroup of the Parliament Sikh Task Force at parliamentsikh@gmail.com.

Parliament Sikh Task Force

Sikh Council for Interfaith Relations (SCIR)

POB 523, Dublin, Ohio 43017, USA

Phone: 614-753-3292

parliamentsikh@gmail.com


 

You may also be interested in our extensive listings of Sikh Gurudwaras in USA and Canada

Feel good story: NRI couple’s generous act for visually-impaired kids

Here is a feel good story about a Non Resident Indian (NRI) couple giving back to their homeland from The Hindu:

Students of the Nalgonda Blind School, run by the Development and Welfare Association of the Blind, had special visitors dropping into its campus on Tuesday.

An NRI doctor-couple G. Aruna Devi and Gopal Reddy gifted the school dual desk benches for students, a solar power set-up and a refrigerator, all together valued at ₹20 lakh.

Moved by the students’ needs, the couple assured they would direct organisations that could help out the school as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Nalgonda MLA Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, who interacted with the students, shared memories of a visually-impaired friend, telling that strong will helped him achieve success in life.

District Collector Gaurav Uppal said the government was considering undertaking development work at the school.


 

You may also be interested in GaramChai.com’s Charity section 

Amazon’s Great Indian Sale | Jan 21-24 2018

eCommerce in India has taken off in a big way. Here is a sale of interest to Indian consumers and those looking to gift items to their Indian relatives and friends.

Great Indian Sale | Coming Soon
GET READY: AMAZON GREAT INDIAN SALE (21-24 JAN)

We are happy to announce the AMAZON GREAT INDIAN SALE (21- 24 JAN)

offering Big Savings for everyone.

  • Offers on 10,000+ brands from January 20th to 24th, 2018
  • Early Access for Prime members : Top Deals starting 12 noon, Jan 20th for members only
  • Shopping made more affordable with No cost EMI & Exchange Offers
  • More savings with 10% cashback on HDFC credit & debit cards and EMI | 10% back with Amazon Pay balance
KEY DISCOUNT CALLOUTS | 21st – 24th Jan 2018

Sale events are a great time to boost your earnings due to increased conversions. With greater discounts and attractive prices, customers reaching Amazon.in will have access to great deals thus increasing your conversion for every click sent. We would encourage you to optimize on this great promise with the right marketing approach.

Please ensure that you keep checking your emails for updated information and GREAT INDIAN SALE offer details on a daily basis. We will keep sharing timely updates in the coming days. 

Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas: First PIO Parliamentarian Conference held in New Delhi

Every year, January 9 is celebrated as Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD), an annual celebratory day that marks the contribution of overseas persons of Indian origin (PIO) towards their homeland. This year, the theme has focused on engaging political and elected leaders from across the globe.

The 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference was inaugurated by Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi in Delhi on 9th January 2018. Welcoming the delegates to the Conference, the Prime Minister said that while many people may have left India over the course of hundreds of years, India continues to have a place in their minds and hearts. The Prime Minister said that Persons of India Origin (PIOs) are like permanent ambassadors of India and partners for India’s development, who have an important position in the Action Agenda till 2020, drafted by the NITI Aayog.

Addressing the 2nd Plenary Session on ‘Resurgent IndiaRole of PIO Parliamentarians’, Shri Ananthkumar, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Parliamentary Affairs said that, “I am honoured to be here on the momentous occasion of the 1st PIO-Parliamentarian Conference and extend a warm welcome to all of you.”

At the outset, the Minister congratulated Union Minister for External Affairs (MEA), Smt. Sushma Swaraj for hosting this important and historic conference, where a Rainbow of Parliamentarians of Indian Origin from over 20 Democracies of the World gathered to share Parliamentary best practices and mutually enrich each other with their experiences.

Shri Ananthkumar stated that under the dynamic leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, India and the Indian Diaspora has found greater recognition and popularity among the Comity of NationsThis is evident from the unprecedented response received by the Prime Minister in every country that he has visited. Occasions such as this conference provide us with an opportunity to further strengthen and diversify our engagement with diaspora, the Minister added.

Elaborating the contributions of PIOs in different countries around the world, Shri Ananthkumar said that people of Indian origin have contributed considerably to the economy and social upliftment of the countries in which they lived. The Minister conveyed his sincere appreciation at how languages like Hindi, Bhojpuri, folklore such as Ramayana, literature from India, traditional cuisine etc. have not only survived but are flourishing in these countries. This was possible and achieved only because Indian migrants in these countries were determined to preserve their traditions, norms and customs. “All of you here are members of our extended family and bound by ties of history, emotional attachment, cultural affinities and kinship”, the Minister added.

Shri Ananthkumar called the gathering as a mini World Parliament of People of Indian origin. He congratulated the External Affairs Minister for laying a strong platform today by organizing todays summit on PIO Parliamentarians. Further, he stated that PIOs have achieved great heights in Politics and Governance in various countries and also become Heads of State which is a matter of great pride and happiness for 1.25 billion Indians here.

The Minister invited the august gathering of PIOs to partner in the development of their Motherland India. Flagship schemes of Government of India such as Skill India, Start up India, Stand up India, Make in India etc. provide a great opportunity for PIOs to partner in India’s resurgence as a global power, Shri Ananthkumar stated

The session also witnessed distinguished PIO Parliamentarians placing their experiences before the gathering and how they are still very much connected to their roots in India through the Principles of Peace and Harmony that they have imbibed from their ancestors. Other dignitaries who addressed the gathering included Shri M. Thambidurai, Deputy Speaker Lok Sabha and Shri D.K. Mulay, Secretary MEA. (PR)

Sound bites:

  • As many as 120 parliamentarians, mayors and political leaders from 23 countries are participating in the conference.
  • January 9 is celebrated every year as ‘Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas’ to commemorate the contributions of overseas citizens of Indian origin towards India.
  • While 124 MPs from the UK, Canada, Fiji, Kenya, Mauritius, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and other countries are slated to take part in today’s conference, 17 mayors from US, Malaysia, Switzerland, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago will also participate in it.
  • No lawmaker from the US is  attending this year’s PIO conference because of the ongoing session of the Senate.