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NRIs welcome India’s approval of OPCs

2 Feb 2021 By ANIRBAN RAY

The India’s 2021 Annual Budget proposal to allow non-resident Indians (NRIs) to form One Person Companies (OPC) has been widely appreciated by Indian expatriates living in Oman. 

On Monday, India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will incentivise the incorporation of OPCs by allowing such companies to grow without any restrictions. The business community in Oman has welcomed the move which aims to make conducting business easy with no restrictions on either paid-up capital or turnover.

Lauding the step, Aftab Patel, CEO of Al Omaniya Financial Services, said, “Many NRI entrepreneurs and business leaders who run large corporations and who are well connected abroad can leverage their knowledge and be facilitators for foreign investments into India through OPCs.”

According to Patel, the ‘sweeteners’ are reduction in minimum stay in India to 120 days, no restrictions on the capital and turnover, and the ability to ‘take risks’ without risking personal assets. “This will motivate NRIs to experiment and capitalise their knowledge and promote entrepreneurship and generate employment. A few tax incentives will give boost to the move and make it more successful.”

The government reduced the residency limit for Indian citizens to set up an OPC from 182 to 120 days, which is expected to save time and also documentation.

P Chandrasekr, group general manager of Jawad Sultan Group, said, “Many NRIs who wish to start their own businesses, after working for long abroad, find it challenging to set up a business. Now with OPC, it’ll save manpower, funds and time. This also means less paper work and minimal operational costs, loans and taxes. It’ll ultimately be beneficial for the country’s economy.”

Saji C Thomas, general manager of Wasel Exchange, believes the move will incentivise the NRI diaspora to invest in their home country. “This will encourage startups without the concerns and regulatory requirements of a large set up. NRIs with entrepreneurial capabilities would be attracted to channelise their investments to India.”

The move is also expected to boost the country’s economy following the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in a major drop in the GDP. 

Ajay Bhati, CEO of The Lighthouse, a management consulting firm, said, “It will help social sellers, professionals, students, creative artists, innovators, retired professionals and solopreneurs to build a platform to establish their business and make it big over a period of time.”

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