KOCHI: Minister for Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) K C Joseph has urged the Central Government to withdraw the service tax imposed on foreign remittances as it would impact the hard-earned savings of non-resident Keralites (NRKs). In a letter sent to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, he said that the NRKs were already burdened by the transaction charge on foreign remittances, which is about seven per cent. “An additional burden on them would be like killing the goose which lays golden eggs. It is double taxation, and the government should immediately withdraw the decision,” he said.
TNIE on Tuesday reported that the new 12.36 per cent service tax on foreign remittances would take away around `780 crore of NRK deposits. K C Joseph pointed out that a large number of Keralites working abroad had been doing menial jobs, and that it was unfortunate that the government decided to tax them, who are sending money to support their families back home. The money they send also add up to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. He pointed out that a similar move was made by the UPA Government, but the timely intervention by CM Oommen Chandy helped avert the move.