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EXCLUSIVE- ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’: Why did Amanjot Ramoowalia leave Canadian Citizenship?

Nationalism sprouts within the home itself and such has been the story of Roomawalia, for which she left Canadian citizenship

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Amanjot Ramoowalia
Mitti Ki Khusboo Campaign with Amanjot Ramoowalia
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  • ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’ is an initiative which thrives on connecting NRIs and PIOs to their motherland
  • Amanjot Ramoowalia left Canadian Citizenship for her native land
  • She now runs an NGO called “Helping Hapless”, which aims at helping the needy people.

– by Naina Mishra  

Chandigarh, June 08, 2017: ‘Mitti Ki Khusboo’ is an initiative which thrives on connecting NRIs and PIOs to their motherland. No matter wherever you set off, your native land must never be forgotten, and the smell of the motherland should always fill your heart with reverence.

Newsgram brings to you the gratifying narrative of an ex-NRI, Amanjot Ramoowalia who left the Canadian citizenship for the welfare of her native land– “Punjab”.

Ms. Ramoowalia, 47, is a resident of Chandigarh and the head of a charity for women. At the age of 19, she left to Canada and got married. During her stay in Canada, she always had a subtle inclination towards her homeland.

“I always had a whole in my heart for my nation. I still remember the first time in years after I visited India. As soon as the plane landed, I greeted the motherland and sighed relief.” told Ramoowalia to Newsgram.

Nationalism sprouts within the home itself and such has been the story of Roomawalia. Her family background explains the inclination towards the nation:

She grew up watching her father and grandfather fully immersed in serving the motherland. The young girl instilled the similar patterns in her as she grew up. Ramooawalia’s grandfather, Karnail Singh Paras was a renowned Kavishar of ‘Indian Punjab’. He used to sing patriotic songs and inspire people to devote themselves to Dharma (religion) and Vatan (nation). Ramoowalia also saw her father, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, now Cabinet Minister of UP, who ran ‘Dharam Yudh Morcha’ while struggling at the time of emergency period.

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“One night cops entered my house looking for my father. Few armed men tried to shoot him at back. At that time, we didn’t even know whether my dad would return back or not. On that night my mother told me not to cry. She pointed towards a painting of Guru Gobind Singh with 4 sahibzaade and said “our Guru sacrificed himself for us. We must not fear to lose him as he will sacrifice himself for the nation if the situation commands.” said Ramoowalia recalling the memories of her childhood.

It was certain that Ramoowalia was turning as a nationalist herself while growing up. Before shifting to India, Ramoowalia did some election campaigning for her father who was a politician in Punjab. She covered her father wherever it was required.  Ramoowalia would listen to the plight of the marginalized sections of society, which changed her perspective wholly.

She says, “I heard a woman lamenting over her 19-year-old son who died due to a drug overdose. I was touched with the problems people faced in Punjab and wanted to bring a change in the state of affairs”. By this time she was about to hail as the chief of Planning Commission Board under SAD-led government. However, I was a Canadian and was suppose to renounce my citizenship.”

Ramoowalia adds,”Someone on the immigration board did ask me “Are you sure you want to renounce the citizenship. People are dying for this.” But out of my people’s love and patriotism, I gave up my citizenship, quoted Ramoowalia on leaving Canadian citizenship.”

Roomawalia now runs an NGO called “Helping Hapless”, which aims at helping the needy people. It strives to solve myriads of issues like Human Trafficking, Drugs, and Domestic Violence.

“We wanted to continue our work which we also carried out during elections because it was the need of an hour and not something to be vouched politically”, she explained.

Ramoowalia put in plain words the essence of Mitti ki Khusboo.

 When you leave your home country owing to a better education or better life but do not forget your homeland, mother tongue, culture and traditions of the land you come from. The smell of the motherland is the smell of your own natives. Our land has the oldest legacy in the world. There might be others as well but for me, this is the place I found my soul always belonged to where heart fills more than the gut. I am fully satisfied living here and working for my people

– by Naina Mishra of Newsgram, Twitter: @Nainamishr94

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Best Tax Saving Options for NRIs in A.Y. 2018-19

As an NRI, you are qualified for tax exemptions on specific investments in India

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  • NRIs are supposed to pay taxes to India as well
  • There are tips for this tax saving
  • NRIs can use many methods to save taxes

Non- Resident Indians (NRIs) are supposed to pay taxes on income earned in India during a particular financial year. So, any income that has been either accrued or received in India shall form part of the taxable income of NRI. If you have recently moved abroad, you may be worried about ensuring your tax compliance in India for the assessment year 2018-19. Moreover, you need to do tax saving in India with twofold goals- decrease tax liability and increase return on investments. While tax saving is essential, you should strive to invest prudently to reap the maximum benefit of the savings.

These simple tips will help NRIs in tax saving.

If you are an NRI and searching for investment options with tax saving benefits, you should realise that there are various options for the same. Take a look at these tax saving options for NRIs in A.Y. 2018-19:

Bank Deposits

For money to be parked for short-term or long-term investments, NRI can have any one of three following types of banks accounts:

  1. Non-Resident External Rupee Account (NRE): In this type of account, your funds in foreign currency are converted into Indian rupees and the rate prevailing at the time of conversion is applicable. The benefit here is-Interest earned on NRE account is exempt from tax for an individual who qualifies as a ‘person resident outside India’ under the exchange control law.
  2. Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account (NRO): Interest earned on NRO account (savings or fixed) is fully taxable. A deduction up to Rs 10,000 may be claimed for interest earned on savings account while filing the tax return.
  3. Foreign Currency Non-Resident Bank Deposit (FCNR): It is a term deposit or fixed deposit account, where NRIs can deposit their money in foreign currency. The deposits canbe made for a minimum maturity period of one year and maximum maturity period of 5 years. The interest earned under this account is tax-free, whereas the principal amount is taxed under wealth tax.

    Opening bank deposits can help save taxes. ecointersect.com

Other popular means of claiming a deduction from gross total income is via Section 80C.

Deductions Under Section 80C

Term Insurance

NRIs can invest in term insurance, a type of life cover, which provides financial coverage to the insured. If the insured expires during the tenure of the policy, then death benefit is payable to the nominee. A deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh is allowed for the premium paid towards term insurance plans as per Section 80C. This deduction can be claimed where the plan has been purchased in the NRI’s name or the name of his/her spouse. Moreover, purchasing online insurance plans like term plans has turned out to be simple, hence you can easily go for these online insurance plans and avail tax benefits on the premium payable.

Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs)

Unit Linked Insurance Plans offer duals benefits of life insurance and investment. Some part of the premium is utilised as insurance coverage to the policyholder, while the remaining amount is invested in various debt and equity schemes. As with all life insurance plans, the amount invested in a ULIP is available for tax deductions for NRIs.

Subject to certain conditions, the premium paid for ULIPs is allowed as a deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. ULIP premium can be deducted from your taxable income up to Rs 1.5 lakh, which is currently the permissible limit.

Loan to Buy a Home

Buying a house property is beneficial for you (NRI) as the interest income and principal income will allow for a tax rebate. The total deduction for interest payment on home advances is Rs 1.5 lakh, whereas the principal amount repayment on home loan already qualifies for a tax rebate of Rs 1 lakh.

Equity Linked Mutual Fund schemes (ELSS)

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Loaning a house can help save taxes for NRIs. Pixabay

For NRIs, ELSS also offers similar benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. ELSS are equity-linked mutual fund schemes investing in a diversified portfolio of Indian stocks. ELSS schemes can be purchased online, yet remember, there is an element of risk in ELSS as money is put into equity markets. Be that as it may, they are tax efficient instruments for NRIs.

National Pension Scheme (NPS)

You can subscribe to NPS if you have retained your Indian citizenship and planned to retire in India. You can contribute to NPS from NRE and NRO accounts. However, the pension needs to be received in India only and cannot be repatriated. Your investment up to 1.5 lakh can be used to avail tax deductions.

NPS comes under EET tax structure (Exempt-Exempt-Tax) and is a cost-effective, government-backed retirement savings plan. All the contributions and accrued capital gains are exempt from tax; however, withdrawal is subject to tax.

Also Read: Rich NRI Keralites Seek State-of-the-Art Old Age Homes to Ensure Stress-Free Life for their Aged Parents

Other Allowable Deductions:

Health Insurance- Deduction under Section 80D

NRIs can take health insurance from Indian companies for themselves or their family members and claim a deduction for the premium paid under Section 80D. Additionally, health plans like cancer insurance plans serve as monthly income plan with different payout options made available upon diagnosis of the disease. The availability monthly income plan feature offers a comprehensive financial coverage for the life assured as well as his family.

The deduction for health insurance is up to Rs25,000 for insurance of self. You can claim a deduction for insurance of parents up to Rs30,000 if their parents are a senior citizen (above 60 years) and Rs25,000 if the parents are below 60 years.

Education Loan- Deduction under Section 80E

Like resident Indians, NRIs can also take educational loans and claim tax deductions on the interest paid under section 80E. This loan might be either taken for higher education for self, spouse or children.

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Saving money by saving taxes now becomes easy for NRIS with these tips. Pixabay.

Besides, there is no limit on the amount which can be claimed as a deduction, and deduction is offered for a maximum of eight years or till the interest is paid, whichever is earlier.Additionally, no deduction is allowed on the principal repayment of the loan.

Conclusion:

As an NRI, you are qualified for tax exemptions on specific investments in India. Before investing, you should make an informed choice by understanding tax laws in India, in addition to the nation of your residence. Moreover, you must select tax saving instruments which would enable repatriation of income at maturity. Your investment decisions should consider your life objectives and also repatriation restrictions on investments in India.