The Kerala government has expressed concerns over the Centre's decision to impose 12.36 per cent tax on commissions realised by financial institutions on NRI remittances, saying it would hit families who depend on their kin working in the Gulf and other nations. Minister for Non-Resident Keralites Affairs K C Joseph, who has already written to Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, urging withdrawal of the decision, said this tax would be ultimately passed on to Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) by the financial institutions dealing with their funds.
He said nearly 90 per cent of Keralites working in the Gulf are engaged in low-end jobs and the money sent by them is the sole source of support for their families. A similar proposal was made when the UPA was in power but it was withdrawn after Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy intervened in the matter, Joseph said. As per the figures of the State Level Banking Committee, non-resident Keralites sent a whopping Rs 95,000 crore last fiscal through banks and other institutions.