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INOC discusses OCI card, property protection with Rao

Ambassador to bring matter to Home ministry.

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Bureau Report

WASHINGTON, DC: Members of the Indian National Overseas Congress (I) USA, met the Indian Ambassador to the United States Nirupama Rao here, and discussed a number of issues that are of concern to the Indian Diaspora, including the Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card and recent changes in rules that mandate its renewal for people 50 years and over.

George Abraham, President of the INOC, stressed the vital role NRIs play in promoting US-India friendship and cooperation in various fields. He said issues like difficulty with the OCI card were irritants to an otherwise strong and growing bond between India and its Diaspora in the US.

The delegation suggested that OCI status could be granted by a separate document like the US “Green Card” rather than a stamp placed in the individual’s Indian passport. For the second generation Indian Americans, some of the benefits conferred by OCI legislation might need revisiting to prevent inconsistent application, they suggested.

The Secretary of the INOC, Kunal Yadav, and Prof. Sreedhar Kavil , member of the INOC, spoke on how to improve the usability of OCI card and pledged their continuing efforts to work in collaboration with the Indian government to effect the changes.

INOC recently established an NRI-Interface Council for the specific purpose of addressing issues that are of concern to the Diaspora. Anand Ahuja, the chairman of the Interface council, highlighted some of the issues the committee is looking into at present, such as property protection for NRIs and necessary legislation for it in India.

Rao, in her exchange with the delegation, posed queries about the present difficulties surrounding the OCI card. She said she would bring the matter to the attention of the Home Ministry.

Other members of the INOC who participated in the discussion with the ambassador were: Mohinder Singh, Harbachan Singh, Juned Qazi, Zinda Singh, Lavika Bhagat Singh, Varghese Thekkekara, Rumpy Singh and Rohini Khera.

 

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