NRI Issues

Government considers giving NRIs voting rights:

If all goes well as planned, the BJP government will enact a new legislation to give voting rights to NRIs after consulting the opposition. The NRIs will be able to exercise their franchise either by e-postal ballots or through proxy voting.

The government has made it clear that it was acting on the recently given report of the Election Commission over the voting rights of one crore NRIs and not as directed by the Supreme Court on this issue.

However, the Opposition members charged the government with taking up the matter against the backdrop of the SC's directions, with Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad saying they were not opposed to voting rights for NRIs but the way the government has moved the proposal without discussing it with the political parties.

The EC report has suggested the options of the e-postal ballot system and proxy voting and the government had submitted before the Supreme Court accepting the recommendations.

NRI's body returns from Saudi with organs missing!:

The dead body of Ramdin Rajbhar, a worker from Varanasi, who was employed as a labourer in Al Khafji town in Saudi Arabia, was returned to India and sent for a post mortem by a team of doctors who conducted an autopsy.

And the autopsy report was a revelation as doctors were taken aback to see that the pericardium, spleen, kidney and other vital organs were missing from the man's body. The autopsy report that was sent to the Ghazipur police station as per the rules.

The Ghazipur panchayat member Brijbhushan Dubey who has been tracking the case pointed out that the official communication from the Indian embassy on the mysterious death of labourer Ramdin explained the cause of the death was hanging.

However, the local politicians intervening in this case, have requested the President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and top officials to follow up the incident and bring justice to Ramdin's family.

NRI helpline in UAE gets record 70,000 calls in 4 years:

A toll-free helpline to deal with a variety problems being faced by over 20 lakh Indians in the UAE has received almost 70,000 calls since its inception four years ago.

It may be noted that Indian Workers Resource Centre, an outsourced facility, was inaugurated by then President Pratibha Patil during her visit to the UAE in November 2010.

Proving to be a veritable boon to the NRIs, the 24x7 toll-free helpline 800INDIA (80046342) at present receives an average of 70 calls a day compared to the 40 calls of late, say IWRC officials.

"It is a big success indeed that the NRI helpline's call volume has gone up from 40 to 70 a day with a short time after its inauguration," said Anish Choudhury, senior manager operations at IWRC.

Further, he informed that the number of calls had started to increase after the IWRC hotline number was made popular through the centres of Indian document attestation, passport and visa application and other places where there is more visibility for Indians.

The centre has received almost 70,000 calls since its inception. A large number of NRI enquiries are issues related to passport services and other general information and legal support.

NRI voting rights Election Commission initiates process:

The Representation of the People Act of 1951 will be amended by the Election Commission to grant proxy voting rights to NRIs, according to informed sources.

Further, the Act will have to be changed to extend the facility of an alternative voting option for over one million NRI voters.

It is also recommended that NRI voters be sent blank ballot papers electronically so they can return it to poll authorities physically. If the NRIs are getting voting rights, then they can exercise their franchise to bring in their desired changes in the political landscape of India by forming a catalyst groups across the world.

However, the BJP-led government has to accept the EC's suggestion and then arrive at a political consensus before introducing the proposed bill in Parliament for ratification.