The South Asian Times

25 September 2017 23:46 PM

FCRA rules for OCIs need to change

My name is Ganesh Harpavat. I was born in a small village in India and I have been living in America for over 40 years. Now I am an OCI and a US citizen. I am deeply interested in the welfare of India. I have helped many communities in India in their health and education related matters. My wife and I started Indo American Public School in village Balicha and now over 500 students are studying there. You may visit our school website: indoamericanpublicschool.com.
 
When I visit India I meet many people in small villages and they ask for my help in their community development programs. One such request came from a headmaster  in village Nai in Udaipur. I am not able to help such people because I am an OCI, and, according to FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) rules, OCIs are considered foreigners and contribution from them is treated as foreign source. To be compliant with FCRA rules these people have to obtain permission prior to accepting help from me. Getting permission from FCRA is a very cumbersome, lengthy and tedious process. Above all, there is lots of bureaucracy in FCRA office. If FCRA rule could be modified  for OCIs and they could be treated like Indian citizens, it will be a big service to these people.
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I have written to the Director of FCRA and Joint Secretary about this small change. I need to build public opinion on this matter that will ​be a good community services. 
 
Ganesh Harpavat
(gharpavat@gmail.com)

Photo: indoamericanpublicschool.com

Update: 14 July, 2017

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