Benami Property! ACT BEFORE ITS TOO LATE
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The Value of a Succession Certificate

Black Money, Benami Property, and Corruption are issues which are plague India, and the present Government is doing everything in its power to improve the country’s position. The steps taken by the government are eminent and effective. These steps might appear uncomfortable to those who have been used to defying the rules of the land, but they seek to build a more transparent, regulated and clean atmosphere in the country. In such an environment it is best to be prepared for all kinds of future situations especially about the matters related to property or various assets of a person.

When it comes to individual’s property or asset, he/she should try to be prepared for future – which is true in the case of NRIs. He/she can prepare a will in advance or appoint a nominee in all financial accounts like fixed deposits, stocks, saving accounts or mutual funds, etc., or can even file nominee for the property ownership.

But what happens when the person dies without preparing a Will? What steps can an heir take to obtain what is rightfully his? These situations raise a need for a solution which can help in claiming everything that belongs to the heir of the deceased.

In such a case where an individual dies without leaving a will (intestate), the legal heirs of the deceased person can apply in the court for the issuance of ‘Succession Certificate.’

Succession Certificate is a certificate granted to the legal heirs of the deceased person by the court so that they can claim the movable or immovable property along with the debts left behind by the deceased.

The issuance of such certificate is governed by The Indian Succession Act 1925. This certificate authorizes the heirs to get assets or securities transferred in their names. Along with the assets, the successor has to take responsibility and liability for clearing any debts or security attached to the property.

To obtain the certificate, the successor has to file a petition in the court. The petition should be filed with the competent jurisdiction where the property of the deceased person is located, or the dead person resided. In the petition the particular petitioner has to specify:-

  • His/ her name
  • The time, date and place of death
  • Relationship with the deceased person
  • Names of all heirs of the deceased person and attach the death certificate of the same.

After filing the petition with the court, a notice is issued in the newspaper. The notice specifies the period in which if any person has any objection he/she can do so if there is none the court issues the Succession Certificate to the petitioner.

It commonly takes 6 – 8 months from the date of filing the petition to obtain the Succession Certificate. The High Court and the District Court both have jurisdiction in the case of issuance of the certificate.

To claim what is rightfully yours is not wrong but sometimes it’s difficult to do so. Many times an NRI citizen who knows all the details of the property that in a way belongs to him/her finds himself/herself in a position where due to the lack of Will, claiming the same property becomes difficult.

In such a case if the NRI takes proper advice and consults with the appropriate property expert lawyers before taking a major step, claiming what is rightfully his/hers becomes easy. Prevention is better than cure!

By | January 20th, 2017|Succession Certificate|0 Comments

BENAMI PROPERTY – Understanding the concept and the need to eliminate it

Transparency in systems and Eradication of Corruption is a key focus of the present government. As the first leg of this drive, Prime Minister Modi announced the demonetisation process in the country in November 2016. The second phase of this anti-corruption, anti-black money is going to be an attack on ‘benami property.’ Although the law to tackle this has existed for the past many years, not much was done about it.

In its recent strike against the illegalities in the real estate sector, the government announced the Benami Transactions Prohibitions Amendment Act on November 1, 2016. An amendment to the earlier Act of 1988, this new enactment is known as the ‘Prohibition of Benami Transactions Act, 1988 or specifically, the PBPT Act. The following is what you need to understand this entire process and the terms involve therein:

“Benami.”

The word “benami” implies ‘not in the own name,’ taken from the Hindi word ‘benaam’ meaning ‘without any name.’ In the context of property, it just means ‘property that is not bought in your name.’ The property so bought is called ‘benami property’; the person in whose name the property has been purchased is called the ‘benamdar.’ Real ownership of the asset remains in the name of the individual who has paid the money for the deal. Naturally, the only person who stands to benefit in the process is the one who has paid for the property. He is the one who keeps both the papers of the document as well as a power of attorney (POA) to sell the particular property as and when he deems fit. His decision to sell would depend on the property prices.

Components of ‘Benami Property.’

As per the old Act of 1988, all property that does NOT stick to the criteria mentioned below would be called benami property –

  • Property that is held in the name of your spouse or child and is paid through known and declared sources of income
  • Joint property with a sibling or any other relative and paid with known and reported sources of income
  • Property that someone holds only in a fiduciary capacity – that is, holding an asset in the name of somebody else but not for his benefit. The holding would have been made so more by trust or guardianship.

Under the old Act, therefore, even property that you would buy in the name of your parents could be termed ‘benami.’

The New Amendment Act, 2016

The Amendment introduced in November 2016, adopts a more strict approach to the definition of benami property. It also addresses the aspect of fines and punishment. As per the provisions introduced, the Act has

  1. Revised the definition of benami transactions and added to the already existing one to also include transactions where:
  • the purchase is made in a fictitious name
  • the owner is either not aware of or denies any knowledge of the ownership of the property
  • the person providing the finance for the property can’t be traced

Property transactions that are conducted between family members would not be called benami transaction. ‘Family members’ here mean only those by lineage – father, mother, grandparents and great grandparents or children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

  1. Stipulated penalty for indulging in benami transactions
  • The penalty that was about one to three years in the earlier Act would now be up to 7. There would also be a strict fine imposed which could go as high as 25% of the market value of the property.
  • Anybody giving false information would end up with imprisonment for up to five years and would also have to pay a fine of 10 percent of the market value of the property.
  1. Set up legal authorities and Appellate Tribunal to deal with these cases.
  • Four authorities will be responsible for investigations and inquiries namely, the Initiating Officer, Approving Authority, Administrator, and Adjudicating Authority.
  • Names of benami property owners would be dug out by the district registrars and the land record departments.
  • The Initiating Officer will issue a notice to the offender. He can hold the property for about 90 days from the notice date after taking permission from the designated Approving authority; at the end of the period, he could just pass an order to extend the holding of the property.
  • In such a scenario, he would then refer the case to the Adjudicating Authority, who would examine all the documents and evidence regarding the matter. It would be up to him to decide whether the property would still be held as benami or not.
  • There would be an Appellate Tribunal formed that would hear any appeal against the orders of the Adjudicating Authority.
  • If any appeal has to be mad against the orders of the Appellate Tribunal, it would be made to the High Court.
  • There will be particular Special Courts also designated to try any offenses related to the new Bill
  1. Redefined the concept of benami property and now included the following –
  • All immovable assets like land, an apartment or house
  • Movable assets like gold, stocks, mutual fund holdings, bank deposits, etc.
  • In case the benami property has been sold it would include the money so earned from the sale too.

This Amendment Act comes as part of a series of moves being made to attain greater professionalism as well as transparency in the Real Estate Sector. It is hoped that ownership title risks would also reduce and benami transactions in the agricultural sector would get reduced. Somewhere in the minds of the government is also the fact that this move would make a lot of lands available for better purposes. The coming months will show how far these attempts of the government will be successful.

The next step Indian government is going to take will be identification of benami properties

By | January 12th, 2017|Benami Property, Blog, Corruption, Narendra Modi|0 Comments

ILLEGAL POSSESSION – When family turns foe, homes become battlegrounds!

‘Till Death do us apart’ is a status that all marriages would work well on. However, real life doesn’t reflect that-separations, acrimonious divorces, partitions of property, fights over assets seem to form as much a part of the reality of marriages as honeymoons and holidays do! Deception and allegations are frequent in the course of separation; plus, property matters especially illegal possession of property forms a sizeable chunk of the problems that could occur during such situations. These issues become tougher for NRIs to handle since they cannot even be frequently in India. The legal team at NRI Legal Services is often faced with cases of this kind.

Take the case of Nimisha Porecha, owner of a reasonable size of property in the state of Maharashtra. This included five shops and a huge house at the outskirts of the city of Pune. She had moved to New Jersey, the USA about twenty years ago after her son got married in India. Unfortunately, differences started cropping up between her son and his wife pretty early in their marriage, and five years after he got married, Nimisha’s son Jaiyesh also moved to New Jersey. Back in India, Jaiyesh’s wife Niyati occupied the entire house. The fact that she had some fake documents with her to use to her advantage made the matter worse.  Worse, she gave away three of the shops on rent. When Nimisha tried to resolve the issue by visiting India, she was disappointed to see that in spite of the efficiency that the judiciary boasts of she was not able to find any respite in her case. The complexities of the legal procedures were more upsetting than reassuring. Her difficulty to travel frequently to India added to her inability to handle the issues efficiently. Nimisha had lost her husband just a year before her son’s marriage. Left alone now, she was keen to divide her property between her children-three sons and a daughter- while she was still hale and hearty. Naturally, she wanted to make sure now that Niyati would not occupy the entire property and her other children are rightfully given what belonged to them.

It was a clear case of illegal possession of property that Nimisha was faced with. She contacted the New York office of NRI Legal Services after her son saw an advertisement of the company legal expert on Television. For them to hear that the matter could be resolved without traveling back and forth to India, was a blessing enough. She handed over the relevant documents to the local office and then onwards it was sheer coordination between the NRI Legal offices in New York and Chandigarh, with adequate support of the legal team in Maharashtra that sailed mother and son through the entire process of law. They were reassured that they could be in touch with the legal experts as frequently as they wanted the video chatting system. Resolving issues of fraudulent documentation, forgery, and possession occupation, the company lawyers were finally able to address the matter in a smooth and efficient manner for the mother-son duo.

During any such case, NRI Legal Services can assist in dealing with the illegal possession of property. For NRIs, getting their property vacated or getting illegal possession evicted is not an easy task – especially since they can’t always be there to take care of their property matters. Sometimes, they are not even aware of their rights and the procedures they can adopt to save themselves from fraud. Appropriate legal consultation is necessary for resolving these matters in a fair manner. The company has a real estate division offers services to clients for handling all such issues. A comprehensive report is prepared as per the requirements of the client.

By | January 9th, 2017|Blog, possession of property|0 Comments

Demonetisation- Sixty days of extended relief for NRIs

As the country waited for the Prime minister’s speech on 31st December 2016 with anxiety and anticipation, the RBI prepared some more guidelines to make demonetisation a relatively process for the NRIs. Midnight, the central banking authority of India declared that it was extending the date by which the NRIs can exchange their banned notes.

  • Instead of March 31, the NRIs can now exchange the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes till June 30, 2017.
  • The facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur.
  • However, Indian citizens resident in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail this facility.
  • The customs officials have prepared a one-page form that will have to be filled up by the NRIs when they come to India, to declare the details of the money they are bringing in.
  • Then the demonetised currency along with the form has to be submitted to the specified RBI branches.
  • The money being brought into the country by NRIs, as earlier, remains subject to the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015.
  • NRIs will also have to submit a copy of their passports with immigration stamps to prove that they were not in the country between November 9 and December 30, 2016.
  • In case any person is aggrieved by any refusal on the part of the RBI to credit the value of the demonetised notes, he or she can complain within fourteen days to the Central Board of the RBI, Mumbai.

Almost two months after the government came up with the massive demonetisation process, here are some of the trivia on the step taken:

  • Prime Minister Modi brought on this shock treatment for the Indian economy with two purposes in mind-

–  Eradicate black money from the economy

– Remove the circulation of fake money supply that the government claims has come from Pakistan

  • As of November 9, a day after the demonetization process, there were approximately Rs 15.44 lakh crores afloat with the public in the form of the high demonetisation notes.
  • Between then and now, there has been a huge amount that has come into the banks as deposits-however; best to wait until March 31 and wait for the central bank gives one figure for the entire period of November 8 to then.
  • The figure for mid-December was approximately Rs 12.44 lakh crores – about 80% of the amount in circulation pre demonetisation.
  • Over time, the restrictions on cash withdrawals have been modified for customer convenience – the limits for ATM withdrawals have been increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 4500. The weekly limit, however, remains Rs 24000.
  • It is said that there could be some possible benefits of this process: 90% of economic transactions in India are done with cash. Lack of cash could give a push to other alternatives – the country might just be on its way to becoming a cashless economy.
  • The other side to all of this is that a highly cash based economy suddenly went into a lurch and people are still trying to find a path forward.
  • It would work well for the country to give this process a few months before any substantial effect is seen.
  • With black money being out of circulation, people expect real estate prices to fall too (more on that in blog in the next few days-keep watching this space on our website).
  • Construction, Textiles, and Infrastructure sectors are also industries that could take a hit due to the demonetization process. Labour intensive areas of work are expected to be affected.
  • The big picture effects on jobs in the economy would depend on how fast the Indian economy rises back from this process, how soon the money supply gets restored and when the limits on cash withdrawals are removed.
  • The government expects that the multiplier effect of having hoarded money being reintroduced into the economy would give the economy a boost.

Announcements and predictions are consistently being made regarding the demonetization process. While we make an effort to keep you updated, sometimes the frequency of the notifications cannot be matched. We advise you to keep checking the RBI website for the latest on this process and more.

By | January 5th, 2017|Blog, Demonetisation|1 Comment

Divorce Might be More Expensive Than Marriage!

With the pain of separation and divorce, comes the harsh reality of sitting across the table and settling asset distribution too. Divorce cases could be resolved with the mutual consent or contested in court – in both the cases; there is a need for clarity about the ownership of assets. It is only with this clarity that division of all assets can be done in a fair manner.

Some specialized legal experts handle the intricacies of divorce. We step in when it comes to evaluation of property and assessment for the purpose of settlement in such cases. Take the story of Ritika Saluja, who approached us after she viewed the history and service details of the company on the internet. She had been living in Sydney, Australia for the past twenty years after her marriage to Sachin Saluja. In addition to struggling with her divorce and other issues of separation, she also found herself in a fix over the property that her husband had in India. As expected, he was not very forthcoming in providing details of the same. She had no clue whatsoever about the value of these properties – neither Indian nor Foreign. Once she contacted our office, an extensive online interaction was done with her to obtain the exact details of her case. Subsequently, follow-up through emails and talks helped her stay in tune with all the efforts being done to pursue her particular case. To save her from the financial crunch that she feared and to help her get her rightful share, the company legal experts diligently resolved the issues without her having to travel to India even once for any query or filing.

For NRIs, it is a humungous task getting an asset evaluated in India – and preparing a report for legal purposes is a greater challenge. They cannot even travel frequently to India to take care of their property matters. While the divorce issues could be taken care of lawyers who specialize in separation cases, expert advice is needed for the asset division settlements. However, frequently during a divorce, the two parties might not be aware of the property of the other. This leads to a loss of direction. In India, the notion of marital property rights has not received as much attention as in some other countries. In the largely patriarchal society that India has, it is accepted that a woman ‘belongs’ to her husband’s family after her marriage. Her right to property has not been recognized in society. In fact, the Indian community still reflects a relatively insecure financial status for women. Usually, they do not have clarity about the level and nature of investments done by their husbands. Hence, over the years, divorce laws have been framed to favour women so that they are protected financially. We could define Property in various ways – share in business, dowry that the woman brought with her, gifts that she received whether in her marriage or later on from friends and relatives and various other assets collected by the couple.

In a divorce case either the man or woman will approach the court to settle matters of division and settlement of property. This division is required either for themselves or, for their children. The only property considered here is of course just the ‘marital property.’ Also, it is vital to reflect income disparity during the division of assets. We could very well ask ourselves – who would want to talk about assets and their details when love & marriage are the only things in mind? But in reality, it does help being aware of each other’s assets during the marriage. It is also important to be alert and aware of the joint/individual assets bought during the marriage. Let not divorce become a mentally and financially more expensive option – stay alert, stay secure!

By | January 2nd, 2017|Blog, Divorce settlement, property settlement|0 Comments

DEMONETISATION – THE SOCIAL IMPACT

Post November 8, the country has been debating on whether it helps to have a cashless economy or not. With that, there have been discussions going on about how exactly to convert the economy into a digital one. Somewhere in the background, this move towards turning into a cashless economy has shown its effect on the social set up too. First, Demonetisation has brought the trafficking of women and girls for sex work to a stop. It has been estimated that this has been a Rs 20 trillion industry.

The process of trafficking of women is usually completed by November, after which trafficked women and girls are transported to various parts of the country to be sold to brothels, placement agencies and as child brides. Post demonetisation and the withdrawal of the Rs500 and Rs1000 currency notes, this trade, is said to have suffered a significant blow. Typically, the sex trafficking is carried on from Guwahati in Assam, Jharkhand in the North and Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the south. There hasn’t been any record of even one girl being trafficked in the past one month. Transactions related to this trade were carried out in cash. With the supply of notes in the economy reduced, people were suddenly left with no liquidity to pay to the middlemen.

Sex trafficking is one of India’s biggest organized crime rackets. The “cost” of a woman or girl is usually pegged at Rs2.5 lakh. This includes the cost of transporting her, paying off local politicians, authorities and police officials and finally, the cost of grooming her. Actual costs, however, are as low as Rs 20,000. The remaining Rs 2.3 lakh is taken by the trafficker or the middleman. A study by Global March against Child Labour (a network of trade unions, teachers, and civil society organizations) has estimated that the annual figure in India for this kind of trafficking is about Rs 18.6 trillion.

Cash payments dominate the category of prostitution too. There have been many media reports of sex service workers asking clients for digital payments – something that could prove to both awkward and arduous for people who indulge in these services.

One of the major impacts of the demonetisation process has also been felt in the Narcotics Trade. This has been another huge section of trade, and most marketing takes place through Afghanistan and other ports. Black money rules this business. In Maharashtra and Himachal, drug trade came to a virtual standstill after the government announced demonetisation. Drug peddlers found it difficult to sell their stock after high-value currency went missing from the economy. Even small transactions were affected – with most of the drug players having gone into hiding till the market gets into revival mode. Supply of narcotics from Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh into Maharashtra and other states has also gone down. The Narcotics Bureau has found that while the drug detection rate might be the same as before demonetisation, the quantity of drugs seized from the peddlers now is much less than earlier.

With all this, is also the effect on one of the key objectives of the demonetisation process namely, terrorism. The idea was to make fake notes flowing in from Pakistan, mostly in 500 and 1000 rupee denominations, useless. In doing so, black money, a significant source of terrorist funding, would dry up.

Behind the overwhelming debates, discussions and criticism of the demonetisation process that we have been seeing in the past one month or so, there have been some silent positive social effects too.  For all other detailed processes and policies on the eco-political impacts, do keep in touch with our posts on our website www.nrilegalservices.com

By | December 22nd, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation, Demonitization|0 Comments

Demonetisation effects on GST

GST Caught Between Political Tussles – Fallout of Demonetisation and the wave thereafter!

Would Prime Minister Modi have thought that his ‘surgical strike’ on black money have an impact on the other proposed wonder drug of the economy – the GST? Well it looks like it is creating an impact on those lines. The tsunami that the demonetisation process has brought has led to feuds between the government and the opposition, besides generating a mixture of responses from the public and media. This animosity on the political front has caused the GST drive to suffer a setback.

And while on Taxes, the country’s finance minister has hinted now that the tax rates might be lowered –the assumption being that demonetisation would bring in higher tax revenues from unaccounted wealth. Considering the fact that digitisation would push a greater number of people to be in the tax net, it is hoped that in the future the taxation levels would end up being much higher. Consequently, tax rates could be made more reasonable for both direct as well as indirect taxes.

For now, people are hoping that the government might bring in a number of concessions for the taxpayer – be it individuals or the corporate sector. This would ease out the pain felt during demonetisation. The steps could vary from tax slab revision to reduction in corporate taxes to tax exemptions and rebates. All this is expected to target farmers, small traders, small and medium businesses and the youth. Over the past one month or so, the government has in any case been giving incentives to encourage digital payments. The currency situation is expected to improve by the third week of December.

Meanwhile, more than a month after demonetisation, these are some of the noticeable trends in the Indian economy:

  • Projected GDP growth for this fiscal year is 7% – this is as per the estimate given by the Asian Development Bank.
  • The figure for the next fiscal year is about 7.8% – as per ADB, the impact of demonetisation is temporary
  • Some of the incentives for cashless transactions were :
  1. 5% discount by Railways for online payment on facilities like e catering and booking retiring rooms
  2. 5 % discount by the Railways on season tickets that are purchased digitally January 1, 2017 onwards
  3. The banks had released about Rs. 4 trillion back into the system till the first week of December
  4. Banks had got about Rs. 12.4 trillion in deposits till mid December , since Demonetisation
  5. Amongst other aspects, the IMF survey on Financial Access pointed out that the number of ATMs per 100,000 adults is 19.71.
  • As of midnight December 15, the usage of the old 500 notes would stop completely – beyond this, the notes would only be deposited in the banks till December 30 and be exchanged at the RBI till March 31, 2017 (under special circumstances).
  • Till midnight December 15, the old 500 notes can be used in the following places:
  1. Government hospitals and pharmacies
  2. Consumer Cooperative stores
  3. Government Agricultural Research centres and related organisations
  4. Government milk booths
  5. Payments at all pharmacies
  6. Purchase of LPG cylinders
  7. Toll payments
  8. Fees, charges taxes, penalties towards government organisations
  9. Utility charges like electricity and water
  10. Court fees, Government school fees
  • The RBI updates its notifications and frequently asked question list (FAQs) for people to understand the basics of note deposit and exchange – it lays down certain specifications for NRIs also.
  • Although we try to bring you all the latest information, there are frequent changes and declarations made by the government. We would advice all our readers to keep checking the RBI official site (www.rbi.org.in) for authentication of all facts.
By | December 17th, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation, GST|0 Comments

To Avoid Property Disputes- Learn Property Management

Over the years we have been handling various NRI clients with property dispute issues, and our observation has been that ignorance of fundamental rights and norms leads to a lot of hassle for NRIs. It would help if people were conscious about getting their property issues properly managed.

Professional Property Management is a domain that has come to gain importance over the past few years. Greater value needs to be given to this aspect so that the interest of NRIs is safeguarded. Technically, Property management is the administration or management of property whether they are residential, commercial or industrial.An individual who is hired to professionally handle the daily operations of a real estate investment and other issues would be called a property manager. They manage all types of properties, from single family homes to large apartment complexes. Property managers act on behalf of the owner to preserve the value of the assets while generating income.

The responsibilities of a property manager vary, based on their salary and the terms of their management contract, but mainly they include the following:

Rent
Property managers are responsible for setting the initial rent level, collecting rent from tenants and adjusting the rent.
Setting Rent – The property manager knows how to set the right rent level to attract tenants to the property by their understanding in respect of the market and property located in the area.
Collecting Rent – They play the role of the enforcer i:e fixing up a date for rent collection each month and ensuring it is paid (with late fees if needed).
Adjusting Rent – The property manager can increase or decrease the rent by a fixed percentage each year, according to law.

Tenants
One of the primary responsibilities of the property manager is to manage tenants i.e. finding the tenants, dealing with them, and their complaints and initiating evictions.
Finding Tenants – Property managers are responsible for marketing the property. They understand what attracts tenants and what kind of makeover the property needs to fill the vacancies.
Screening Tenants – They are responsible for sorting through the prospective tenant applications to find the best tenant for your property. They have a proper selection process, which includes running credit checks and criminal background checks.
Handling Leases – They are responsible for setting the length of the contract, the amount of security deposit and making sure it has all the necessary provisions to protect the owner.
Handling Complaints/Emergencies – They are paid to deal with all kinds of complaints, requests and handle emergency situations.
Handling Vacating process – When a tenant vacates a property, the manager is responsible for inspecting the property, checking for damages and deciding what portion of the security deposit is to be returned to the tenant. Besides this, small issues like cleaning, repairing, looking for new tenants are also the responsibility of the property manager.
Dealing with Evictions – In case a tenant doesn’t pay rent or disobeys the terms of the lease, it is the property manager who would see to it that the property is vacated by the tenant.

Maintenance and Repairs
All physical management, repairs, maintenance of the property also becomes the responsibility of the individual or firm doing the professional property management.
Responsible for Knowledge of Landlord – Tenant Law – The property managers must have a thorough understanding of laws regarding the proper ways to:

  • Screen a tenant
  • Handle security deposits
  • Terminate a Lease
  • Evict a tenant
  • Comply with property safety standards

Supervision
Property managers take care of the property in the absence of the owners, protecting it from vandalism and making sure the repairing is done adequately and timely.
Vacant Properties – Property managers are often hired to look after vacant properties so that there is no vandalism and they are properly maintained. They also make sure contractors or repairers complete their work in time.

Managing the Budget/Maintaining Records
Operating Budget – The manager must operate within the set budget for the building, but in any emergency situations where the tenant or property is in danger, they can order repairs without any concern for the budget.
Maintaining Records – The property manager is supposed to keep thorough records of transactions, leases, maintenance, repairs, complaints, rent, insurance regarding the property.

Taxes
The property manager takes it upon himself to assist the property owner with the tax-filing for the particular property.

WHY IS PROPERTY MANAGEMENT IMPORTANT?
The main benefit of Property Management is to the owners of houses, and other real estate properties are the preservation of their properties with regular maintenance and repairs.
Proper asset management also adds value to your houses for rent and helps in time of selling the property.
It helps in the continuous flow of business and income for the owners and the satisfaction of tenants’ needs.
This is a service that holds exceptional value for NRIs who cannot always travel back and forth to India – this limitation also causes mental harassment for them, as they land up in situations where their property might be under threat.

By | December 13th, 2016|Blog, Property Management|0 Comments

DEMONETISATION – The greatest move to eradicate Black Money.

SO MUCH CAN HAPPEN IN THIRTY DAYS!

Social Media is today dotted with tongue-in-cheek comments on how much can happen in one month – and how 30 days can change the way we live! Exactly a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced strict measures announcing the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and 1000 notes from the economy. This ‘Demonetisation’ that was initiated was aimed at eliminating fake currency, give a blow to terror funding and bring in control the hawala transactions in the economy. The core slogan that has been floating around is – “India Defeats Black Money.”

Where are we now? One month after this Demonetisation Tsunami hit the daily lives of the citizens, what is the state of affairs in the economy? A quick analysis could give us an idea about the following:

  • Major announcements regarding the demonetisation process were made on November 8, 2016.
  • Modifications followed on November 17, then 25th and subsequently at various steps, the government announced various measures.
  • The latest announcements, at the time of publishing this article, have come from Arun Jaitely in the form of incentives to go digital in transactions. These are:
    • Buying monthly seasonal tickets in the suburban railway networks through digital mode will get a discount of 0.75 per cent.
    • This will start from the Mumbai suburban railways and will start from January 1, 2017.
    • There will be 5 per cent discount if an individual pays through the digital mode for catering or retiring rooms at railway stations
    • People buying petrol and diesel through the digital methods will get 0.75 percent
    • People who pay general insurance premiums online will get a 10% discount and people paying life insurance will get a discount of 8%
    • Around 1 lakh villages of the population over 10,000 will be selected and provided with POS (point of sale) machines.
    • If you pay digitally at national highways and use Smart Cards and RFID facilities at toll plazas, then you would be entitled to a 10 percent
    • In addition to all these, the government has also announced that no service tax will be charged on transactions through the debit/credit cards, provided these are below Rs 2000.

Some of the declared effects of this entire process of demonetisation are:

  • About Rs 4 lakh crores has been injected into the financial system
  • The RBI has to plug back a total of Rs 14.48 lakh crores that had gone out of circulation
  • As per the RBI declarations, Rs 11.5 lakh crores of the illegal tender was deposited by the people in banks, till December 6, 2016.
  • The analysis shows that approximately 65% of the money taken out of circulation remains to be replaced.
  • As per reports, about Rs 1.5 lakh crores had been released into the system till on November 25.
  • The RBI has officially stated that only Rs 4 lakh crore is back into the system.
  • Meaning thereby that the RBI is releasing only a third of the cash that is being deposited back into the system in the form of illegal tender of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
  • This implies that though the printing of new currency started two months ago, in September, the paucity of cash in India may take a while to go.
  • The purchasing power of the people has been However, it is expected that this kind of a disruption in the system would be short lived and business activity would gain momentum as the high-value banknotes gradually get replaced, and black marketers end their operations.
  • It is broadly said that the current socio-economic disruption was an essential step in the country’s drive towards making its economy stronger and resulting in a higher GDP.

The current demonetisation is unprecedented and historic . Notifications and updates are coming in daily . While we are trying our best to bring you the most accurate and updated Information on this subject it is a possibility that by the time we relay the information it might have been changed. Please verify from the official site of RBI before taking any action (https://www.rbi.org.in/) We will not be held liable for any discrepancy in the information.

 

By | December 9th, 2016|Blog, Demonetisation|0 Comments

DEMONETIZATION AND NRIs

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There is a common online joke in India these days that the new definition of a “Tsunami” is the sombre voice uttering “mere pyaare deshvaasiyo…”.  With all the humour that it evokes on a daily basis, it is indicative of the powerful change that the storm named “Demonetisation” has brought into the country in the past three weeks or so.

On November 8, Prime Minister Modi shook the nation by his announcements regarding the demonetisation process in the country. Broadly, his announcement enunciated the following:

  1. The legal tender character of the existing banknotes in denominations of  500 and 1000 issued by the Reserve Bank of India till November 8, 2016 (from now on referred to as Specified Bank Notes) was withdrawn.
  2. All these notes could be exchanged over the counter in any of the 19 offices of the Reserve Bank of India and deposited at any of the bank branches of commercial banks/ Regional Rural Banks/ Co-operative banks (only Urban Co-operative Banks and State Co-operative Banks) or any Head Post Office or Sub-Post Office.
  3. The minor details stood as following-
  • Over the counter exchange of the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs, 1000 was withdrawn post-midnight November 24, 2016.
  • From November 25, an individual could only deposit the old notes in their accounts and then withdraw new currency through ATMs or cheques at banks.
  • The government intends encouraging people who currently do not have accounts to open them and deposit the abolished notes.
  • There would still be a limit of Rs 24000 per week withdrawal per bank account
  • At the time of this article being published, ATMs can be used to draw up to Rs. 2,500 a day per card.
  • The RBI has doubled the limit on digital transactions through e-wallets like Paytm to Rs. 20,000 per month.
  • For Foreign citizens, the rule is that they would be permitted to exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week. However, now entries would be made in their passports. The RBI proposes to issue further guidelines regarding this.

The move also affected many NRIs who keep Indian currency with them sometimes. As per rules, NRIs are supposed to reconvert the Indian currency into their foreign currency before they leave India so that they don’t have much Indian cash with them. In case for some reason they were not able to reconvert, the following applies to them-

BRING THE CASH WITH THEM TO INDIA

  • If planning to travel to India before December 30, 2016, then bring the cash and exchange it at any bank or post office in India.
  • Also, up to March 31, 2017, exchange the money at specified RBI offices by producing required documents (passport showing you were not in India before current visit from the time of announcement of demonetization, valid identity proof etc. Please check RBI website for more information)

SEND THE PHYSICAL MONEY WITH SOMEONE TRUSTWORTHY:

  • If unable to travel to India give the money to someone else trustworthy who is travelling to India.
  • They could then exchange it on the person’s behalf.
  • It is advisable that an authorizing letter is provided to that person to exchange the bills on the NRI’s behalf with other valid documents like PAN card, Aadhar card, Passport copy, Visa copy, etc.
  • Please do remember that the limit on currency a traveler can bring into India without declaring is Rs. 25,000.

IF THEY ALREADY HAVE CASH IN INDIA:

  • According to RBI guidelines, if an NRI already has old banknotes in India, he may authorize in writing and enable another person in India to deposit the notes into his bank account.
  • The person so authorised, has to come to the bank branch with the old banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Valid Identity Proof is any of the following: Aadhar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Pass Port, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff).

DEPOSIT THE OLD NOTES IN YOUR NRO ACCOUNT:

  • NRIs can deposit your notes into their Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings Account.
  • However, this is an option only if they are traveling to India before December 30, 2016.

There have been some sections that are troubled by the system of changing old notes or withdrawals, but by and large, people are hopeful of positive changes happening in the economy. The bird’s eye view or the big picture opinion seems to point out to the fact that in the long term, this move would reduce the dependence on cash alone, increase the inflow in banks leading them to reduce lending rates in the economy and thus, help increase demand in the economy.

While we attempt to bring you the latest in the country on this issue, it is vital to remember that new notifications are being issued almost every day. We do suggest you keep a close check on our website www.nrilegalservices.com and also verify facts from the RBI website www.rbi.org.in.

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Detoxifying is an often misused word. However, if it were seen as yet another way to keep our body pure and free from diseases, one would learn to value this process. What is of immense importance, however, is that we respect our body, understand its needs and problems and then follow a detoxifying routine that adds energy to our basic system rather than leaves us feeling weak and starved. We do the routine cleaning at home only when we get time from our more pressing job or business responsibilities. In the same way, our digestive system takes care of the accumulated backlog only when we give it some rest. This rest comes in the form of light eating. As long as we are eating to our fill, there is no chance of the backlog to be cleared. The importance of weekly fast or a 12-day “detox” can be followed during the regime of a full Holistic course. We can reap huge benefits even by shorter rest periods too. Whenever you find yourself tired, out of sorts or uneasy, your first line of defence should be to skip dinner. Just this much of sacrifice will help you bounce back the next morning. It does not have to be zero food either. Maybe you can do with half the normal dinner? Or just a bowl of boiled vegetables or maybe soup. This intermittent fasting will help your digestive system to recoup fast. Some people rather skip lunch but that proves counterproductive because one feels voraciously hungry around 5 pm and ends up eating junk. If you are skipping dinner, make sure that you don’t indulge in a midnight binge. Steel yourself and make sure that even if you find it difficult to sleep, you do not take anything except water after 9 pm. You will be so much the lighter the next morning and will find yourself full of renewed vigour. By the way, skipping dinner is also a magical remedy for eliminating cough and cold. At the first sign of throat irritation, decide not to eat anything after sunset. You will be in fine fettle the next morning.

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ALL FOR A HOT CUP OF TEA!

Munnar is perhaps one of the leading examples of what Rudyard Kipling said, “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” Step into this city at the convergence of three rivers and be greeted by a range of flavoured aromas – tea, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, espresso, nutmeg, and cloves. From refreshing to pungent, Munnar offers you a taste of life in its most raw yet most ethereal form. Mountain peaks, lush sprawling tea gardens, wilderness, meandering rivers and spice gardens – this and more in this enthralling home to waterfalls and tea estates. You could be walking along curved paths and simply breathe in the freshness that the fragrance of tea leaves laced with that of spices brings with it. Couple it with the opportunity to buy all the sources and you’re bound to be in love with the experience that this part of the country offers. You could even indulge in sinfully delicious chocolates and convince yourself that the calories added are balanced by the sheer love, purity, and passion with which these are made by so many small ventures here – white or dark, liqueur or simple, plain or the ‘nutty’ ones!

At a height of about 6000 feet, this amazing geographical domain lends an enriching experience of walks through low floating clouds and misty roads, age-old architecture and nostalgic whiffs, dense wilderness and structured tea gardens! Childlike wonder and adventure could make you want to bounce and dance your way over the sloping tea bushes. Just as the misty environs during the rains and otherwise set your mind thinking on cinematic reels. Amongst the attractions here are a few tea estates at heights of almost 800ft – tough rides in jeeps through the mountain paths to reach the destination get negated by the spectacular view that you see from these heights. There are some tea factories standing strong and firm in their work since the early 1900s. The historical significance is enhanced by the fact that quality of the produce remains unmatched even now.

That Munnar has been an important summer resort for the British during the times of the Raj. One can still bask in the warmth of the colonial remnants even while enjoying the wilderness. “Picture perfect” gets a new definition here in Munnar. There is hardly any other place that offers such a vast spectrum of natural beauty. Lakes, hills, waterfalls, greenery and buildings, that tell different historical stories. The most amazing waterfall here called the ‘Powerhouse Waterfalls’ is located on way to Thekkady – falling from an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level, this is a must visit site for all tourists. It gets its name from the Power station located here on the waterfalls. Another tourist delight is the Floriculture Centre where one gets to view hundreds of species of flowers, decorative and medicinal plants, orchids and even cactus. The Mattupetty dam and lake are ideal beauty spots for people to enjoy boat cruises. The town is famous for its Indo-Swiss livestock dairy project and people enjoy homemade chocolates and other decorative artefacts. Another vantage point is Echo Point, at some distance of a few km from Munnar. Like any hill station, this is a point which gets its name from the spectacular views and the echo phenomenon here. Trekking and mountaineering can be enjoyed here.

Munnar gets considerable fame from its lake associated with Sita Devi in the quaint hill station of Devikulam in this area. Said to possess minerals and acclaimed to have healing powers, this lake attracts a lot of religious and other tourists. The Eravikulam National Park, located about 15 km from Munnar is home to the Nilgiri Tahr too. Easily comparable to the best mountain ranges in the world this was declared as National Park in 1978 due to the ecological significance and the flora, fauna and zoological importance of the place.

One of the most enchanting historical attractions is structures called ‘Dolmens’. These are megalithic tombs which are made of large granite slabs to form square burial chambers. It is said that sages (“munis”) were buried here. Besides, one can also find a lot of caves which overlook the Pambar River, and depict forms of rock paintings painted by tribes here. Marayoor-the part of Munnar which houses these structures now attracts tourists and is definitely not to be missed when you visit this part of the country.

Munnar is a name that leaves you with memories of rain and mist, hilly walks and whiff of tea leaves, spicy sojourns and homemade chocolates and a rendezvous with Nature in one of its best forms. Indulge yourself and soak in all of this while you discover this part of the country.

 

By | December 6th, 2016|Demonitization, Health tip, Newsletter, Traversing India|0 Comments
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